Surprising Los Angeles, CA, USA

By wasatch | Jun 13, 2022
North America > United States > California > Los Angeles

First off, Los Angeles is big-- Los Angeles County, USA, covers 4,753 sq miles and has a population of more than 10,000,000 people. 4,000,000 people live in Los Angeles City, the largest city in Los Angeles County, and the second largest city by population in the USA. On a long weekend visit to Los Angeles , we drove 450 miles, all within the boundary of Los Angeles Co.

The population of the greater Los Angeles urban area is about 19,000,000. Greater London, UK, is 9,500,000. Greater Los Angeles covers 33,654 sq miles (87,940 sq km. That's almost 3 times larger than Austria and almost as big as the entire UK).

Los Angeles 's GDP the year before Covid was $908 billion. If Los Angeles were a country, its GDP would be in the world's top 20 (CA's GDP would make CA the 8th wealthiest country in the world)..

What to see

Hollywood made Los Angeles rich, and the rich built museums. The Getty Center complex cost $1.3 billion to build on the top of small mountain overlooking the Los Angeles valley. There is a second Getty Museum in Malabo, specializing in ancient Greek and Roman arts.

Huntington Gardens and Museum is our favorite place in Los Angeles

Los Angeles County operates several museums including the Los Angeles Co Art Museum (bigger than the Getty), Natural History Museum, and the Los Angeles Brea Tar pits

The City of Pasadena, Hone of the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade, has 15 museums, including the impressive Norton Simon Museum which specializes in French Impressionism.

Huntington Gardens and Museum is our favorite place in Los Angeles -- big enough to impress, small enough to mot be exhausting.

The foliage, especially flowering plants, is so dense in many attractive Los Angeles neighborhoods that it seems like the whole city is a vast flower garden.

From mountains (10,000 ft) to the sea coast, Los Angeles is a remarkably scenic city. The coast features milers of white sand beaches (very cold water) and scenic cliffs. Mullholand Drive, along the ridge line of the lower mountains, provides impressive views of the city, both day and night. Mt Wilson Observatory, once the world's largest telescope, is on Mullholand Drive.

BTW: All CA beaches are open to and free to the public. Sometimes its a little difficult to find the access path from the street/parking to the beach.

Getting Around

Los Angeles is the quintessential automobile city. It worked for a while, now not so much. When we took our driving Los Angeles weekend, traffic was no problem, but that was a while ago. Today, I would guess that Los Angeles 's famous near gridlock traffic comes at rush hour, so don't drive during rush hour. Drive between rush hours. Stop and visit things during rush hour.

Los Angeles is now bullring its first metro (subway, tube). Because of the size of the city, its slow going, but being Los Angeles the to the game, Los Angeles is building the world's most technologically advanced metro (see the movie “Speed”).

California Los Angeles North America United States

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Written by wasatch
1st international trip: 1965. ~57 EU vacations. Visited 6 continets. Extensive USA travel. You can email me at

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