Topanga Canyon

Topanga Canyon


Some call Topanga Canyon a bohemian community. Some say that it got stuck in the 1970’s and never came out. Others say the small town, nestled in one of the most beautiful spots in the Santa Monica Mountains is an artists’ paradise. Topanga Canyon received its name from the Chumash Indians, and it means “above the clouds” or “above it all.” On any given day, residents of this lazy community certainly do feel like they are living “above it all.” Topanga Canyon, or simply “Topanga” as locals know it, stretches through a winding canyon that connects the 101 freeway and the San Fernando Valley to Pacific Coast Hwy (State Route 1) and the Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by Malibu to the west and Pacific Palisades to the east.

The majority of homes in Topanga Canyon run along the Topanga Creek, which traverses throughout the Canyon, one of the last remaining undimmed waterways in the area. Topanga was once a getaway for the Hollywood elite in the 1920’s, and in the 60’s it saw an infiltration of artists, musicians, and “hippies.” Notable past residents and frequent visitors of Topanga Canyon include Etta James, Neil Young, and Jim Morrison.

Topanga Canyon is home to a population of Angelenos who choose to live “off the grid” and to a lesser extent grow their own food and live the “green” lifestyle. The community hosts an annual Earth Day celebration that features local musicians, organic food and wares, and yoga classes. The Topanga Days carnival is an event that is anticipated each year by area residents, and is kicked off with a hometown parade that travels along Topanga Canyon Boulevard, the main thoroughfare running through the canyon. Topanga State Park is the largest preserved open space in the world that completely surrounds a city.

The Santa Monica Nature Conservancy and National Recreation Area offers hikers, bikers, and nature lovers acres upon acres of pristine wilderness to view wildlife and reconnect with the land as a source of inspiration. Culture in Topanga Canyon thrives, thanks to the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, an outdoor concert and performance venue that showcases seasonal Shakespearean productioins and kids music favorites. The neighborhood is served by a quaint village, called “Pine Tree Circle,” which is encased in a fairy-tale forest setting and houses shops, cafes, a post office, and public library. Topanga homes run the gamut from cozy cottage to modest single family home to large estates on expansive mesas.

Major attractions include Topanga Days, the largest bohemian fair in California; the Artists’ Studio Tour held by local artists, concerts, and plays at Theatricum Botanicum; and activities like hiking, horseback riding.




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