The Laurels of University Park: A Neighborhood Guide

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The Laurels of University Park

You’ve just moved to the Laurels of University Park neighborhood and you’re wondering what it has to offer. Nestled next to the sprawling campus of State University, this hidden gem features tree-lined streets bursting with charming homes. As a resident here for 10 years now, I want to give you an insider’s guide to my favorite local spots. From the best coffee shop to study in to the neighborhood park where everyone walks their dogs, I’ll show you around our little community. By the end, you’ll feel right at home among the laurels. Let’s dive in!

An Overview of the Laurels of University Park Neighborhood

An Overview of the Laurels of University Park Neighborhood

The Laurels of University Park neighborhood has a lot to offer. Located just north of downtown, this upscale community provides a perfect blend of amenities within a natural setting.

As the name suggests, the Laurels of University Park surrounds the University of [City Name] and its sprawling campus. Mature oak, elm and magnolia trees line the streets, providing shade and natural beauty. The homes here are mostly custom-built in a variety of styles like Colonial, Tudor and Mediterranean. Property values in the Laurels are among the highest in the city due to the prime location and curb appeal.

Residents enjoy being in close proximity to the university. There’s always something going on, from football games at the stadium to cultural events at the performing arts center. The campus also has lakes, botanical gardens, and trails open to the public for recreation.

Just outside the neighborhood are excellent restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and medical facilities. It’s only a short drive to anywhere in the city from here, with quick access to major highways and public transit options.

Education is another highlight of the Laurels. The neighborhood schools—an elementary, middle and high school—are all ranked highly in the district. The schools work closely with the university to provide enhanced learning opportunities for students.

For families with children, the Laurels can’t be beat. There are several playgrounds, sports fields, swimming pools and youth programs within the neighborhood. The low crime rate and family-friendly vibe make it a safe, nurturing place for kids to grow up.

Whether you’re a young professional, family or retiree, the Laurels of University Park has something for everyone. The desirable location, natural surroundings, and sense of community create an unparalleled living experience in the heart of the city.

Top Things to Do in the Laurels of University Park

The Laurels of University Park neighborhood has no shortage of activities to keep you entertained. Here are some of the top things to do in the area:

Visit the University Park Arboretum

The Arboretum features themed gardens, trails, and a variety of native plants and trees. It’s open daily for self-guided tours and admission is always free. Pack a picnic lunch or just enjoy a leisurely stroll along the paths. The Arboretum frequently hosts educational events as well, like gardening workshops, bird watching tours, and plant sales.

Cheer on the University Park Pirates

Show your Pirate pride at one of the many sporting events at University Park High School. Football and basketball games are particularly popular, where you can catch the excitement of Friday night lights or enjoy a night of hoops. Tickets are inexpensive and open to the public.

Dine at The Laurel Tavern

For delicious pub fare and drinks in a historic setting, head to The Laurel Tavern. Housed in a building from the 1920s, the Tavern features brick walls, dark wood accents, and a big bar. The menu includes gourmet burgers, hearty salads, fish and chips, and shepherd’s pie. They have a great beer selection with many options from local craft breweries.

Visit the University Park Museum of Natural History

The Museum of Natural History explores the natural world through interactive exhibits, educational programs, and engaging events for both kids and adults. Permanent exhibits include geology, wildlife, native cultures, and pioneer life. The Museum is free to visit and open Tuesday through Sunday.

Go for a Stroll in Laurel Park

Laurel Park, located in the heart of the neighborhood, is the perfect place to enjoy some fresh air and light exercise. Paved walking trails wind through gardens, around a duck pond, and under shady trees. You may spot turtles sunbathing or birds building nests in the spring. Benches throughout the park provide opportunities to sit and relax.

Best Restaurants and Shopping in the Laurels of University Park

Best Restaurants and Shopping in the Laurels of University Park

When you live in the Laurels, you’re surrounded by some of the best dining and shopping options in University Park. Here are a few of the neighborhood favorites:

For a casual brunch or lunch, head to ###The Laurel Cafe. This cozy cafe features locally-sourced ingredients in dishes like lemon ricotta pancakes, open-faced sandwiches with fresh greens, and hearty salads. They also have great coffee and pastries for an afternoon pick-me-up.

If you’re in the mood for upscale cuisine, make a reservation at ###Juniper. This stylish restaurant offers a menu influenced by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, with options like roast chicken bastilla, saffron risotto, and spice-crusted rack of lamb. They have an award-winning wine list and craft cocktails as well. It’s a perfect choice for a special date night.

To satisfy your shopping needs, visit ###Greenwood Corner. This lifestyle boutique carries clothing, jewelry, home decor, bath and body products, and more from independent brands. They frequently host events like book signings, art shows, and trunk shows. It’s a great place to find unique gifts or treat yourself.

For provisions, head to ###Laurel Market. This gourmet grocery store and deli has everything from organic produce and artisanal cheeses to prepared foods like sandwiches, salads, and heat-and-eat main dishes. Their bakery churns out fresh bread, pastries, and other treats daily. Pick up everything you need for a delicious meal or stop by for a quick bite.

Between the charming shops, delectable dining, and convenience of Laurel Market, you’ll find almost everything you need right in the neighborhood. The Laurels is a food and shopping lover’s paradise that embodies the walkable, community feel of University Park. Discover your new favorite local haunts and shop like a resident. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Parks and Recreation in the Laurels of University Park

The Laurels of University Park neighborhood has an abundance of parks and recreational options to enjoy. Within the neighborhood itself, you’ll find two community parks perfect for an afternoon stroll or picnic.

Laurelwood Park

This 7-acre park sits right in the heart of the neighborhood. It features playground equipment, tennis courts, basketball courts, and open green space ideal for flying kites, playing catch or lawn games. There are also picnic tables and BBQ pits if you want to make a day of it.

University Park Community Park

Just east of the neighborhood is the larger University Park Community Park. This park has everything from sports fields and courts to playgrounds, walking paths and an off-leash dog park. The sports fields host youth soccer, baseball and softball leagues. There’s also an outdoor pool open in the summer and an indoor recreation center with gyms, exercise classes and community meeting spaces.

Outside the neighborhood, you’ll find many more options for recreation and enjoying the outdoors within a short drive.

• Whiskeytown National Recreation Area – Just 15 minutes north, enjoy swimming, boating, camping, hiking and gold panning.

• Shasta Lake – Great for watersports like jet skiing, wakeboarding and fishing. There are also hiking and biking trails with beautiful views of the lake.

• Lassen Volcanic National Park – A spectacular park about 45 minutes east with scenic volcanic peaks, craters, lava tubes and hot springs. Popular for camping, hiking, wildlife viewing and snowshoeing.

• McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens – A 300-acre arboretum in Redding, 20 minutes south, with themed gardens, natural areas and hiking trails along the Sacramento River. Admission is free.

With an abundance of parks, lakes, trails and natural areas close by, you’ll never run out of ways to get outside and stay active living in the Laurels of University Park. Spending time in nature does wonders for both the body and the mind.

Living in the Laurels of University Park – What You Need to Know

Living in the Laurels of University Park - What You Need to Know

One of the first things to know about living in the Laurels neighborhood is the home styles. The Laurels features charming craftsman bungalows, tudor revivals, and colonial homes built primarily in the 1920s through 1940s. If you appreciate historic architecture and tree-lined streets, you’ll love the ambiance of the Laurels.

The Laurels is also a very pedestrian-friendly area. Residents frequently walk, jog, or bike around the neighborhood. The Laurels connects directly to University Park’s trail system, so you have easy access to miles of walking and biking paths. You’ll often see neighbors out strolling, walking their dogs, or going for a jog. It’s an active, outdoor-loving community.

In addition to the architectural appeal and walkability, the Laurels neighborhood has a robust homeowners association that organizes community events, neighborhood watches, and beautification projects. They host movie nights, block parties, home tours, and more. If you want to get to know your neighbors, the HOA makes it easy to become involved in the community.

Things to Keep in Mind

Some considerations to be aware of if you’re thinking of moving to the Laurels:

  • Home prices: Homes in the Laurels neighborhood are typically higher than the city average due to the popularity, location, and historic architecture. Expect to pay a premium.
  • Limited space: Most homes in the Laurels are smaller, around 1,000 to 1,500 square feet. If you have a large family or need a lot of space, it may feel cramped.
  • Traffic and parking: The Laurels borders the university, so parking and traffic can be challenging, especially on weekends during football season or other big events. Make sure you have off-street parking available.
  • Proximity to students: Living near the university means you’ll regularly encounter students walking through the neighborhood. If you prefer less activity or noise, the Laurels may not be the best fit.

Overall, the Laurels of University Park is an attractive, historic neighborhood with a strong sense of community. If you appreciate architectural charm, an active lifestyle, and becoming part of a community, the Laurels could be your perfect place to call home.


So there you have it – the lowdown on the charming, leafy Laurels of University Park neighborhood. With its peaceful parks, sweet little libraries, and charming cafes, it’s no wonder this hood is a favorite for so many. And now you’re armed with the inside scoop on all the gems hidden around here, from the best places to grab a macchiato to the ideal spot to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon reading in the grass. Whether you’re new to the area or have lived here for years, hopefully you’ve discovered something in this guide to help you fall even more in love with the Laurels and make this little corner of the city feel even more like home.



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