Known as the City of Angels, Los Angeles, California is the largest city in the state and the second-largest in the United States. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area is home to 13 million people. The Greater Los Angeles Area encompasses 5 counties and an estimated 18 million people.
Los Angeles, often abbreviated to L.A., is one of the world’s centers of culture, science, technology, international trade and higher education. L.A.’s global fame and international status stem from the city’s production of motion pictures, television and recorded music.
Los Angeles has globally famous landmarks such as Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Disney Concert Hall, Kodak Theater, Griffith Observatory, Getty Center, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angelels County Museum of Art, Mann’s Chinese Theater, the Hollywood sign, Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles City Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Watts Towers, Staples Center and La Placita Olvera.
L.A.’s night life includes hot spots such as Downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake, Hollywood and West Hollywood, which is the home of the world-famous Sunset Strip. Some popular clubs and bars include Fantasy Club, 2nd Street Jazz, Weiland Brewery Restaurant, Jones Grain Mill, Club Soho, Club Bahia Inc., La Hacienda Real, Mayan Night Club and La Zona Rosa.
Shopping in Los Angeles is second to none. Some of the most well known shopping areas are the Hollywood and Highland complex, the Beverly Center, Melrose Avenue, Robertson Boulevard, The Grove, Westside Pavillion, The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center and Venice Boardwalk.
The Hollywood and Highlands Center includes stores such as ALDO, American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor Loft, Apostrophe Cards & Stationary, Argenti Cigars & Tobacco, Aveda, Baly’s, bebe, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Claire’s Boutique, Express, Fossil, Gap, Grauman’s Chinese 6 Theatres Box Office, Hot Topic, Kodak Theatre Box Office, Le Cloquette Couture, Louis Vuitton, Lucky Brand Jeans, Neighborhoodies, Nine West, Oakley, Origins, Polo Ralph Lauren, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Sephora, Swarovski, Venetian Design, Victoria’s Secret and Virgin Megastore.
Melrose Avenue has glamorous shopping at trendsetting stores such as Betsey Johnson, Cynthia Rowley, Jonathan Adler, Miu Miu, Soolip Paperie and Press, Soolip Bungalow and Fred Segal Melrose. Hardly a day goes by without seeing the faces of A-list celebrities walking through the doors to buy the latest fashion.
Popular stores such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Robeks, Firefly, Popkiller Second, Dish Factory, Suss Design Retail, Guess?, Art Cruz Retail, B Dalton Bookseller, Valley Book & Bible Stores, Clutch, Wolford Boutique and more.
Los Angeles is a social center to the country and has some of the country’s finest dining including Asia de Cuba, Ammo, Yamashiro, Valentino, Sam’s by the Beach, Lucques, Violet, Fleming’s Steakhouse, Just Desserts, Eaturna, Fogo De Chao, Il Fornaio, Olivia, Organic To Go, Porterhouse Bistro, Sor Tino Restaurant, La Botte Ristorante, Osteria Latini, Napa Rose, Chat Noir, 555 East Restaurant, L’Opera, Caf Del Rey, Traxx, South Street Cheesesteak and more.
American favorites such as In-N-Out, Carl’s Jr, Hardee’s, Jack, KFC, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Burger King and McDonald’s are sprinkled throughout the city. Subway, Hoagies & Wings, Big MO Sub Shop, Ruby’s Diner, Astro Burger, El Pollo Locco, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Hungry Pocket Falafel House, The Stand Fuddruckers, Lucky Boy Drive-In Restaurant, Mako Bowl and Fosters Freeze are a some other popular eateries.
Sports fans from across the globe can find entertainment from one of them any professional sports teams that call L.A. home. The Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (MLB), the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League, the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Club Deportivo Chivas USA of Major League Soccer, the Los Angeles Riptide of Major League Lacrosse and the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League all reside within the city and spark team spirit from their fans.
Los Angeles has also been credited for inventing beach volleyball and windsurfing. Venice, a.k.a. Dogtown, is the birthplace of skateboarding and the place where rollerblading became popular.
L.A. hosts a number of sports venues including the Staples Center and a sports entertainment complex that hosts concerts and award shows such as the Grammy’s. The Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown L.A. hosts popular events such as the annual LA Auto Show held in December.
The economy of Los Angeles is driven by international trade, entertainment (television, motion pictures, recorded music), aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion, apparel, and tourism. L.A. is the largest manufacturing center in the United States. The ports of L.A. and Long Beach together form the most significant port in North America and one of the most important ports in the world. These ports are vital to the trade within the Pacific Rim. Other significant industries include media production, finance, telecommunications, law, health and medicine and transportation.
The city is home to five major Fortune 500 companies including Northrop Grumman, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, KB Home. The University of Southern California (USC) is the city’s largest private sector employer.
Several other large companies headquartered in Los Angeles include Twentieth Centurty Fox, Latham & Watkins, Univision, Metro Interactive, LLC, Premier America, CB Richard Ellis, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Guess, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, Tokyopop, The Jim Henson Company, Paramount Pictures, Robinsons-May, Sunkist, Fox Sports Net, Health Net, Inc., 21st Century Insurance, L.E.K. Consulting, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Many companies wish to escape the city’s high taxes and are headquartered in the county. Some of these companies include Shakey’s Pizza, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, City National Bank, Hilton Hotels, DiC Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Countrywide Financial Corporation, THQ, Belkin, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Computer Sciences Corporation, DirecTV, Mattel, Unocal, Dream Works SKG, Sea Launch, ICANN, Cunard Line, Princess Cruise, Activision, and RAND.
L.A. is also home to the U.S. headquarters of all but two of the major Asian automobile manufacturers. Virtually all the world’s automakers have design and/or tech centers in the Los Angeles region.
Los Angeles is home to one of the largest freeway systems in the world with 27 intertwining freeways. Journeying a daily collective migration of about 100 million miles, commuters make Los Angeles the most car-populated metropolis in the world with 1 registered automobile for every 1.8 people.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other agencies operate an extensive system of bus lines, subways and light rail lines. L.A.’s mass transit system does not have high rider ship, with 10.5% of commuters using public transit, compared with 53% in New York and 30% in Chicago.
The metropolitan area of L.A. is served by more airports than any major city in the world. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the fifth busiest commercial airport in the world with over 61 million passengers and 2 million tons of cargo in 2006.
Los Angeles is a focal point of higher education across the world. There are three public universities in the city: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and California State University, Los Angeles (SCULA).
Private schools in the city include the University of Southern California (USC), Antioch University’s Los Angeles campus, Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Mount St. Mary’s College, Occidental College (“Oxy”), Otis College of Art and Design (Otis), American InterContinental University, Alliant International University, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Southwestern University School of Law, American Film Institute Conservatory, Charles R. Drew University, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s Los Angeles campus (FIDM), Woodbury University, Los Angeles Film School, and Loyola Law School.
The community college system consists of nine campuses: Los Angeles City College (LACC), Los Angeles Harbor College (LAVC), Los Angeles Pierce College, Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC), Los Angeles Mission College, East Los Angeles College (ELAC), West Los Angeles College, Los Angeles Southwest College, and Los Angeles Trade Technical College.
Los Angeles, California is a great place to go outside and relax or play. With venues such as Cabrillo Aquarium, Elysian Park, Exposition Park Intergenerational Community Complex (EPICC), Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park, Lake Balboa, Los Angeles Zoo, Pershing Square and Sherman Oaks Castle, finding a place to spread out a blanket and enjoy the sun is easy.
Los Angeles’ sunshine and entertainment attract tourists from across the globe and make a unique place that millions call home.