Sawtelle is a mid-size neighborhood on the northwest side of Los Angeles. This area was established in the 1890s and takes its name from a manager of the Pacific Land Company that developed and promoted the area. Another name had initially been suggested, but it was too similar to another neighborhood in California and so the name Sawtelle was chosen.
In the early 1900s, a stop on the LA Pacific Railroad was opened for this area and it became a popular destination for both tourists and residents. The Pacific Branch of the national home for disabled volunteer soldiers was in this area and attracted the families of the veterans to settle.
Most of Sawtelle is residential with businesses clustered along Exposition Boulevard and extending a few miles northeast. There are lots of good restaurants in the area, especially along San Vicente Blvd. Several restaurants offer outdoor seating for you to enjoy with your pup.
Sawtelle is itself quite flat, but the foothills begin not far past the boundary. Most of the homes in this neighborhood are multi-family apartment complexes, but there are also single-family homes. Some homes and apartment buildings are set back behind grassy yards while others are fenced or walled off. This makes for a varied walk on the best of days. Such walking is good for discipline with your dog since you can alternate free loose-leash walking with more deliberate 'heels.'
The architecture varies extensively from home to home, as does landscaping, making for an interesting walk throughout this neighborhood. Intermittent heavy tree cover provides shade on hot LA days. If you are craving a strip of road that is not intersected by traffic, Bello 8th Avenue which runs along the San Diego Freeway is a perfect place to ride a bike or skateboard with your pup at your side without worrying about passing cars.
There are a couple of regional parks within Sawtelle including Stoner Park, but for more extensive natural exploration, you can head to the north border of Sawtelle. The Los Angeles National Veterans Park offers lovely walking trails through grassy fields with intermittent tree cover to provide shade. If you continue north, you will find your way into more and more mountainous terrain.
Such terrain s an excellent mental and physical challenge for your dog that will provide all-around muscle development as well as careful thought and self-control. To stay safe with your pup, make sure never to navigate on terrain that is too high or rocky and make sure you keep a secure harness on them.
Some especially great places to seek out in the mountainous areas are the Will Rogers State Historic Park to the west and the Westridge Canyonback Wilderness Park further up north into the highest parts of the mountains.