Encino is a hillside community located in the Central San Fernando Valley. Its location on the green and breezy slopes of the Santa Monica mountains is bordered by the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Center to the north, Tarzana to the west and Sherman Oaks to the east. The cross-section of residential neighborhoods shows a range of moderately priced ranch style homes in the flats with multimillion-dollar mansions dotting the hillsides. Responding to the stylish tastes evolving in the area, a number of influential architects are beginning to gain a presence in the more affluent sections of the southern elevations. While a significant number of people work in the financial, legal, health and real estate professions, many entertainment industry workers reside here as well. There is an energetic mix of urban and rural lifestyle options. Encino (evergreen in Spanish) aptly describes the lush old-growth oaks and landscaping of this lovely, family-oriented town.
Like its neighboring valley communities, it’s located within easy commuting distance of West LA, Hollywood, and all of the San Fernando Valley. There are a wide variety of recreation opportunities in town or very close by. They include the Encino Velodrome, an open air oval track for bicycle enthusiasts; the Sepulveda Dam Recreation area, complete with four historical cricket pitches; a six-acre off-leash dog park; and the public Encino and Balboa Golf Courses. There are gorgeous drives along the ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains to the sea, and the area is great for hiking and horseback riding. Public schools are quality, thanks to the status and involvement of local families, and there are a number of fine private and parochial schools as well. UCLA is just over the hill, and Cal State Northridge is minutes away.
Encino has a rich history as a setting for filmmakers. The imaginary town of Bedford Falls in It’s a Wonderful Life was constructed here. Hollywood stars and music celebrities past and present seeking the peace and solitude of the green hills, away from Hollywood glitz, have made their homes here. They include Michael Jackson and many other Jacksons, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and Tom Petty, to name a few.