Los Angeles, California, is a major city that has a population of about 3.82 million people, making it the second most populous city in the United States. L.A. is most known for being the home of Hollywood and all the glitz and glamor that comes with it, from movie studios to celebrity sightings. But this city also encompasses beaches, landmarks, universities, and amusement parks, with Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood Sign, University of Southern California (USC), and Universal Studios being a few examples of what this city is known for.
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The median cost of homes in Los Angeles is about $368,000, and the cost of living here is about 44 percent higher than average. Another figure that is higher than the national average is the number of renters, which is about 58 percent. Those who own homes here are in the minority, at only 36 percent. In addition, the average home is about 48 years old, which is older than the average of 35 years in the rest of the US. The number of homes sold each year hovers at just over 11,000, and this city's vacancy rate is about 7 percent.
Los Angeles gets millions of tourists annually, and that's no surprise given the countless things to do in this city. Hollywood is a major attraction, and it includes the Hollywood Sign, the Chinese Theatre, and the Walk of Fame. Some family-friendly activities in other areas of L.A. include Universal Studios, Los Angeles Zoo, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and the Santa Monica Pier's small amusement park, called Pacific Park. Of course, when you head to L.A., you're near miles of beaches that are perfect for swimming, tanning, and building sand castles. You can also take a variety of tours in L.A., ranging from whale watching on a boat to riding a bus around the city to look at breathtaking mansions where celebrities live.
The traffic in L.A. is famously frustrating, and some residents try to solve the problem by using the public transportation options that are available. The Metro is the most well-known bus line for getting around the city, though Greyhound also serves the area. Trains here include Amtrak, which is most often used to take residents from L.A. to San Diego and other nearby major cities. The Metro Rail is another public transportation option; it's a light rail that many people use to get from the suburbs to downtown L.A. for work. Of course, most people still prefer to drive their own car to work, but they face an average commute time of just under 30 minutes each way, which is among the longest commute times in the country. As for air travel, the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) takes care of more than 60 million travelers per year.
There are more than 100 neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and some are large enough to actually be considered cities in their own right. A complete rundown of every area in this major city could get long and tedious, so instead, here are some details about the basic regions of Los Angeles.
Westside: As you might guess, this area is closest to the beach, so most of the homes for sale, rent, and rent-to-own are among the most expensive in L.A. This part of the city encompasses Santa Monica, Westwood, Bel Air, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, and Venice, to name just a few areas.
Eastside: This is the inland area of the city, so the homes tend to be more affordable. The Eastside comprises Alhambra, Commerce, Eagle Rock, and Monterey Park, among others.
Central L.A.: The most well-known neighborhoods here include Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, and Westlake. Some family-friendly areas that are up and coming include Los Feliz, Echo Park, and Silver Lake. Additionally, Downtown L.A. is located in the central region and is full of businesses, expensive lofts, and high-rise apartments. Little Tokyo is also located in the downtown area, while Chinatown and Koreatown are nearby.
South L.A.: In this area, you'll find Gramercy Park, Hyde Park, and the historic South-Central district of the city. In addition, South L.A. encompasses University Park, home to the University of Southern California (USC) and the famous Shrine Auditorium.
San Fernando Valley: To the north of L.A., San Fernando Valley, contains the communities of Winnetka, Van Nuys, Encino, Pacoima, Burbank, North Hollywood, Studio City, and Sherman Oaks. This area is most famous for the number of film studios located here.
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