Twenty-four million people come to Los Angeles every year for their vacation. Because the metropolitan area is so dense, it is impossible to separate Los Angeles, or even Los Angeles county, from the surrounding metropolitan areas, except by planting a city limits sign. A few Los Angeles facts and figures:
- The Los Angeles five-county area has a population of almost 20 million. It includes Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, Orange and San Bernardino Counties.
- If the five-county Los Angeles area were a state, it would be the fourth largest in the United States.
- When Los Angeles was founded in 1781, 44 people (14 families) lived in El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de la Porciuncula (Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angeles of the Small Portion). The population grew, but the name shrank to simply "Los Angeles."
- The city flower is the bird of paradise and the city tree is the coral tree.
- Los Angeles is the home of the original Bay Watch television show, and is rimmed with miles of beaches.
- Los Angeles has more than 80 stage theaters and 300 museums, more than any other U.S. city.
- The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest in the U.S. and one of the busiest in the world.
- Despite its image of an oasis with water and palm trees everywhere, Los Angeles is more like a desert, with an annual rainfall of only 15 inches (38 cm).
- City residents are typically called Angelenos (rhymes with casinos).
Weather in Los Angeles is not always what visitors expect. Smog is worst in the summer, but so is fog (a component of smog) and there are often days in June when the beach cities are foggy all day, more like London than California. Temperatures are moderate all year, and evenings are always cool. Skies are clearest in winter, especially after a winter rain.
Los Angeles is known by a number of nicknames, including
- City of Angels
- Southland (typically used by local media)
- Lalaland (my personal favorite)
Because the Los Angeles area is so large and diverse, it has something to offer to everyone. While Hollywood and the Los Angeles beaches are part of our collective image of Los Angeles, the city also has more museums than any other city in the United States.
We've given you some of the facts here, but you may still have some misconceptions about Los Angeles. Take a look at some of the common myths about Los Angeles to find out how much you really know.