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Airbnb's new Neighborhood Guide to L.A. adds context to listings

April 11, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • A profile of Silver Lake from Airbnb's Neighborhood Guide to Los Angeles.
A profile of Silver Lake from Airbnb's Neighborhood Guide to Los Angeles. (Screenshot from airbnb )

Los Angeles is all about neighborhoods, probably more so than more compact cities, and choosing where to stay can be a bit daunting. 

Airbnb, the online site that matches city dwellers who let out their homes with travelers who want a non-hotel experience, launched an interactive guide to L.A. today (Thursday) to be used with its more than 5,000 accommodation listings in the area, the company says.

The one-stop digital Neighborhood Guide to Los Angeles offers users a chance to find places to stay, places to eat, directions to tourist spots via neighborhood maps, and a flavor of what the area is like via photographs. There are even pictures of real-life residents too.

The guide doesn't break any new ground, but, for the most part, airbnb offers some context for those coming on vacation. I like search categories such as Cultural Enclaves, Loved by Angelenos, Beachy, Close to Downtown and 10 others. I clicked on Peace & Quiet, for example, and found digs near little-known Alondra Park between Lawndale and Gardena.

I also checked my neighborhood, San Pedro, to find this one-liner description: "A simple small-town neighborhood dressed in a fancy cruise-liner's clothing." Hmm, maybe so. The site captured the community with photos of the fish market, the Red Car, the Korean Bell and even a cruise ship.

But then there are these rather awkward descriptions of one of L.A.'s oldest neighborhood: "Big estates aren't emblematic of Boyle Heights" and "Small yards mean short distances between you and saying hello to your neighbor."

Yes there are better guides out there to demystify Los Angeles. This one offers a quick reference for those keen on booking a place to stay while trying to figure out the SoCal puzzle. Who knows, it might even inspire some locals to try a new neighborhood too. The L.A. guide joins the lineup of more than a dozen others covering cities from Boston to Berlin.

Neighborhood Guide to Los Angeles

'SoCal Closeups' offers 200 days of play

Southern California Close-Ups Travel Guides

mary.forgione@latimes.com
Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.

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