Very few people question me when I say Los Angeles is a great place. Very few. This is probably so because most people understand why someone might fall in love with a place like LA. But for those of you that don’t understand, had a traumatic experience that has forever ruined your potential to love LA, or have narcissistic tendencies toward your own city, all of which leave you incapable of ever understanding, fully, why LA is so great, let me provide you with a brief outline.
First, I would like to clarify that I am no LA-expert. I’m just an ex-country girl that showed up in the greatest city in the world in hopes of starting on a clean slate. Two amazing years later, I guess I attribute all of my happiness, freedom, and overall peace to this great city. Naturally, I’m immensely grateful and ferociously protective of it.
No, the beaches aren’t 90 degrees and no the water isn’t lukewarm. But the beaches here provide an amazing culture, space, and peace that many terrains simply lack. Every single beach along the Pacific line is like a new world to be discovered. An entire days worth of exploration cannot even begin to reveal all the little gems along the coastline.
My personal favorites are Santa Monica and Hermosa Beach. This probably has more to do with my own demographic and social class, but whatever, the beach is one continuous shoreline and it all ends up in the same ocean, anyway, right?
Discover LA has a great list, one which I mostly agree with: Eight Great Beaches
Every “diverse” city has it’s diversities, but Los Angeles has a way of making diversity a baseline in which there really is no one greater culture. Every block of land is a new adventure with new cuisine, art, shops, and lifestyles. And every culture is its own, brought over from a distant country but then morphed into a unique family representation that only that little block of LA can provide. Aside from that, LA is one of the few “diverse” cities that is truly diverse. Apart from New York, arguably one of the other greatest cities in the country, the diversity here really is something to marvel at. The diversity isn’t simply a non-White mass of people. It’s an actual mass of varying cultures, ages, social classes, education, religion, language, food….and it goes on and on.
#3: Hiking, aka, Varying Terrain
Discover LA has another list, one for hiking: Hiking in LA
Though this is a quick and dirty guide to hikes around LA, it’s really just a minuscule drop in the bucket compared to what really is out there. My favorite hiking spot is Runyon Canyon just because I know it so well. This website also provides a comprehensive search of nature trails around LA. These trails are great because they’re not just outdoors. They can be paved, dirt, hilly, rocky, or even in the middle of nowhere. What’s even better is that after a great hike, I can go right back into the city for some amazing food or entertainment because, well, it’s LA.
Where else in the country can you conduct work outside because it’s just a “great day”? Maybe there are a few places, but LA is definitely one of them. In fact, it was such a great day that I spent the entire day outside. All day. I got my sun on, converted some Vitamin D, and you know what the best part was? I didn’t sweat a drop, nor did I get chilled from a breeze. Yep, the weather actually was perfect. And this was on February 9th, in a supposed Winter. Where else in the country can say that right now? Nowhere, that’s where. And the places that are warm right now are traditionally too close to the equator to be enjoyable in a suit. I’m not trying to conduct business in such humid weather that I sweat, profusely. But I am trying to enjoy the fresh air and sun, comfortably. And baby, that’s exactly what LA does for me.
#5: Things to do
Coming from the Central Valley has really given me a great understanding of the value of entertainment. Besides pointing fingers and climbing on a high horse, there’s not much else to do in the Central Valley (unless you’re into picking strawberries) so coming to a city like LA has tickled me pink. There is endless potential in this city and if you want art, you get art. If you want theater, you get theater. You want museums, you get museums. And a lot of the time, this is mostly FREE. Yep, what kind of city provides all of this, all the time, and then posts these activities online, to boot? To get a quick idea of what exactly is out there, check out this list.
If you know me then you know I’m not into the nightlife (it’s #6 on my “greatest things about LA” list…) but I am very aware of the fact that most major cities are loved because of the nightlife. Not only is the nightlife here a constant buzz, but it also caters to all subcultures, age groups, religions, and styles: Get your party on
We are in the town of the movie stars: of course there’s shopping. Duh. And it’s not just the major shops that are branded and sprinkled across the country, either. These shops range from first-time designers freshly graduated from FIDM to top designers that probably own their own islands. Yeah, we have that kind of shopping.
Yes, there are restaurants. But then there are loads and loads of restaurants. And then there are a variety of restaurants. Lastly, there is every kind of restaurant. One look at Yelp and you’re bound to find something to die for, and you get a trusty rating score, too. Raw food? Awesome, we got it, and nobody will judge you for it, either. Ethiopian food? Why not? Latin cuisine? Name your country of origin and you got it. Pricey or cheap as dirt, we’ve got that also. In fact, name your country of origin, period, and it’s here waiting for you. Name your lifestyle of choice and LA can cater to you. Any way you want it, it’s here, yet to be discovered. I could eat out every day, for every meal, for an entire year and never discover all of the restaurants here. I love it.
The U.S. is full of obese people, but luckily for LA dwellers there is a plethora of fitness and wellness shops in town. Runners, hikers, bikers, yoginis, swimmers, surfers, gymnists…. Any kind of wellness is really a hot ticket item in LA and you are guaranteed the option to explore yourself–wholly–if you choose to. Where else in the U.S. is it perfectly acceptable to try out meditation for the sake of cleansing your whole-self? You name it and I’d be happy to explore that city for a day.
Anyone can come here and do whatever the hell he or she wants. There are no social norms to abide to, and the ones that do exist are pushed around, constantly. I can stand, sit, eat, smile, breath, or speak a certain way if I damn well please. And it’s not weird to do so. I don’t stand out and neither does the next person. Different languages? No problem, we all communicate somehow. LA is the land of opportunity and it’s one of the greatest comforts known to humanity to have the freedom to push the limits and do-what-ya-gotta-do to get on with your life.
I love LA. If one more person asks me “what’s so great about LA” I guess I’ll explode.