1 – That Los Angeles is one big city
But Los Angeles county is made up of 88 cities, just one of which is the city of Los Angeles.
The city of LA is home to about 4 million, the county is home to about 10 million.
All these cities really make visiting LA confusing, because long streets run through multiple cities, so make sure you know the street address — AND the city name.
2 – Movies are made in Hollywood
Not anymore… the actually movie making industry has moved out to places like Burbank and Culver City… the only stars you’re going to see on Hollywood BLVD are the ones in the sidewalk. The exception might be if you visit the Universal Studios themepark.. That is still a working movie studio. Most of the other movie studios around Los Angeles offer guided tours, consider taking one!
3 – It’s always sunny and warm
People watch shows like Baywatch and think the weather in LA is always amazing. And yes… people here in LA post things on Facebook and Instagram to make you believe that too… we like to rub our nice weather in to those of you who live in Chicago in the winter.
The LA area is famous for what we call May Grey and June Gloom. It’s caused by a heavy marine layer of clouds that hangs over the beach areas.
The night time temperature can also drop 30 degrees F from the daytime temperatures. So even in the summer you might want to bring some pants and long sleeves for the night time.
4 – Los Angeles is always smoggy
So it used to be… I remember when I used to come up here as a kid in the 80’s, it was rough… my eyes would burn. That’s all pretty much a thing of the past. We do get some wildfires that can make the air bad… but that’s not a typical every day thing like the smog used to be.
5 – Nobody Walks in LA
There’s even an 80’s song made about it! But LA actually has some really neat walkable neighborhoods. Now it’s a big place, 4,000 square miles, so you aren’t going to walk from one side to the other. But there are some really great places to talk Santa Monica, Venice Beach Boardwalk, Old Town Pasadena, Little Tokyo
6 – You HAVE to drive to get around LA
For such a spreadout city, LA actually has a pretty good public transportation system that includes a subway. Yes… it goes underground! Downtown LA is the hub the subway. Great to visit Hollywood Blvd, Universal Studios. You can even take the train from DTLA to the beach in Santa Monica. Uber and Lyft have really helped with this.. I often find myself walking around downtown, then getting an uber back to my car.
Definitely an exception to this is visiting Disneyland… there are NO good public transit options from Downtown LA to Disneyland. You can take the Amtrak to Anaheim… but you’ll style have to hail a ride for the last couple miles to Disneyland proper.
7 – There’s nothing in Downtown LA except skid row
DTLA has lots of great things to see!
birthplace of LA at El Pueblo de Los Angeles
Union Station – grand train station
Apple store in a renovated theatre
Rooftop bars are the latest trend
8 – LA Doesn’t Have Any Culture
LA has some world class museums, and many of them are free.
My wife’s favorite is the Getty Museum (free)
My favorite is the BROAD contemporary art museum in DTLA, (also free)
The Walt Disney concert hall is an architectural marvel that you can take a guided tour of.
9 – LOS ANGELES IS EXPENSIVE
There are tons of free things to do in Los Angeles. You can visit LA and spend very little money. In fact I think some of the BEST things to do in LA are free. Walk Hollywood Blvd, Visit the Griffith Observatory, Stroll the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach Boardwalk, all free!
Because there are tons of hotels, unlike NYC. You can get a pretty good one for a reasonable price.
And yes… some of the food can be expensive.. $300 Omakase sushi… you can also find some legit $1.50 tacos at a streetside taco stand.
10 – People in LA are unfriendly
And now let’s hit the one Mark started with..
Obviously this is a subjective one… but I think people in LA are the friendlist of any of the big cities in the USA. Something about big cities does tend to make people seem less warm… but because so many people move to LA not to chase a dollar, but because of the laidback and relaxing lifestyle. Casey Neistat moved from NYC to Los Angeles to live a better life! People have a tendency to slow down here and just enjoy things more. After all… when the surf’s up… and the sun is shining, why would you want to be working?