At first glance, Encino seems to be just another cookie-cutter suburb lost amongst the sprawl of the San Fernando Valley. But don’t put it in a box quite yet -- Encino is one of the most storied neighborhoods within a (long) stone’s throw of Los Angeles. Encino isn’t too far from the Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios Hollywood, Sherman Oaks Galleria, and Venice Beach. The town has tons of 20th-century charm and enough big blockbuster shopping malls to keep you entertained for more than a weekend. “Encino” means “evergreen” or “oak” in Spanish, and it is said to refer to the Encino oak tree that resided in the heart of town for over 1,000 years before a 1998 storm fell it. Today Encino makes for a great travel destination if you’re looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of LA.
When it comes to shopping and dining, the best place in Encino is situated on Ventura Boulevard between White Oak and Balboa, an area called the Encino Commons. It’s dubbed the “Valley’s Miracle Mile” because it houses over 300 storefronts, and it can entertain anyone for plenty of time.
For food, perhaps the most important thing to do in Encino is the “Taste of Encino,” an annual event that showcases all the arts, crafts, and community spirit that the country has to offer.
Encino is also home to a few great options of outdoor spaces. The 5-acre Los Encinos State Historic Park is an obvious gem, but so is the Sepulveda Dam and the Sepulveda Gardens. If you’re traveling with a four-legged friend, head over to the off-leash Sepulveda Basin Dog Park. Here you’ll find a baseball field, a golf course, and plenty of walking trails. There’s no shortage of outdoor fun to be had in Encino.
Finding a place to stay in Encino won’t be hard at all. With all the options as far as hotels, condos, Airbnbs, and hostels, you’re bound to find something that suits your travel tastes. Encino is a great place that won’t be nearly as expensive as Los Angeles but will be within a reasonable distance of attractions like the Getty Museum, the Hollywood Bowl, the Staples Center, and everything else.
Because this is Southern California, there’s really no bad time to visit Encino and the surrounding areas. Visit during the dead of summer if you’re looking to bask in the heat, or feel free to come in spring or fall to cool off. Between December and March is also a great time to visit with fewer crowds.