#1 The Freeways

LA Freeway at sunset

What’s that? The Freeways, you say? They’re one of the top 5 great things about living in LA? Call me crazy, but … Yes! I know they have a bad rep for all the traffic jams, the division of neighborhoods, the garbage and pollution and yet, Los Angeles’ freeways and the convenience they provide are pretty amazing when you get right down to it.

It’s impressive to consider there are approximately 4 million people to move around a 503 square mile area on any given day with minimal public transit in Los Angeles. That’s a lot of cars and a lot of ground to cover, and the LA freeway system does it especially well during non-peak traffic hours.

As a realtor, I appreciate being able to meet my clients at a house in Calabasas, coming from my office (about 7 miles) in less than 20 minutes. It really is wonderful to be able to go from my house to the beach (approximately 9 miles, over the Santa Monica Mountains) in 25 minutes. It takes only 15 minutes to get home to Woodland Hills from dinner with friends in Sherman Oaks (approximately 13 miles). It takes 25 minutes to get to Downtown LA (approximately 25 miles). And it’s only about a 45-minute drive for a fun day at Disneyland in adjacent Orange County (about 50 miles). There are so many places to go, things to do and people to see, and the freeways are the key to doing that with ease.

#2 The Dogs

dog on top of Los Angeles

And I’m not talking Dodger Dogs, though those used to be a gastronomic delight! As for our canine companions, Los Angeles is a top dog city. With the huge wave of outdoor restaurants opening over the last year and a half, dogs are welcome almost everywhere there’s an outside dining area in LA. Water bowl service is the norm, and some, like @wetdogtavern Wet Dog Tavern, even have a doggie menu. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Thanks to all the sunshine, Los Angeles has its share of open-air malls where our pups are welcome – The Grove, Century City Mall, and The Village at Topanga, to name a few. There are plenty of great shopping districts beckoning the dog walking crowd such as the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Venice’s Abbot Kinney, and of course, Rodeo Drive for the “well-pawed.”

Scores of businesses catering to the canine set are popping up throughout the community, especially doggie bakeries and boutiques. Two of our favorites are Three Dog Bakery and Healthy Spot, which co-hosts frequent events like Yappy Hour at local eateries.

And of course, there’s the furry beach scene, too! Some of LA’s beaches welcome leashed dogs, and a few, like Rosie’s Dog Beach, are leash less. If hiking is more your dog’s jam, there are plenty of inviting trails for four legged hikers and runners. Many, like Runyan Canyon, are off-leash.

#3 The Great Outdoors - Part 1

There are many great reasons to live in Los Angeles, and with around 284 days of sunshine a year, having plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy is a major one!

The famous beaches are a huge plus – surfing beaches all along the coast, volleyball beaches in Santa Monica and dog beaches, scattered here and there. Of course, all of the beaches are great places for sunning, swimming, picnicking, general relaxing and just all around fun time.

With the beaches come all the water activities – kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, jet skiing, sailing, boating, snorkeling and, of course, surfing.

With over 60 trails to choose from, hiking in LA is a favorite pastime for many Angelinos! Surrounding Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Susana Mountains, Sierra Pelona Mountains and Verdugo Mountains provide around 60 trails for hiking. Many welcome dogs, and some allow horses.

If you prefer walking instead of hiking, there are plenty of beautiful outdoor surroundings to do that in, with approximately 20 botanical and formal, public gardens, plus over 180 parks. The parks are great venues for a variety of outdoor activities. Some have public pools, water play areas and playgrounds, playing fields, sport courts and par courses. Others have bike rentals, boat rentals, dog play areas, and most all have picnic and barbecue areas.

#4 The Great Outdoors - Part 2

Wildflowers in Malibu Creek State Park

Besides everything to do right in LA, Angelinos can enjoy a lot of incredible outdoor activities close by, too!

One of the coolest things about living in LA is the proximity to Super Bloom sights, which are amazing to experience. For bloom access in “our own backyard,” there’s Malibu Creek State Park, Las Virgenes View Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park. Within a 1 – 2 hour drive, more intense Super Blooms occur in Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve and Joshua Tree National Park, to name a few places.

In the fall months, apple-picking is a fun way to get some quality outdoor time. Several farms like Willowbrook Apple Farm and Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard, located in the Oak Glen/Yucaipa areas, provide a great destination in under a 2-hour drive from LAWith LA enjoying sunshine over 75% of the year, many outdoor activities limited to just a few months in many parts of the country can keep on being enjoyed throughout the entire year. Hiking and camping, garden walks, biking and horseback riding can become even more enjoyable when the weather cools a bit.

Although all that sunshine means snow sports don’t happen right in LA, there are plenty of opportunities to plunge into skiing, boarding, tubing and snowshoeing close by! Mt. Baldy, Mt. Waterman, Mountain High, Snow Valley, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain are all a 1-2 hours drive.

#5 The Restaurants

Different foods collage

Fittingly, it’s DineLA Restaurant Week in Los Angeles, and the perfect time to recognize one of the best things about living in LA – The Restaurants.

Ordering in/dining out is a major part of Los Angeles life. From food truck fare to exclusive Michelin Two Star dining and everything in between, well beyond fast food chains, Angelinos can opt for pick up, delivery or dine-in – on the roof, on the patio, on the beach, with ocean, valley or mountain views or even in the dining room.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The diverse, multiethnic population of Los Angeles is well represented in eating establishments, from pure ethnic cooking to a an almost infinite possibility of fusion creations. There truly is something for every taste! And every budget. Pre-pandemic, there were an estimated 29,000 restaurants in LA. And, although some eating and drinking establishments weren’t able to make it through the months of diminished business, the majority did and have been joined by plenty of new places. Suffice it to say, there are currently enough restaurants for Angelinos to eat out somewhere different every day for at least 70 years.
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