Los Angeles is a sprawling Southern California city and the center of the nation’s film and television industry. The second-most populous city in the United States, Los Angeles is known for its mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, sprawling metropolis, and as a major center of the American entertainment industry. Los Angeles lies in a large coastal basin surrounded on three sides by mountains reaching up to and over 10,000 feet (3,000 m).
Confused about where you are? Explore the 158 cities and unincorporated places and 114 neighborhoods within the city of Los Angeles with LA Times’ Mapping L.A. Project.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university in the Westwood district of Los Angeles. UCLA sits on 419 acres at the base of the Santa Monica mountains, five miles from the Pacific Ocean. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Music Center, Chinatown, Olvera Street, Little Tokyo and the Downtown business district are a few miles to the east. Mountains, beaches lakes and deserts are all within a short drive.
The UCLA campus is like a small city, with restaurants, recreational facilities, general merchandise, performing arts venues, and a new conference center. The official interactive campus map is a useful tool. For information about maps, directions, and parking: http://www.ucla.edu/maps-directions-parking/.
Popular ride sharing services in Los Angeles include Lyft and Uber. To schedule a taxi ride, order a taxi in advance from Checker Cab (tel. 323/654-8400), L.A. Taxi (tel. 213/627-7000), or United Taxi (tel. 800/822-8294). Zipcars are conveniently located near UCLA on the west side.
LA County Metro buses, trains, and subways now connect most areas in the city. Big Blue Bus and Culver City Bus provide additional coverage on the west side. Note: routes from all regional service providers are integrated on Google Maps.
Bicycle rentals are available near the beach in Santa Monica. Two public bike share programs are available downtown Los Angeles and throughout the west side: Metro Bike Share in Los Angeles and Breeze Bike Share in Santa Monica. Bicycle lanes and paths are noted on Google Maps.
The L.A. Food Scene
Global food culture is a big deal in Los Angeles. Popular dining and shopping corridors near UCLA include:
- Westwood Village (Westwood Blvd., south of UCLA and north of Wilshire Blvd.)
- Tehrangeles (Westwood Blvd., south of Wilshire Blvd. and north of Pico Blvd.)
- Sawtelle Japantown (Sawtelle Blvd., south of Santa Monica Blvd. and north of Pico Blvd.)
- Palms (Venice Blvd., east of Sepulveda Blvd. and west of National Blvd.)
- Downtown Culver City (between the intersection of Culver and Washington Blvds.)
- Downtown Santa Monica (1st through 14th Sts, south of Wilshire Blvd. and north of Pico Blvd.)
- Ocean Park (Main St., south of Pico Blvd. and north of Rose Ave.)
- Abbot Kinney (Abbot Kinney Blvd. from Venice Blvd. to Pacific Ave.)
Read about iconic restaurants and dishes, LA Times’ 101 best restaurants, and the 10 foods that dominate the region. Watch City of Gold, an independent documentary film about LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s culinary adventures in the southland.
Arts, Culture, and Attractions
Los Angeles is home to 105 museums and 225 theaters, including The Getty, LACMA, MOCA, the Broad, and the Hammer. Local landmarks and attractions include the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, La Brea Tar Pits, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center.
Santa Monica Beach and Venice Beach are known for boardwalk performances and people-watching. Dozens of more remote beaches are scattered long the coast, from Long Beach in the south to Malibu in the north. Amenities are unique to each beach; for example, Dockweiler Beach is the only Los Angeles beach that allows campfires, while Huntington Beach and Leo Carrillo Beach are the only beaches in the region that allow dogs.
Weather in July
July is very warm in Los Angeles. The average daily high temperature in July reaches a very nice 27°C (about 81°F) at its hottest, and evening temperatures only reach as low as 16°C (around 61°F), still comfortable. Typically, there is no rainfall at all in Los Angeles during July. The average sea temperature is around 19°C (that’s 66°F), meaning you may want to bring your swimwear and spend some time on the beach playing in the water.
Shorts, t-shirt and sandals would be the best daytime wear. If you are planning on spending time at the beach, please be sure to wear sunscreen with an appropriate SPF, and avoid sitting in direct sunlight during peak hours, usually between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. You can check the local weather forecast so you know when the sun will be at its hottest.