10 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Los Angeles

10 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Los Angeles

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  1. 1. Weather 

    When people hear that you are leaving for Los Angeles, it is pretty much inevitable that they will make some comment about how great the weather is in the City of Angels.  While that’s true for the most part during late morning/afternoon, please pack some jackets and shoes other than flip-flops.  You may be amazed at how cold the mornings and evenings can get – no, it doesn’t get frosty enough for snow to fall during January, but it gets chilly enough that you’ll be glad for that extra layer.  Spend a few extra dollars for an umbrella as well if you plan on staying in LA for a while.  You won’t use it often but it’s a good investment over the long run.


    2.  Traffic

    You might have heard this about L.A., and all the horror stories are probably true, but traffic is pretty terrible.  An overwhelming majority of people drive, and even late at night the roads are full of cars.  If you have an important appointment to make, be sure to budget in extra time for travel. 


    3. Public Transportation

    That being said, it is better to have a car than not have a car.  A solid public transportation system has not been fully implemented yet.  If you do not own a vehicle, you may have to block out enough time to walk to the bus station, sit through several stops, and then walk to your end destination.  A trip that takes 25 minutes by car may take around two hours and involve multiple bus transfers.  There are enough buses and routes that you will eventually reach your endpoint, but the hassle and extra time taking public transportation involves may make a car purchase (or rental car) worthwhile.


    4. Gas Prices

    The state of California is cursed with some of the highest gas prices – this will become obvious to you once your gas tank is empty.  If you need to catch a taxi, make sure that your wallet has enough cash or you have a credit card on you – the final price might be higher than what you expected. 


    5. Jaywalking

    If you come from Chicago, New York City, or somewhere where people freely walk across the street anytime a car is not near enough to hit them, get used to waiting for the “WALK” symbol to flash.  The police will not hesitate to ticket you if they catch you illegally crossing the road.


    6. The People

    Los Angeles is a populous city, and like other large cities there will be many people out on the street, both walking to their target destination or down on their luck.  People tend to stick to their own business but are not unfriendly. 


    7. Entertainment attractions

    The city is known for being an entertainment hub, and there are plenty of star-studded landmarks to see, from the Hollywood sign to the Kodak Theater.  Keep your expectations in check and you will enjoy the fact that you are standing where icons have stood.  If you have time, there are movie premieres that you may be able to catch.  For example the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, which has been around since 1931, holds a premiere every few weeks that actors and actresses in the movie attend.         


    8. Other attractions

    Lessor known attractions include the Getty Museum – a place you should visit especially for the gardens and the breathtaking view.  If you enjoy comedy, check out the Upright Citizens BrigadeTheatre for some quality jokes.  Los Angeles also houses two universities, UCLA and USC; most universities hold lectures and showcase special exhibits in campus museums that interested parties can attend/visit, and these two colleges are no exception to the rule.    


    9. Food

    There are many diverse food options in LA, from Korean to Brazilian to good old In N Out.  If you go to Korea-town, for instance, there are plenty of options for delicious Korean BBQ.  The best meal at In N Out is the double-double animal style (which is NOT on the menu).  If you are ever trying to choose a restaurant, there will be a sign on the window of the eatery indicating the cleanliness of the restaurant via a grading scale (so “A” is the best).


    10. Sports

    If you are a sports fanatic you will already know the sports teams in LA.  However, if you don’t follow sports, here are the biggest teams in LA: the Lakers (basketball), the Clippers (basketball), the Dodgers (baseball), and the Angels (baseball).  There is no NFL team currently based in Los Angeles. 

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