Topanga is one of those places whose rich history can still be felt when you’re in the area.
The name Topanga was first given the region by the Tongva tribe, one of the most powerful indigenous people groups of Southern California before European settlement. The name most likely means “where the mountains meet the sea” or “a place above.”
Europeans first settled in Topanga Canyon in the mid-1800s, but the region began to cultivate the famous culture it’s best known for in the 1920s. During the 1920s, Topanga Canyon became an escape for Hollywood stars. While few people lived in the area year-round, the isolated canyon with pristine views became a well-known spot for Los Angeles’s stars to have weekend getaways.
Later on, the Hollywood stars of the 1920s were followed by a slew of others looking to escape the hustle, bustle, and tumult of Los Angeles, including artists and musicians like Dennis Wilson, Neil Young, and Jim Morrison. While the momentum of the scene may have died down in the 1970s, the culture it created remained. Well-to-do’s with plenty of free time enjoy a laid back lifestyle and comfortable distance from the hustle and bustle of the city, finding time to write, paint, and be creative.
Molding to the Small Community
When you move to Topanga, you’ll have to learn to adapt to and respect nature. Oak trees are protected throughout the area, and so is the Topanga Creek. You may have to learn how to avoid mountain lions and rattlesnakes, but you’ll never need to cope with apartment and condo complexes.
Topanga has 4 primary and secondary schools. According to GreatSchools, which rates schools based on a comparison of test results for all schools in the state on a scale of 1-10, two of the schools earn a 10 (Topanga Learn-Charter Elementary School and Malibu High School). Paul Revere Middle School earns an 8, and Woodland Hills Charter Academy has a 4.
The Real Estate Market
Topanga resides in the area code 90290. The median home value in Topanga is $1,257,992, which shows a decline of -0.2% over the past year. The median list price per square foot in Topanga is $834, and the median price of homes currently listed is $1,299,000.
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Neighborhood Pros and Cons
Topanga Canyon is stunning. With winding roads that lead from the canyon to the bay, beautiful and unique homes, and plenty of nature, any person living in the area is sure to benefit from being surrounded by pristine views.
The unique culture of Topanga also means that residents get to avoid the consumer-based lifestyle of other areas. There are no chain restaurants or strip malls to contend with.
While Topanga is beautiful and removed from the wild hustle and bustle of the city, it is also a very expensive place to live with the median price of homes listed is $1,299,000.