Have your California dreams got you thinking of moving to Los Angeles? What many people refer to as L.A. is a sprawling collection of 87 cities. Los Angeles, Malibu, Pomona, Pasadena, and Burbank are just a few of the cities in L.A. County. Inside these cities are hundreds of neighborhoods merging and connected in every direction.
With over 10 million residents and so much variety, L.A. has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for: top-notch cuisine, picturesque foliage, beaches, mountains, a flourishing art scene, an exciting nightlife, your big break, a new career, or to see your favorite athletic club in action, L.A. delivers.
L.A. has always been a melting-pot city with large immigrant populations and rotating residents. People from over 140 different countries, speaking over twice as many languages, call Los Angeles County home. Cultural diversity is at the foundation of the L.A. we know and love today.
Unlike other major metropolitan areas like New York City, Los Angeles is spread out. The perk to having a larger overall area in a city is that many residents also have more overall living space. The downside to more space is that there is more space to travel. Commutes are long and often driving a few miles to the next neighborhood can be a lengthy and taxing ordeal.
Before moving to Los Angeles, research the neighborhoods to get a better idea of which one would suit your needs best. If possible, try to stay in the area before renting or buying an apartment, for a better feel for how the neighborhood will work for you. Because L.A. is so large, it’s important to live in a community that accommodates your needs. You won’t feel like battling traffic to every day.
TRAFFIC IN LOS ANGELES
Moving to Los Angeles Means Slow Moving in Highways And Byways
No one can prepare you for L.A. traffic with words; L.A. traffic is something you won’t fully understand until you are in bumper to bumper traffic puttering along at five mph for 45 minutes toward a destination that’s only 10 miles away.
Traffic is a severe problem and significant consideration for anyone thinking of moving to Los Angeles. L.A. routinely tops lists for the world’s worst traffic and congestion—L.A. traffic congestion is the worst in the world. Not only is this congestion frustrating and time-consuming, but it’s also tough on the wallet. Angelinos spend an average of 80-100 hours in traffic every year. That’s two full-time work weeks spent running fuel.
When in L.A. you will hear people spouting out numbers reminiscent of secret coordinates in spy movies. You might hear: 10, 101, 134, 170, 405, and at first, you might not understand what they are talking about. In time, these numbers (and many more) will become very familiar to you. These numbers represent some of the many freeways that get you around Los Angeles.
Learning about the L.A. freeway system will help you avoid traffic. There are also many traffic apps that give real-time traffic updates and even suggest alternative routes to help you avoid heavily congested areas.
Because traffic in L.A. is so extreme, it’s difficult to escape. Los Angeles doesn’t hold standard city rush hour times. If you want to avoid traffic, avoid the freeways in the mornings from 5am-10am and the evenings from 3pm-8pm. But these rules are not set in stone.
Depending on the day, traffic congestion can last longer or be more intense—sometimes evening rush hour traffic congestion won’t end until 10 pm. Wednesdays, weekends, and days or nights of local events can create more traffic buildup. Stay up to date on events happening around town and use technology to plan your trips for better travel efficiency.
Navigating the streets and freeways of L.A. is a learned skill that requires dedication and routine. Remembering to check transit times can save you a lot of frustration and money spent on fuel.
KICK COMMUTE TIMES BY GOING PUBLIC
Moving to Los Angeles isn’t impossible to do without a car. L.A. is home to the third most extensive public transit system in the US. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or commonly referred to as L.A. Metro, offers bus and subway train services throughout the L.A. County region.
The L.A. Metro standard fare costs only $1.75 each way, making public transportation a desirable option to avoid traffic. That said, sometimes the trains are full and also experience traffic. Timetables and apps are also available for the L.A. Metro to help you plan and schedule the route to your destination.
There are other ways to avoid the pains of L.A. traffic. Freeways in Los Angeles are massive and usually have between two and six lanes (The I-405 with service to LAX has 14 lanes!), but it’s still not enough to accommodate the masses of cars on the road. Studies have shown that most Angelinos drive to work alone; therefore, they are disqualified from using the carpool lanes on the freeway.
Carpool lanes tend to be less congested because it’s illegal to drive in them when driving alone. By creating a carpool to work or events and activities could save you time and money in the long run.
Ride-shares, taxis, and car services are other popular methods for getting around LA. You might find that the price for the service evens out when you consider the ways heavy traffic impacts your vehicle. Apps are available to gain on-demand car services to help you move around the city more freely.
FOOD AND SERVICES LOS ANGELES OFFERS
Moving to Los Angeles will not leave you wanting in the food department. Brimming with diverse flavors, the region hosts more than 26,000 restaurants, LA’s food scene is as dynamic as its innovative cultural heritage. From gourmet, upscale fine-dining to out of this world, hole-in-the-wall eateries, L.A. has it all.
Restaurants And Dining Out
Every neighborhood in L.A. offers delicious dining options. Whatever you are craving, there is a restaurant in L.A. that will serve it up. A lot of L.A. neighborhoods are world-renowned for their unique food offerings. Some of the most popular areas to satisfy your craving are:
- Downtown Los Angeles for fine gourmet dining
- Koreatown for Korean BBQ
- Little Ethiopia for authentic Ethiopian food
- Silver Lake and Echo Park for vegan and vegetarian diet
- Venice Beach for healthy, ethically sourced foods
Los Angeles is also home to a large food truck and street food network. Peppered all around the city you’ll find delectable gems nestled away in mobile kiosks. L.A. is known for tacos, and some of the best the city has to offer are in these mobile restaurants.
Grocery and shopping services are popping up all over the Los Angeles area. This convenient option allows you to order your groceries online and have them promptly delivered to your door. If you don’t feel like cooking or going out, there are also many services in Los Angeles that will provide food of your choice to your doorstep. These services will even bring you food from selected eateries that do not offer delivery services.
CAREERS AVAILABLE IN LOS ANGELES
For careers and jobs, moving to Los Angeles now is better than it ever has been before. In 2018, L.A. hit the lowest recorded unemployment rate. With only 4% of people unemployed, the Los Angeles economy is going strong. Not to mention, the GDP of Los Angeles continues to be much higher than that of the rest of the country.
Compared to many places in the US, the cost of living is more expensive in LA, but the minimum wage is higher. Employees for small businesses have a new minimum wage of $12.00 per hour, and employees at large companies make $13.25 per hour.
Originally built on a three-tiered traditional economic model of aerospace, entertainment, and tourism, Los Angeles jobs and career opportunities have expanded to include every type of work and industry under the sun.
Los Angeles is home to the largest manufacturing center and the largest retail market in the US. These industries combined offer millions of jobs to Angelinos. The Port of Los Angeles is one of the world’s busiest ports, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs in the region. L.A. is big business for the banking and finance sector.
With so many people to serve in the L.A. County region, jobs are aplenty in a variety of industries in the L.A. region. The industry options for career advancement is a primary reason people are moving to Los Angeles. Some of the most notable productions include:
- Aerospace and Defense
- Banking and Finance
- Computers and Technology
- Health Services
- Skilled Trades like Architecture and Engineering
- Tourism and Hospitality
- Trade from the Port of L.A. and LAX
Moving anywhere is a big decision. Considering the pros and cons, moving to Los Angeles is an even bigger decision. If you can tolerate, or learn to work around, the traffic, Los Angeles provides many world-class offerings, options, and opportunities all delivered with its classic laid-back West Coast flair.