One of the oldest buildings in the greater Los Angeles metro area is in Calabasas, California. The Leonis Adobe in Old Town Calabasas dates back to 1844.
Only miles away from Los Angeles, Calabasas seems a world away thanks to its slowed-down simpler way of life. Once you get off the freeway, prepare to relax while you're here. Northwest of Los Angeles, Calabasas is just west of the San Fernando Valley and the Santa Monica Mountains. Areas surrounding it include Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills and Malibu. This is where movie and television executives move to once they've been at the top for awhile. The population was just over 23,000 in the 2010 census.
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Moving to Calabasas
If you're expecting the uber-urban landscape of downtown Los Angeles, you'll be in for a surprise. Calabasas has worked hard to maintain its small-town rural feel. While there is a sort-of downtown "urban" area, don't expect to find many modern city studio apartments in Calabasas. What you will find however, is an ample supply of home rentals. Snapping up rental condos or 2-bedroom apartments is certainly feasible here, but don't expect to stumble onto great deals like apartments with paid utilities without searching high and low for it. It'll take a few weeks or even a month or so to find an apartment for rent. Make sure you bring all required documents such as credit history, proof of employment and IDs.
Calabasas Highlands: Just south of Woodland Hills, this area of town is notable for its patriotic streets. The streets bear names such as Founder's Drive, American Way and Paul Revere Drive.
Malibu Junction: Between the Ventura Freeway and Malibu Creek State Park, this is a great neighborhood to secure an apartment or small home for rent. Plenty of renters are mixed in with the many homeowners in this area as well.
Brents Junction: Just north of the Ventura Freeway, Brents Junction is mainly state-owned land full of green grass, although there is a mixture of homes and apartments here and it is a little closer to the freeway.
Park Moderne: One of the oldest neighborhoods in Calabasas, Park Moderne is also known as the Bird Streets. It began as an artist colony, still visible in and around the streets with bird names like Hummingbird, Bluebird and Meadow Lark, and in the pool, cabins and clubhouse that are part of the colony.
Living in Calabasas
Calabasas roughly translates to "pumpkin" in Spanish, and the town takes pride in this by throwing an annual Pumpkin Festival in October in the Juan Bautista de Anza Park. The legend goes that the festival started when a traveling wagon loaded down with pumpkins overturned, resulting in the town's first pumpkin patch. What began as a simple fair has grown over the years into a hugely popular event full of carnival games, live entertainment and locally produced food. Other annual events include the Spring Eggstravaganza, an Independence Day celebration and the Fine Arts Festival.
If you plan on shopping in Calabasas -- and why wouldn't you -- plan on providing your own reusable shopping bags. The city passed an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags in stores. It's just one instance of how seriously Calabasas takes its environmental stewardship. You'll also notice it when you order take out -- there won't be any Styrofoam holding your dim sum or tacos.
Several notable roads traverse the city, including historic El Camino Real, also known as The King's Highway or The Royal Road. Jump in your car and drive along this stretch of road that once connected the missions, pueblos and presidios of Alta, California, all the way from San Diego north to Sonoma. Portions of both Mulholland Drive and Mulholland Highway also go through Calabasas. This scenic drive is great on a Sunday afternoon. Filmmaker David Lynch, who made the film Mulholland Drive, once noted that you could feel "the history of Hollywood" on that road.