- Every city has its pluses and minuses.
- From the weather to the food, there’s a lot to love about Los Angeles.
- Here, 21 people share their favourite things about LA.
No matter where you live – whether it’s a big city or a small town – there are surely things you love and don’t love about it. Although I left Los Angeles almost two years ago for goats in Switzerland, I spent several years living there and have a mental list of my favourite things.
From driving along the Pacific Coast Highway late at night with the windows down, inhaling the scent of the ocean, to going to Du-par’s (an old school diner chain which doubles as my writing office sometimes) for raspberry pie in the middle of the night, there’s no shortage of things to do in LA, and there’s something for everyone. In fact, while writing this piece, I became so nostalgic for LA that I booked a flight back.
With nearly four million people in LA (3,999,759), according to the US Census Bureau’s estimate from July 2017, the city may seem too crowded. Though, to me, that only means more people and things to love.
Here, I asked 21 people for the best things about living in LA, and perhaps you’ll relate or be inspired to visit and see for yourself.
The best thing about LA is the escape valves – the outdoors. Within a relatively short distance, you can be at the beach, in the desert, or, best of all, up in the mountains. To go from sea level and craziness to 8,000 feet and solitude is what keeps me here … and sane.
I love that, day or night, you can eat at thousands of restaurants or food trucks in hundreds of varieties, price points, and ethnic traditions. If you want to eat it, you can find it on the streets of LA.
In the same way, the arts community is vibrant, eclectic, and there is always something new to see, hear, and do related to visual, performing, and public art.
In LA, it’s so nice to meet people in a variety of jobs. For me personally, I can be diverse in what I do for work, like switch between my remote business job and then go to an audition the same day.
What I love most about LA is the diversity – the many cultures, languages, and cuisines really define who we are as a city. I also love the beautiful beaches, bike paths, and the nice weather year-round.
LA encourages you to have a healthy mindset, not only regarding exercise, but to eat healthier. This also is, in part, thanks to the nice weather all year round. I mean, how could you not want to go on a hike when it is warm and sunny outside?
Celebrities! I am such a fan of celebrities and pop culture, and seeing celebrities on a regular basis never gets old. LA landmarks, too! I still smile every time I see the Hollywood sign, go to Dodger Stadium, and drive by the Capitol Records building and any major movie studio – it’s cool to live in the place where dreams are made. Also, the televised car chases! I don’t approve of crime in any way, but the way the local news covers car chases is constantly compelling.
One of the best things about LA is the people: I have met so many driven and inspiring women. Especially in these times, there are a lot of women making moves and connecting to do business and give back to communities.
The absolute best thing about LA is the tremendous diversity of people from around the world, gathered together in the grace of not just getting along together, but embracing one another as individuals and cultures.
I’m a Midwestern transplant living downtown. LA has tons of industries, jobs, and people on the go. I work in design, and for all things fashion, design, and commercial, it’s the best place to be.
I moved to LA last year from Belgium, and to say that I have enjoyed my new location would be an understatement. Whether it’s looking out my office window at the ocean or playing beach volleyball with friends on the weekend and then eating at one of LA’s trendy restaurants, life in LA is even more idyllic than I could have ever imagined from half a world away.
I’m an LA native. I live in Echo Park and there’s endless things to do – Echo Park Lake on a hot day is amazing. And, the food in LA: Mexican, Thai, Cuban, Italian, American, vegan, and gluten-free (Grand Central Market has everything). And, yes, LA is a bit spread out, but there’s a little magic in being able to find a hidden gem just by walking around your neighbourhood, like Baxter Street, one of the steepest streets in LA, the Chavez Ravine, or the Victorian-style homes that line the street in Angelino Heights.
The best part about LA is undoubtedly its food culture, which is highly democratic: In other cities, you have to go to high-end restaurants to experience the best the area has to offer, but here, the best food may well come from a taco truck or a small mum-and-pop shop tucked away in a shopping center. You can even eat at imported chain restaurants like Jollibee, which reminds me of travelling abroad and seeing KFCs.
The other thing I love about LA is that we are a city of transplants, so everyone belongs – you can always find your niche. Since I arrived, I’ve been going to one particular bar to cheer on the Redskins. We’re East Coasters who have all found each other here in LA, and now these people are some of my closest friends. Once you get past the stereotypes of showbiz, you’ll find genuine people all across the city who embrace you, no matter where you come from.
When people think of Los Angeles, they usually think of the glitz and glam of Hollywood, but the truth is, this place has become one of the most innovative cities to live in. Entrepreneurs are moving here from all over the world because, at its heart, LA is a city built on ambition and creativity. Entertainment and fashion are standing side-by-side with groundbreaking technology, and it’s an incredible community to be a part of.
The best thing about living in LA is that there’s always something to do. Back East where I’m from, the only options really were to go to the movies, go bowling, or hang out at the local Sheetz (bigger than a typical convenience store due to their MTO stations and having everything you can imagine!). I love how there’s a multitude of activities every day in LA and, no matter what sort of weather climate you’re in the mood for, you’re only a short car ride away from the snow, the mountains, or the desert.
I’m an LA native, and I’d say, hands-down, the best things about LA are: 1) Cinespia outdoor movie screenings; 2) lesser-known hiking trails besides Runyon, like Los Liones Canyon and Will Rogers Park; 3) Tito’s Tacos; 4) The Bungalow in Santa Monica; 5) the Italian chopped salad at La Scala; 6) Dodgers games; 7) Topanga Canyon; and I could go on and on…
I love LA chains like Sugarfish, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, Zankou Chicken, and Versailles (Cuban Restaurant).
Just a handful of reasons why I adore LA: 1) Perennial views of the beaches, the mountains, the hills, the vistas, and the canyons; 2) It’s a city of agricultural plenty – our year-round farmers’ markets are where you feel good about supporting local communities (Caribbean Thyme, anyone?) and the environment; 3) Ethnic enclaves (Artesia, Thai Town, Chinatown, Ethiopia Street) that feel authentic, not hyped up; 4) Keanu Reeves sightings around town.
I love the diversity of the people. I live in a neighbourhood founded in the 1920s, with people of all ethnicities, some of whom are third generation in the same house. It is really wonderful. Also, I love the creativity – LA is still the center of the film and television industry in this country. Projects might shoot elsewhere, but the genesis of most is still here. And I love the architecture of the city (look up), and the plethora of murals both large and lurking in hidden places. In addition, aside from the Santa Monica Mountains and the wonderful Griffith Park straddling the divide between the LA Basin and the valleys, there are many parks and green spaces throughout the entire city.
I love the wide variety of amazing food from all around the world for under $US20. Plus, all the things to do and year-round perfect weather.
Los Angeles is a sprawling city, appealing to all sorts of characters from across the globe. If you want to spend the day living like the stars, you can, but if exploring one-off coffee shops in Silver Lake is more your scene, that’s an option, too. With all the events happening around LA, weekends are never dull. Angelenos will always find something to do, with options ranging from music festivals to weekend markets to hikes in the hills.
As a native of LA, I LOVE this topic, and here are my top three best things: 1) LA is a transplant city and everyone is happy to be here. No one ever says, “I just moved here and it sucks”; 2) In under one hour, you can go from any part of LA and end up in the mountains or the beach or just stay in the city and explore; 3) The weather!!
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