The city of Los Angeles (also known simply as L.A., and nicknamed the “City of Angels”) is the most populous city in California. Located on a broad basin in Southern California, the city is surrounded by vast mountain ranges, valleys, forests, beautiful beaches along the Pacific Ocean, and nearby desert.
Los Angeles is a sprawling Southern California city and the center of the nation’s film and television industry. Near its iconic Hollywood sign, studios such as Paramount Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers offer behind-the-scenes tours. On Hollywood Boulevard, TCL Chinese Theatre displays celebrities’ hand- and footprints, the Walk of Fame honors thousands of luminaries and vendors sell maps to stars’ homes.
The metropolitan area is the second-most populous in the United States and home to over 17 million people who hail from all parts of the globe. Los Angeles is an important center of culture, medicine, agriculture, business, finance, energy, aerospace, science, food processing, media, international trade, and tourism. International tourists regard Los Angeles as most famous for “Hollywood,” but a long-running trend in favor of outsourcing of film and television production has critically undermined the sector to the point where entertainment and media employ only about 120,000 people in the entire metro area (and most of them work in Burbank or Culver City, not Hollywood).
These districts are a part of the city of Los Angeles. See also Los Angeles County for destinations in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
- Downtown The central business district and home to the Grand Avenue cultural corridor. The advent of the automobile and freeways led to the neighborhood’s slow decline, but it has seen a booming revival in recent years, led by new residential buildings, with trendy hotels, bars, shops and restaurants.
- Eastside A funkier area north of downtown and east of Hollywood that is rapidly gentrifying.
- Harbor Area Home of the largest sea port in the US and the launching point for trips to Catalina Island.
- Hollywood The place where movies are made (or to be accurate, were made). It has received quite a makeover in recent years, sparked by the construction of Hollywood & Highland and the return of the Academy Awards.
- San Fernando Valley The northern suburban portion of Los Angeles, lying in a valley northwest of downtown, containing various districts.
- South Central It’s long had a reputation for gang violence and it is famed for the Rodney King riots. But while it remains off most people’s radar, there are things to see, such as the museums of Exposition Park, as the area slowly attempts to repair its bruised image.
- Westside Generally more affluent corridor within the city limits that lies between downtown Los Angeles and the ocean.
- Wilshire Home of the historic architecture of the Miracle Mile District, the Farmer’s Market and The Grove shopping areas, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Koreatown, CBS Television City, and the famous La Brea Tar Pits.
The climate of Los Angeles is classified as subtropical-Mediterranean, a rare and often desirable weather classification. The city is mostly sunny year-round, receiving an average of 14.93 inches of precipitation and 35.7 rainy days each year. Precipitation measurements, however, are rarely consistent between years, as the region is bimodal, meaning it often alternates between long dry spells and unusually rainy months. The weather is mild to warm year-round, only occasionally exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the lengthy summers and rarely dropping below 45 degrees in the the winter months.
Seasons in Los Angeles are often negligible, and can generally be divided into summer and winter/spring. Summers start early in May and run long, with some of the year’s hottest temperatures occurring in September and sometimes October. Daytime highs in summer are about 81F, and humidity is generally mild. Although not frequent, a heat-wave could occur on occasion. Nighttime lows during summer are about 63F. The autumn and early winter months often see Santa Ana winds, hot strong winds that originate inland near the Santa Ana mountains and blow towards the coast. The strong winds are perhaps the most miserable part of the Southern California weather cycle and often spark wildfires in dry years. The hot, sunny summers are sometimes interrupted by “June gloom,” a weather phenomenon wherein fog settles around the city overnight, but generally disperses by the early afternoon. Weather begins to cool down into winter beginning in November and lasting until April. This is when the city receives the most rainfall, though sunny warm days are still the norm. Daytime highs in winter are about 67F, nighttime winter lows are about 49F. Climate varies depending on how far inland you are located. Winter temperatures can vary wildly throughout a single day. Often even the chilliest mornings lead straight into warm or even hot days.
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