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- University of California Los Angeles, CA
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Living In Los Angeles, CA
Getting to Know Los Angeles, CA
Ranging from beachfront to mountainside, the Los Angeles metropolitan area is the second largest in the United States with almost 20 million residents. The city caters to the entertainment whims of almost every resident, with a seemingly endless variety of restaurants, theaters and adventures.
Insider Tip: Sound like a local by learning the lingo: Think Venice Beach when you hear "the boardwalk," and try to avoid traffic on "the 405" (the San Diego Freeway).
Los Angeles Apartments and Neighborhoods
- Downtown Los Angeles: Close to Union Station, this centrally located area makes commuting a breeze.
- Koreatown: This is a hip, fast-paced neighborhood with plenty of nightlife.
- Greater Wilshire: With the La Brea Tar Pits and the LA County Museum of Art both on Wilshire Boulevard, you'll find plenty to do in this downtown-adjacent neighborhood.
- Westwood: Three miles from the Getty Museum, this neighborhood has outstanding local culture.
- Encino: It's a weird mix of celebrities and regular people, but this affluent neighborhood manages to still feel like a tight-knit community anyway.
LA Public Transportation, Commuting & Jobs
With low unemployment, a robust entertainment and tourism industry, and more than 300 aerospace companies, Los Angeles is a great place to work. Hop on the LA Metro to commute on the country's third-most comprehensive public transit system. Air transport links are also plentiful, with international flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and domestic routes out of suburban airports in Ontario, Burbank and Santa Ana.
Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles
LA crackles with energy all year long, offering everything from foodie festivals and holiday events to major concerts and massive parties. Here are our top five picks for the best festivals and events in Los Angeles:
- Tournament of Roses Parade: Ring in the new year with flower-covered floats at this annual parade that's been around since 1890.
- Chinese New Year Festival and Parade: Listen for the drums in Chinatown as the Golden Dragon Parade marks the start of another year on the lunar calendar.
- Eagle Rock Music Festival: Focused on local acts that span all genres, the city's biggest free music festival is also one of its best.
- Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival: Watch celebrity chefs prepare mouthwatering dishes and then head to one of the many tastings at this four-day festival.
- West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval: Join 500,000 other party-goers for outrageous fun and sensational costumes at the world's largest Halloween celebration.
Los Angeles also abounds with fun free things to do, such as beachfront yoga, world-class museums like The Broad, and concerts by performers on the verge of stardom.
LA's Art & Music Scene
With more museums and theaters than any other American city, Los Angeles offers something for nearly any taste, from LA Philharmonic concerts to DJ-driven dance parties.
Los Angeles Activities for Families with Kids
Family activities are nearly limitless, from train rides at Griffith Park to the Los Angeles Zoo to amusement parks like Universal Studios Hollywood. If schools are at the top of your priority list, rent an apartment in the more affordable eastern LA school districts of Walnut Valley or Temple City.
Top 5 Los Angeles Adventures
- Buy an annual pass to Disneyland: Disneyland is more than just a playground for kids. Downtown Disney is packed with restaurants and concerts, so take advantage of living nearby and pick up an annual pass. It pays for itself pretty quickly, especially if you add on a parking pass.
- Head down to Santa Monica Beach: Lined by palm trees, this broad beach features 245 acres of sand with walking trails, bike trails and great surfing. Parents love easy access to delicious food and plenty of entertainment for younger kids nearby. Keep an eye on the calendar for festivals and shows which are commonly going on by the beach.
- Do a little stargazing in Hollywood: Whether you're looking to get a view of the famous Hollywood sign, search for your favorite star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or compare your footprints at the Chinese Theatre, you can enjoy a brush with the stars in this neighborhood.
- Gaze at a different kind of star at Griffith Observatory: You can look through telescopes, watch live shows and enjoy the planetarium at this Los Angeles staple. Hop on the shuttle from the observatory to a great view of the Hollywood sign.
- Cruise down Rodeo Drive: Shopping and sightseeing are popular reasons to visit Beverly Hills. Among the fabulous homes, this upscale city has also added numerous public art displays, trolley tours and farmers markets.
Pet-friendly Things to Do in LA
Moving to Los Angeles with your four-legged companion? You'll be thrilled to learn just how pet-friendly this city is, from dog parks to inclusive restaurants and breweries. Don't miss a trip to the Arts District Dog Park on the corner of 4th and Molino in downtown.
Outdoor Living in LA
With more than 180 days of sun every year and easy access to the Pacific Ocean, the City of Flowers and Sunshine is a paradise for outdoor lovers. Hike Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon Park, surf and swim at the beach, or head to The Strand for 22.5 miles of cliff-top bicycling.
Did You Know?
You may have heard that "Los Angeles" means "The Angels," but the original name for the city is up for debate. Some historians say the first settlers called it "El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles Sobre el Rio de Porciuncula". Thankfully, the city name has greatly shortened since then.
Getaways from Los Angeles
LA is nearly synonymous with postcard-worthy spots like Venice Beach and Santa Monica State Beach, both famous for great people watching. The best beaches in Los Angeles also include El Porto Beach, known for its surfing opportunities, and Rosie's Dog Beach, the only sands in LA County that allow dogs to roam without a leash.
Los Angeles is home to many diverse communities. It's an easy city to stay active and connected among people of the same interests and lifestyles as you. It's often perceived as a crowded place to live, but that only means more things to do and more people to engage with. L.A. has adapted to an influx in communities such as military families, veterans, seniors and pet-lovers and offers a variety of resources for lifestyle, social activities and support.
Los Angeles is a great city for an aging population (60+) with an estimated senior population of 1,405,474. L.A. offers a variety of support to help the community stay connected and contribute to social, economical and cultural development. There are also a significant amount of resources to help and support the senior community encouraging an independent and a healthy lifestyle.
Social activities and organizations for seniors
- Los Angeles Seniors Making New Friends Meetup Group is a 70+ Los Angeles community dedicated to active seniors that are looking to make new friends and go on new adventures. It schedules weekly meetings at various locations around L.A.
- Golden Future 50+ Expo is Southern California's premier lifestyle, health and active aging expo for baby boomers and seniors. The expo offers seminars, activities, a mini job fair and social gatherings as a chance to transition yourself as a senior within the community.
- City of Los Angeles Department of Aging is a government department in L.A. dedicated to advocating for the welfare of seniors. It offers a variety of services such as nutrition programs and in-home assistance as well as social and recreational activities.
Caregivers and health care suggestions for seniors
It's never easy to admit that you or your loved one needs a little extra help. Whether you are looking for full-time or part-time care, L.A. offers a variety of caregiver options.
- Mom's Home Care is a state-licensed local home care agency with highly trained and qualified staff. Its team can help with anything from full-time care to help with daily tasks such as running errands.
- Senior Helpers of West LA is a provider of in-home senior care. It offers companion care for seniors who need daily assistance and also in-depth specialized care for seniors with chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's. It also offers VA care.
- Aging Mastery Program (AMP) is a collaborative effort between the NCOA, UCLA and the Los Angeles City Department of Aging. The program is dedicated to older adults looking to improve their health, finances and life.
Apartment Guide renting resources for seniors
Senior Living Renter's Guide is a great tool for seniors looking for places to live. It hosts many resources such as guides to nursing homes, faith-based senior centers or senior living communities. This guide will help you make the right decision for where to live.
Los Angeles provides support to both active-duty military members and veterans. Along with having museums that showcase L.A.'s military history, the city also has a diverse way to accommodate our heroes through organizations, social entities and housing.
Local organizations for active-duty military and veterans
- L.A. County Military & Veterans Affairs (MVA) is a fantastic military resource for active military members or veterans living in L.A. It provides assistance for veterans and their dependents with housing, employment and health care as well as counseling services.
- Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) is L.A.'s oldest free legal service program for veterans. It is a nonprofit law firm with a goal of helping the underserved. It offers legal counseling, direct representation and educational seminars.
- Habitat for Heroes is a program from Habitat L.A. that offers resources for active-duty members and veterans such as home repairs, affordable payments and homeownership options. It also encourage our heroes to join its volunteer programs.
Social activities for active-duty military and veterans
- LGBTQIA US Military Veterans - Los Angeles is a safe haven for members of the LGBTQIA community who have served or are currently serving in the military. It hosts frequent meetups around the L.A. area.
- WOVEN Meetup for Military Women Entrepreneurs is a military social community for women in the military or military spouses who are interested in growing their business. It specializes in helping women entrepreneurs network, learn and meet like-minded people.
- USO's military spouse networking program helps military spouses find a community. The program connects fellow spouses and offers networking events.
Mental health and healthcare support for active-duty military and veterans
- VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System offers a variety of services to veterans residing in Southern California.
- Soldiers Heart: Grief and Moral Repair is a group that offers community and workshops for mental health.
- Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health connects veterans and their families with services and assistance. It supports the Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN).
Apartment Guide rental resources for active-duty military and veterans
Apartment Guide offers a number of articles and guides to help veterans, active-duty military members and their families with housing resources.
Los Angeles is a very convenient city that offers many accommodations for your furry friends. There are a fair amount of pet-friendly renting options with amenities and features for pet-lovers. The city is also among the top ten cities with most pet-related businesses, services and parks for everyone.
Resources for pet lovers in Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks offers a list of dog parks near the Los Angeles area. These are a great place to let your pooch run free as well as meet fellow pet lovers.
- Animal Magnetism is a helpful resource for pet owners. It offers many services including individual or group dog walks, dog sitting and grooming. It also compiled a list of The Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Los Angeles.
- Paw LA LA is a cage-free dog and cat daycare. It offers amenities such as dog and cat spa grooming treatments or a self-service washing station.
- Fitdog is a daycare center for dogs that offers training classes, daily activities and social meetups for pet lovers.
Pet stores and business in Los Angeles
- The Urban Pet is a local California store dedicated to providing good quality supplies while offering a unique experience with their customer service.
- Centinela Feed and Pet Supplies is a local pet store that also provides services such as adoptions, grooming and vaccinations. Centinela is also invested in maintaining a pet-friendly community contributing donations to shelters and other local associations.
Animal shelters in Los Angeles
- L.A. Animal Services is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the U.S. Its mission is to support and protect the safety and health of animals and people.
- Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control provides animal control and rescue services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It implements the philosophy of socially conscious animal sheltering.
- Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Los Angeles works collaboratively with city shelters, animal rescue groups and individuals dedicated to the mission of making L.A. a no-kill city.
Apartment Guide resources for pet lovers
Apartment Guide's pet-friendly housing guide is dedicated to helping pet lovers find housing options for themselves and their furry friends. There are also various articles on all things pet-related from housing to the best apartment dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Los Angeles
What is Los Angeles most known for?
L.A. is America's second-biggest city, home to Hollywood, the movie and TV industries, countless celebrities and all things related to entertainment. While there are many other industries in the city, none are remotely as well-known or well-regarded as the movie industry. It's so ingrained in the area that attaching headshots to your resume is normal for applying to any job, even if it's not an audition for a movie role. L.A. is also known for sunny beaches, a pleasant year-round climate and urban sprawl, which has made the city one of the largest in the nation by area.
Why is Los Angeles known as "Tinseltown"?
Being in Los Angeles, especially near the glamor of the movie industry, can be very bright, shiny and a little unreal, bringing up the comparison to tinsel, which is normally used as decoration on Christmas trees.
Why is Los Angeles sometimes called Hollywood?
Hollywood is actually a specific neighborhood in Los Angeles, not the city as a whole. That particular neighborhood, however, was the center of a lot of the Los Angeles film industry for decades. As movies grew in popularity in the early 20th Century, Hollywood became the best-known part of the city, causing occasional confusion about the name of the city and the name of the neighborhood.
Is Los Angeles a growing city?
According to 2018 U.S. census data, the Los Angeles metropolitan area held steady, losing about 7,000 people, or 0.05 percent of its population, since 2017. L.A. has an estimated population of about four million people.
Is Los Angeles a safe city to live in?
Los Angeles came in 174 out of 182 cities in WalletHub's report on safest cities in America. Its tendency for natural disasters, low financial security and relatively low home and community safety make it a city that, while not exactly dangerous, can be somewhat insecure.
Does Los Angeles have good schools?
It depends. Los Angeles has a large number of high-quality private schools. But the public school system is very mixed with some parts of town having much better public schools than others. Overall, there are 278 high schools recognized as some of the best in the country, along with some of the nation's most well-regarded universities like University of Southern California (USC), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Loyola Marymount University.
What is Los Angeles like for families?
Los Angeles can be a good place for families and landed around the middle of WalletHub's rankings of best cities for families in the U.S. It actually ranked first in family fun and above average in health, safety and education, but L.A. is simply not one of the more affordable cities in which to live.
How expensive is it in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles is an expensive city to live in. The total cost of living here, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research , is 48 percent above the national average, mostly due to very high housing costs (137 percent higher than the national average).
What is the average cost of rent in Los Angeles?
A studio apartment costs $2,129 a month on average, up 8.2 percent from 2018. A one-bedroom averages $2,728 a month, up 3.1 percent from 2018, and a two-bedroom is $4,054 a month on average, up 14.8 percent% from 2018. Rent is pricey in L.A.
How much do utilities cost in Los Angeles?
According to the Council for Community and Economic Research , the average energy cost (electric plus gas or other) of $192 a month is high relative to the national average. Because L.A. does not have huge temperature fluctuations by season, you can expect utility costs to be more consistent throughout the year in Los Angeles than in cities with four traditional seasons.
What are the most affordable neighborhoods in Los Angeles?
If you don't mind being in the San Fernando Valley or other northern parts of the city, Sun Valley , North Hills , Lake Balboa , Reseda , and Tarzana are among the areas with the lowest average rents in the city.
Where are the best places to live in Los Angeles?
L.A. has a wide diversity of neighborhoods, from laid-back beach communities ( Venice ) to dense urban jungles ( Downtown ). Koreatown is a great place for trendy restaurants and nightlife, and unlike what you'd expect from the name, it's actually a cultural melting pot. Miracle Mile is one of the most pedestrian-friendly areas near Museum Row and just about a mile from Beverly Hills shopping and dining. Palms is a relatively affordable, young and hip area with decent access to both inland neighborhoods and the beach. If you're looking for something quieter, Brentwood is home to tree-lined streets, young families and great Italian restaurants. Finally, Park La Brea is right by The Grove, close to Hollywood and accessible to several major freeways, making it a good central location you can use as a jumping off point to any part of the city.
What do I need to know about moving to Los Angeles?
Los Angeles can be a difficult place for many people. Heavy traffic, competitive job searches, expensive apartments and the impossibility of parking are all real issues. But the year-round sunshine and low humidity, beautiful beaches, endless entertainment options and eclectic international culture make it all worth it for most residents. The constant spotlight of the movie industry and access to world-class outdoor adventures are two of the indelible qualities that make L.A. unique among big American cities. L.A. is also a rather casual place, so dressing down and being late to arrive (partly caused by bad traffic) are considered normal if not acceptable behavior in the city.
Do I need a car to live in Los Angeles?
Yes, but not as much as you might think. Los Angeles has long had the reputation for terrible traffic, which has led to more development of walkable areas and public transportation. You'll still probably need to commute to work by car from most neighborhoods, but more of the city is walkable than in the past.
What is the climate like in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles has a very livable climate. It has mild winters, hot summers (with cool nights) and dry conditions year-round.
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If you have a dog or cat, you'll need to find an apartment in Los-Angeles that accepts pets. Apply Apartment Guide's pet friendly filter to only see Los-Angeles apartments that accept pets. Remember to read the apartment's specific guidelines for acceptable pet breeds and weights if applicable.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Los Angeles
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