Los Angeles has nice weather.
Even before the rolling blackouts, or O.J.'s ride in the infamously-slow Bronco chase, or Arnold "the Terminator" Schwarzenegger became governator of the state, Frank Lloyd Wright said, "Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles."
The Los Angeles metro area has been a "boomtown" since the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1876, first attracting some "folks" from the Midwest and East Coast with warm winters, becoming a gateway to a remarkable diversity of immigration from throughout the Pacific Rim and Latin America.
The city of Los Angeles is huge. From the Sylmar district in the north to the Port of Los Angeles in the south, the drive can be close to an hour and a half long; possibly longer once traffic is factored in. The L.A. metropolitan area includes smaller cities, such as [wiki=b8ed1ef341171d89a884ad87d2ca885f]Santa Monica[/wiki], [wiki=c133513b3c1d2f3ffc1cbf13999816ec]Burbank[/wiki], [wiki=5437249604733e2a4447dbcfaa82f7d6]Pasadena[/wiki], [wiki=5de943f2fe978b75081984c68fee2faa]Long Beach[/wiki], [wiki=4047530ecbc0170039e76fe1657bdb01]Anaheim[/wiki], and [wiki=335fdb83bb546d226c01a8911b94f647]Riverside[/wiki] some of which were founded around the end of the nineteenth century and retain distinct identities. Geographically, some district names in the city of Los Angeles are so common, that they are believed by some to be separate cities when in fact, they are actually neighborhoods of Los Angeles. [wiki=31874c522a2423ca08226d2912581f18]Hollywood[/wiki], [wiki=bd3103d05aa8d59b5caa234ebc3a05b8]Van Nuys[/wiki], [wiki=acd553fe5110aee46d3d7e79f5a7c352]Encino[/wiki], and [wiki=807cd617a7c0601ed5a4391f32bf5436]Bel-Air[/wiki] are just some well-known examples of neighborhoods that are actually within Los Angeles and not separate entities, while [wiki=c6e8e9f83ed14c5f5b6de31cff78f589]West Hollywood[/wiki], [wiki=b8ed1ef341171d89a884ad87d2ca885f]Santa Monica[/wiki], and [wiki=22dde6e992e9039005d1071ef7507bb2]Beverly Hills[/wiki], for instance, are actually independent cities.
Los Angeles' primary newspaper is the Los Angeles Times [url=http://www.latimes.com/],]and another daily newspaper is the Los Angeles Daily News [url=http://www.dailynews.com/[/url].]The free LA Weekly [url=http://www.laweekly.com/[/url]]comes out on Thursdays and is a good source for concerts, movies, and other local information. A few local areas may have their own free neighborhood papers as well. "BrokeLA.com" [http://www.brokela.com[/url] has a listing of under $10 events in Los Angeles.
These districts make up the city of Los Angeles. See also [wiki=e651d9d084964f079aba95538d2391ff]Los Angeles County[/wiki] for destinations in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
English is the dominant language in Los Angeles. However, like much of the rest of California and any American state that borders Mexico, Spanish is also widely spoken. Even Los Angeles' name is a Spanish phrase meaning "The Angels." The city has one of the largest Spanish speaking populations in the world, with many business store signs and billboards in some parts of the city printed in both English and Spanish. According to the U.S. Census, roughly 70% of the city's population speaks English either as their first or second language, and roughly 44% speak Spanish as a first or second language. With a large immigrant population, many other languages are widely spoken such as Korean, Armenian, Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin), Japanese, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese, Persian, and Amharic.
The Los Angeles area is one of the best places in the country for food - you can find just about anything you can imagine somewhere within its loose borders. From traditional American diner culture (try Mel's Drive-In in [wiki=c6e8e9f83ed14c5f5b6de31cff78f589]West Hollywood[/wiki]) to the new wave of organic cafes, to inexpensive taco trucks, and swanky eateries with breath-taking food, there is no shortage of options.
There are several hubs for cheap, authentic ethnic restaurants. [wiki=84d0a105d4bb09b0469e935e810618d7]Koreatown and Westlake[/wiki], both centrally located south of Hollywood and west of Downtown, boasts a huge array of restaurants specializing in Korean and Vietnamese cuisines, though the area has become more popular with diners in recent years. South Central has many delicious and hearty soul food spots. Chinatown, of course, has authentic Chinese food within walking distance of many Downtown attractions. The Little Armenia district of [wiki=d433967dc4c51bc25838b048cabdc51f]East Hollywood[/wiki] is a hotspot for affordable Middle Eastern cuisine. Little Ethiopia occupies a single block in the Mid Wilshire neighborhood but features plenty of delicious Ethiopian restaurants and markets. Mexican taco trucks and restaurants can be found throughout the city, in every corner of town. Hollywood has some of the city's best and most affordable Thai food.
The newest arrival on the L.A. food scene is the gourmet food truck. These are not your average taco trucks and construction-site catering operations (although those exist too), but purveyors of creative and surprisingly high-quality food. A few noteworthy food trucks are "Grill Em All," run by 2 metalheads doing outstanding gourmet hamburgers, "Nom Nom," doing Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, "Kogi," doing Korean-inspired tacos and burritos, and "Manila Machine," doing Filipino food. A listing of well known trucks can be found, along with a [url=http://www.foodtrucksmap.com]real-time map[/url] showing their locations on any given day, and many trucks also have their own websites and post their daily schedules and locations on Twitter.
Coverage of regional food from other parts of the U.S. is spotty. Migration into the city has been disproportionately from Texas and Oklahoma, the South, Midwest and greater New York City and food representing these areas is easy enough to find. Food representing New England and other parts of the East Coast, the Pacific Northwest, and the Intermountain-Rocky Mountain regions can be elusive, along with many ethnic cuisines with central- and east-european origins. However L.A. is birthplace of the drive-thru and numerous fast food chains clog the roadsides. The In 'n Out Burger chain is far above average for hamburgers, french fries and milkshakes.
The cultural diversity of Los Angeles is an evident influence on the local vegetarian food restaurant industry. You can find strictly vegan and vegetarian dining, be it American, Mexican, Chinese, Ethiopian, and Thai among others. Other dietary restrictions are catered to as well. For example Genghis Cohen in West Hollywood serves Jewish Chinese food and kosher Mexican or Italian is not hard to find along predominantly Jewish parts of Pico Boulevard.
There are several different supermarket chains of varying quality - for something different (and cheap) try Trader Joe's, a reputable grocery store with multiple locations (the original is in [wiki=5437249604733e2a4447dbcfaa82f7d6]Pasadena[/wiki]), selling many organic products with no preservatives. They normally give out great samples to the public and sell their acclaimed Charles Shaw wine, also known as "Two Buck Chuck." Whole Foods [url=http://wholefoods.com/]]is another market with multiple locations and a favorite among the health conscious -- but also a little pricey. Their salad bar is fully stocked, they have huge fresh burritos, sushi, hot dishes ready to go, and a comprehensive selections of pre-made, delicious salads. This is a great place to buy food for a picnic!
The nearby cities of [[Beverly Hills[/url]], [wiki=c6e8e9f83ed14c5f5b6de31cff78f589]West Hollywood[/wiki], and [wiki=b8ed1ef341171d89a884ad87d2ca885f]Santa Monica[/wiki] also offer numerous dining options.
Many neighborhoods in Los Angeles, as well as the surrounding cities, host their own farmers markets. Local purveyors set up shop along several blocks year-round, usually one day a week for each community, to sell their goods and provide interested passersby with free samples of fresh produce, salad dressings, sweets, beauty products and more. Live music and food trucks are often a fixture of many farmer's markets. The historic Farmer's Market on Fairfax runs every day of the week, though it's not so much a farmer's market as a collection of permanent food stands adjoining a the Grove, an outdoor mall.
LA visitors and locals alike have the opportunity to indulge in a selection of specially priced three-course menus from a wide variety of LA’s best restaurants during dineLA Restaurant Week[http://www.dinela.com/]. It takes usually occurs over a two-week period in July.
*A Hollywood Legend Since 1939, Pink's Hot Dogs is a must-eat place to visit when in Los Angeles.
*Skye's Tacos is an award-winning casual Mexican café that has traditional as well as gourmet food.
*Excellent pizza and more located in the interesting Los Feliz/Silverlake area of East Los Angeles.
*The Pinches that started it all. Located directly in front of the (from their website) World Famous Chateau Marmont Hotel on the "Sunset Strip". Caters to locals and A-List celebrities alike. Known for our Authentic Mexican Taqueria food and not for alcohol like every other restaurant on the Strip, we are known for our food as this location is "BYOB"
*(from their website) Father’s Office is the nationally acclaimed Los Angeles Gastropub by Chef Sang Yoon and home of the much touted “Office Burger”. Our focus is craft beer and its pairing with great food. We feature a seasonally rotating selection of 36 craft beers on tap along with esoteric small producer wines, micro distilled spirits* and classic cocktails. Our food is inspired by the rich bar culture of Europe as well as the freshest locally sourced ingredients.
*testing IE11 reg
Los Angeles has no shortage of nightclubs and watering holes. The city covers so much area, it's hard to pick and choose the best of the best nightlife offered in the city. Every establishment is bound to appeal to a different class of customer. Whether you prefer a thumping loud nightclub or a hole-in-the-wall dive bar, be sure to do your research. Because of the city's sprawl, LA isn't an ideal place for bar-hopping, except in certain areas where bars are more densely located.
Bars in Los Angeles, and all of California, are legally obligated to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m. Note that many bars will charge cover or even have long lines and VIP lists, particularly on busy weekend nights after 10. Unlike some other U.S. states, alcohol is available for purchase at grocery and drug stores.
Touristy Hollywood Boulevard has many nightclubs that are usually raucous and crawling with out-of-towners. There are several more casual bars in Hollywood, but mostly in the surrounding areas like Cahuenga Corridor. The famous Sunset Strip in West Hollywood is another nightlife hub, with trendy hotel bars and some of the city's most famous music venues. The neighborhoods in northeast LA, including Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park, specialize in trendy dive bars and smaller music venues, fitting to the youth-oriented population. The recently revitalized Downtown has its share of worthwhile hotspots as well, including luxurious hotel and rooftop bars and the nightlife options at LA Live.
Los Angeles, both the city and the county bearing its name, has a huge range of lodging options, ranging from discount youth hostels to opulent resorts. It's hard to summarize the plethora of hotel options in L.A., there's something for everyone. Deciding where to stay will have a lot to do with what areas you plan on visiting, and how you're going to get there. As usual in Southern California, a car opens up a world of options, but be sure to check the parking arrangement at your accommodations before you arrive.
The first big decision is whether to stay inside or outside of the City of Los Angeles. [wiki=31874c522a2423ca08226d2912581f18]Hollywood[/wiki] is probably the most popular option for those wanting to sightsee and chase their image of that world. [wiki=bee5d2f58caeae1517b62c012dc3abbc]Downtown[/wiki] is ideal for business travelers; it is also becoming increasingly attractive for hipsters due to its blossoming arts and bar scene and newer hotels like The Standard. [wiki=22dde6e992e9039005d1071ef7507bb2]Beverly Hills[/wiki] has some of the nicest hotels in the Southland, but expect the prices to reflect its reputation.
Sun and sand seekers can head to [wiki=b8ed1ef341171d89a884ad87d2ca885f]Santa Monica[/wiki], [wiki=9e1752c1834a760f8d5699cb94f94e9f]Venice[/wiki], or the Beach Cities to the south of LAX - these locations are perfect for exploring the city's famous beaches. Those just in town for a day or two might consider staying on the [wiki=9a302453d2f75a8032f71b734691e192]Westside[/wiki] near LAX airport. [wiki=5437249604733e2a4447dbcfaa82f7d6]Pasadena[/wiki] to the northeast of LA is a peaceful and leafy city and a good alternative.
Chinese tourists often stay in the San Gabriel Valley suburbs to the east of Los Angeles, as those cities are more convenient as a base for visiting the factory outlet centers to the east (Desert Hills) and south (Orange and Carlsbad) and offer a broader range of Chinese cuisine than what is available in Chinatown in Los Angeles.
Most tourist destinations around the Southland tend to be fairly safe, such as Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Westwood, and West L.A. However, walking at night in some areas of the city should be conducted with caution and, depending on the area, in groups.
Certain areas in or near downtown, such as Skid Row (which is where the main Greyhound station is located), Pico-Union, Westlake, Boyle Heights, and [wiki=1e82ee27bc91a8c56d0b2d80b25b57f8]South Central[/wiki], can be dangerous regardless of the time of day and should be avoided altogether when walking if possible. If traveling in the San Fernando Valley region of the City of Los Angeles, the neighborhoods of Pacoima, Panorama City, Arleta, Van Nuys, Canoga Park, North Hills, North Hollywood (northern half), and Northridge (southern half) are also best avoided on foot.
Though cities such as [wiki=1206c1cb107044f291a52d53fc9ec748]Detroit[/wiki], [wiki=6d25b766c477f95b5f7648fa17ba9bd5]St. Louis[/wiki], and [wiki=8b1c40ce6629723de95905617aaf5743]Atlanta[/wiki] have higher reported crime rates per capita than Los Angeles, these numbers can be deceiving. L.A. statistics are skewed because the city has a humongous amount of geographic area so the safe neighborhoods such as Bel Air, Pacific Palisades, Westwood and many others balance the numbers from the extremely dangerous neighborhoods. If the South Central area of Los Angeles were counted as its own city, it would have the highest crime and murder rate of any city in America. Neighboring Compton, an independent city, currently ranks as the fourth most dangerous city in America. Luckily for Los Angeles, Compton's statistics are not counted as part of L.A.'s crime data but instead counted separately, yet the two cities border each other. As a general rule, you should exercise extreme caution if walking or driving on surface streets in the area roughly bounded by Interstate 10 on the north, Interstate 710 on the east, Artesia Blvd/Highway 91 on the south, and La Cienega Boulevard on the west.
Both the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles, unfortunately, have a high rate of gang violence and crime. However, gangs generally confine themselves to certain areas and should be of little concern to the typical traveler, who is unlikely to venture into such areas. Gangs will usually identify their territory with graffiti markings. While most visitors to L.A. will not visit neighborhoods where gang violence is a concern, common-sense precautions apply should you become lost and end up in a bad neighborhood: remain on high-visibility roads or freeways, avoid confrontations with groups of young men, and should a confrontation arise flee immediately. If a person who appears to be a gang member asks "where are you from," prepare to immediately flee, seek cover, or defend yourself. That phrase is a common gang challenge and frequently implies imminent attack. (In a 2008 L.A. Times Op-Ed article, LAPD Chief of Detectives Charlie Beck explained that [url=http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/24/opinion/oe-beck24]"it is the last question many young men in Los Angeles hear."[/url]) Use common sense on freeways to avoid incidents of road rage, which accounts for tens of deaths per year.
Situated in Downtown Los Angeles, Skid Row covers approximately one square mile or around 54 square blocks and has a large concentration of homeless.
Most homeless individuals are harmless; they will likely only ask you for money and if you refuse, will simply go on to the next person. They are most heavily concentrated near downtown, Skid Row, and Hollywood. Avoid walking along Skid Row near Downtown at any time of day or night.
Los Angeles is notorious for its severe air pollution problems, which peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s. Air quality has improved dramatically since then, and Los Angeles has fallen from its top position on lists of the worst air in the United States due to aggressive cleanup efforts by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and various state agencies. For example, the state Department of Motor Vehicles enforces a strict "Smog Check" program (whose logo is ubiquitous throughout the state) under which most vehicles more than six years old must undergo an annual emissions control inspection.
Generally, smog is at its worst during the late summer months. It is worse further inland where it is away from the ocean breezes and gets trapped by the surrounding mountains. Air pollution can also become a problem if a wildfire is burning in nearby hills.
Los Angeles air is cleanest in the winter in the first two or three days after winter rainstorms, when the storms have washed the pollution out of the air and dusted the nearby mountain peaks with snow. This is how professional photographers obtain the beautiful smog-free skyline pictures seen in advertisements and postcards. If you are visiting in the summer, the LA skyline is unlikely to look quite as nice, unless a surprise summer shower happens to occur during your visit.
[wiki=8b20181bc3de27fb7f9b6a117c9f5cce]San Fernando Valley[/wiki] - "The Valley" is the sprawling northern section of the city, as well as independent cities such as Glendale and Burbank.The Valley is home to Universal Studios, NBC Studios, CBS Studio Center, Walt Disney & Warner Brothers Studios.
* [wiki=8269ec389c5cf3217ee32aebaf3542c3]West Side[/wiki] - The West Side of Los Angeles is home to many upscale communities such as Bel-Air, Brentwood, and Pacific Palisades, as well as the independent cities of [wiki=c6e8e9f83ed14c5f5b6de31cff78f589]West Hollywood[/wiki], [wiki=22dde6e992e9039005d1071ef7507bb2]Beverly Hills[/wiki], and [wiki=b8ed1ef341171d89a884ad87d2ca885f]Santa Monica[/wiki].
* [wiki=d12772770c19469d138ceb58feb55dcf]Orange County[/wiki] - many upscale communities, some along the ocean, southeast of Los Angeles. Home to Disneyland among other attractions.
* [wiki=c4acba88938d60af55d69ed281b143a1]Malibu[/wiki] - north of Santa Monica, less than one hour drive from L.A. on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Famous for beautiful beaches, mountains and wineries.
* [wiki=43c3b56a6adc8b45670d4fd171374496]Palm Springs[/wiki] - resort city in the desert region of [wiki=68731e74eac6e5073e7034c81f1f1fd7]Southern California[/wiki] that offers perfect blend of outdoor activities and casual relaxation. Approximately 2h drive from L.A.
* [wiki=a1edff17ec0464c4c048d25d25bce75a]San Diego[/wiki] - another major metropolitan area in Southern California, approximately a 2 to 3 hour drive south of Los Angeles (depending on traffic).
* [wiki=05c27bf00932572de28bf65a0539ba97]Las Vegas[/wiki] - a major metropolitan area in the Mojave Desert, approximately a 4 1/2 hour drive northeast of Los Angeles. It is known for its celebrity shows, casinos, shopping, and restaurants.
* [wiki=3bd97db7eb0f4598c49db1a89aada877]Baja California[/wiki] - whether it's to experience the high energy of [wiki=f8abf41bf5d4f0064441e43046f7010f]Tijuana[/wiki], the beach town of [wiki=b4bf5cd8b66a0e0b04e0819c7d53af52]Rosarito[/wiki], or the fabulous local wine in the port city of [wiki=b135fbedd63df09141146f287825302d]Ensenada[/wiki], the joys of Mexico are only a 3 to 4 hour drive away.
[[WikiPedia:Los Angeles, California]]
[wiki=a61749102f6fe365e0815467ebb5da13]Dmoz:North America/United States/California/Localities/L/Los Angeles/[/wiki]