My first trip to Los Angeles (LA) was many years ago when I was in school and decided to tag along with my mom on her work trip. I remember we stayed in Santa Monica and did a bunch of touristy activities. I also remember meeting up with a former colleague of my mom’s who was in LA trying to “make it.”
Many years passed before I went back to LA, but somewhere along the way it was firmly cemented in my head that LA was full of fake people the same way New York was full of rude people. Both certainly have truth in those statements but are also generalizations based on stereotypes. I think, because of that, I never really thought much of LA, even after that first trip.
I didn’t really understand why people would move to a city notorious for its terrible traffic and lack of authenticity.
The next time I visited LA was in 2013 when I went to see a good friend of mine who had made the NY to LA move, something I would see a number of people do in the years following. And I didn’t really understand why people would move to a city notorious for its terrible traffic and lack of authenticity until I visited my friend as an adult and started to see the appeal of the California lifestyle in general and LA in particular.
Still, another five years passed until I visited LA earlier this year, right before my birthday. By this time it was also easier to get around on my own with the growth of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, and I remembered during that trip that I really enjoyed LA, more than, I dare say, San Francisco, which I’ve always felt ambivalent about. And so when I had to go to San Diego for work a few weeks ago, I knew that I wanted to visit LA again for the second time this year. So, I did.
Long story short: I think it’s now safe to say I love visiting LA, and here are a few reasons why:
The Outdoorsy Lifestyle
As someone who loves being active and taking advantage of great weather, I love the outdoorsy lifestyle of LA (and California in general). Even someone who detests doing any other sort of exercise can be found going on a hike or just a meandering walk. Then you have those who gravitate towards the water with their surfboards and paddle boards, as well as those who love taking their yoga practice outside to the beach or park. There are so many options for enjoying LA’s great weather.
Speaking of the weather, I think LA’s is pretty ideal. I’ve now visited LA during the summer, in February, in March and, most recently, in October. I’ve encountered the occasional cloudy day but for the most part, it’s been clear blue skies and low to no humidity, which makes doing those outdoor activities manageable all year-round.
I have had some truly fantastic meals in Los Angeles. Similar to New York, it’s a city of many different options when it comes to food, so it’s certainly possible to have bad food in a city so large, but I’ve managed to have some very memorable meals. Favorites include Animal (literally everything is amazing), Eggslut, Gjusta, Sushi Enya and the Nomad restaurant.
Growing up in Florida, I’m no stranger to beaches and love going to the beach wherever I am, but there’s something about those LA beaches that are so interesting and different to me. For starters, the sunsets are stunning pretty much every single time. Then there are the long towering palm trees and beautiful cities that dot the coast, like Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, El Segundo and Manhattan Beach, to name a few. I love them all.
The Cultural Activities
Like many other cities, I love all the cultural things to do in LA. There are an immense number of museums to visit, like LACMA, the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. There are also performances of all kinds, art galleries and so much more that I’m missing. Also, spending time in one of the city’s ethnic neighborhoods like Little Tokyo, Koreatown or Little Armenia is another fun cultural activity that I love about LA.
All this to say, I’m sure I’ll be back in LA soon.
What do you think about LA?