In the past, the City of Angels was associated with extremes, with beaches, near-perfect weather, and a parade of seemingly famous, good-looking people on one side, and the legendary tangle of freeways, infamous smog, and American sprawl on the other. In reality, the best of Los Angeles lies between the two, in the city’s abundance of good museums, vibrant ethnic communities, and cutting-edge culture that’s tempered by a sunny sense of fun. Many travelers visit Los Angeles to experience Hollywood, but as the A-listers themselves know, there’s much more to the city once you stray beyond the Walk of Fame.
The US won control of the state of California in 1847 during the Mexican-American war. But it won't take a visitor too long to realise that Mexican and Californian culture is well intertwined and Mexican workers underpin the hospitality industry; without them, kitchens would seriously collapse.
It's stinking hot in summer, in the middle of autumn it can be stinking hot, in spring fairly hot, and even in winter, it's warm and sunny. It's funny to see Angelenos, perhaps a little unnecessarily, wearing jumpers and even coats, huddled around heaters on rooftop bars at night during December/January.
It’s true that L.A. is most widely known for its car culture, but there are a variety of other ways to explore the city without having to get behind the wheel. Metro’s subway trains, light rail and buses ($1.75 per ride) transport hundreds of thousands daily, while numerous citywide bike paths welcome a growing number of cyclists.