Welcome to Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the USA’s second largest city after New York. It has been called everything from La La Land to Tinseltown but is most commonly known simply as LA.
Sprawling along the Pacific coast of southern California, its coastline stretches 122km (76 miles) from Malibu to Long Beach. Inland, the city fills a vast, flat and once arid basin ringed by the Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains.Arriving by plane gives a good first impression.
Out of this vast flat grid of streets and buildings rises a cluster of imposing skyscrapers. These mark Downtown, 26km (16 miles) inland from the coast. Northeast is Pasadena. To the west and northwest are Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Century City and the wide San Fernando Valley. To the south is Long Beach. Along the west coast are Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Marina del Rey.
Founded in 1781 by Mexican settlers, over the centuries, LA grew from a cow town to a Gold Rush boomtown to an oil town. In the 1920s, the fledgling film industry decamped from New York in search of sunshine and Hollywood was born. Today, all the major studios are here and the city is the world’s undisputed king of film-making.
Disneyland may be the city’s major attraction, but LA is also home to world-renowned cultural institutions from the Museum of Contemporary Art to the LA Philharmonic and the stunning Getty Museum.
LA is exuberant – there are few places in the world where the phrase ‘Express Yourself’ is taken so literally. Hippy health fanatics exist happily alongside some of the most glamorous and wealthy people in the world. Most visitors come to enjoy world-class shops and restaurants, lie on beaches bathed in almost constant sunshine and simply to people watch.