Topanga Real Estate AgentsFind Your Perfect Home in Topanga
Topanga is an incredible creative community located in the Santa Monica Mountains just minutes from world-famous Malibu beaches. If you love art and nature, Topanga is the perfect place to call home. The Donohoe Group can help you navigate the often complex Topanga real estate market and find your dream home in this stunning, one-of-a-kind neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Be Inspired Every Day in Topanga
Topanga, which is in the Santa Monica Mountains and is known for its creative community, is one of the most popular places in Los Angeles for people who like art and the outdoors. Even though LA has a vast array of entertainment options available to you, you’d be remiss to pass up the chance to check out this hidden group of state parks, cafes, and restaurants—especially since everything is located only 20 minutes outside of the city.
The best activities in Topanga right now range from a world-famous open-air theater to a charming café with breathtaking canyon views.
Hollywood celebrities began using Topanga Canyon as a weekend getaway in the 1920s as a result of the construction of several cottages there. Rolling hills and lots of plants gave rich and famous people privacy and a beautiful place to live. Topanga Canyon attracted a lot of fresh artists in the 1960s.
Wallace Berman moved there in 1965. Neil Young resided in Topanga for a while, first sharing a home with producer David Briggs and then getting his own place. He spent the majority of the 1970s After the Gold Rush album recording in his basement studio. In Topanga, where Charles Manson had previously resided, he had made brief friends with Neil Young and Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys.
For the same reason that the more free-spirited members of 1920s Hollywood braved lengthy drives over treacherous mountain roads to their weekend cottages and cabins—to get away from Los Angeles—they had come to Topanga. Early on, not many people chose to live there year-round because it was too far away to commute into the city for work, the utilities were not reliable, and there were no good restaurants.
But before returning to the grind of early filmmaking, which valued speed and volume of production above all else, it was a great place to recharge for a few days. It was far worse than the studio system that the boomers who followed them were escaping. They established a community there that reflected their beliefs in equality, peace, and individualism.
Famous musicians and artists were drawn to the scene and joined the new crop of movie stars who had settled in Topanga. Dennis Wilson and Dennis Hopper smoked marijuana together without a care in the world.
The Topanga Corral nightclub is said to have inspired Jim Morrison to write “Roadhouse Blues.” When the 1970s finally stumbled to an end, Topanga had already reached its zenith of cultural significance. Residents of the present toast the past while trading psychedelics for glasses of premium organic Cabernet in the waning afterglow, beneath strings of Edison bulbs on decks and patios across the canyon.
The 8,289-person village of Topanga has long served as Los Angeles’ bohemian Brigadoon. Topanga Canyon Boulevard winds through chaparral-covered hills and steep outcrops of rock for 12 miles from the ocean to the San Fernando Valley.
It is surrounded by Topanga State Park, the largest wilderness area within a city limit in the United States. Along this main thoroughfare, a variety of businesses have come and gone since the early 20th century, including general stores, taverns, spiritual centers, community galleries, and cozy cafes. Possibly representing the most recent generation of creatives: Topanga Fresh Market, which serves organic, locally sourced food and pressed juice, has recently opened in the former Bruno’s Dead Dog Saloon, a biker bar known as the Stop and Fight. However, some things never change.
Celebrity trackers mention Leonardo DiCaprio, Channing Tatum, and Fergie as regulars at The Inn of the Seventh Ray, a terraced creekside restaurant that opened in 1973 and advertised “angelic vibrations.” The restaurant is still festooned with fairy lights and continues to rank as a romantic destination. There was the wedding of Sylvia Chivaratanond, a curator, and Philippe Vergne, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art who is of French descent.
The McCarthy era, when Will Geer—a blacklisted actor and trained botanist—fled Hollywood and acquired a plot of canyon land, is at least as far back as the artistic roots of Topanga can be traced. Together with his family, he built a sizable, productive garden and an outdoor theater where Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Pete Seeger, and Arlo Guthrie all performed. Theatricum Botanicum was founded by the Geer family in the 1970s, when Geer found new fame as Grandpa on the popular TV series The Waltons and his children had become actors. It is now a venerable woodland venue for performances and workshops.