Where is Los Angeles? Map Location and Proximity to Other California Cities

Written by Shreya Agrawal
Updated: September 8, 2023
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Los Angeles is often referred to as the “City of Angels.” Nestled along the Pacific coast of Southern California, it is a sprawling metropolis known for its diversity, iconic landmarks, and vibrant cultural scene. With its year-round sunshine, picturesque beaches, and a melting pot of cultures, Los Angeles represents the American dream to millions worldwide.

Geographical Location of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, often abbreviated as L.A., is located in Southern California, along the Pacific coast of the United States. It is the largest city in California and the second-largest city in the United States. It is a diverse and sprawling metropolitan area that encompasses a wide range of landscapes and neighborhoods.

Los Angeles is situated in the Los Angeles Basin. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the south. The city is flanked by the San Gabriel Mountains in the north and the Santa Monica Mountains in the west. Its strategic coastal location has played a crucial role in its development. To this day, Los Angeles remains a major port and a gateway for international trade and tourism.

The city’s metropolitan area extends beyond the city limits and includes a vast network of cities and communities that stretch across several counties. This includes Los Angeles County, Orange County, and parts of Ventura County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County. The region’s geographic diversity encompasses coastal areas with beautiful beaches, inland valleys, rugged mountains, and arid deserts.

Weather In Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The city’s location near the ocean moderates its temperatures, leading to relatively mild and pleasant weather throughout the year.

During the summer months, from June to September, temperatures in Los Angeles can climb to the 80s and 90s°F (27-35°C) near the coast. Inland temperature can sometimes exceed 100°F (38°C). The summer weather is typically sunny and dry, with minimal rainfall and low humidity. This dry and hot season is often referred to as “June Gloom” along the coast. This is because mornings can be overcast due to ocean moisture before the sun breaks through in the afternoon.

In contrast, winters, from December to February, are mild and relatively wet. Temperatures during this season generally range from the 60s to 70s°F (15-25°C) during the day. At night, they can dip into the 40s°F (4-9°C). The winter months bring occasional rainstorms, which make the landscapes green and rivers flow during the spring that follows.

Cloudy day of Los Angeles downtown skyline and palm trees in foreground

Los Angeles offers pleasant weather all year round, making it perfect for frequent tourism.


Los Angeles is also prone to temperature inversions. This is a meteorological phenomenon where a layer of warm air traps cooler air near the surface. This can lead to smog and poor air quality, particularly during the summer months. Efforts to improve air quality and reduce pollution have been ongoing, but communities near freeways are still strongly impacted.

Overall, the city’s Mediterranean climate makes it an appealing destination for those seeking pleasant weather year-round. The diverse geography of the city and its surrounding areas offer a wide range of outdoor activities and recreational opportunities. This makes Los Angeles a sought-after destination for residents and visitors alike.

Points of Interest in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a treasure trove of diverse and captivating points of interest. From world-famous landmarks to cultural attractions and natural wonders, Los Angeles offers something for everyone.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

One of the most iconic attractions in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Over 2,600 brass stars embedded in the sidewalks honor legendary entertainers, musicians, actors, and filmmakers. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along Hollywood Boulevard to spot their favorite stars as well as soak in the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. They can also visit the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, and explore the bustling shops and theaters in the area.

Lassie Hollywood star

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a must-visit attraction in Los Angeles, California.

©Willem van Bergen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada / CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Santa Monica Pier

Nestled along the golden shores of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Pier is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The pier offers a plethora of entertainment options including thrilling amusement park rides at Pacific Park and a lively arcade filled with classic and modern games. At the pier, visitors can also see the famous Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and several other rides. Visitors can stroll along the wooden boardwalk, which is adorned with colorful flags and street performers, artists, and vendors. The pier’s stunning ocean views and proximity to the sandy beach make it a perfect destination for leisurely walks. Those who enjoy sunbathing can also walk down to the beach and enjoy the Pacific breeze.

Venice Beach

A vibrant and eclectic beachfront community, Venice Beach is also a haven for artists, street performers, and outdoor enthusiasts. The boardwalk is a bustling promenade lined with quirky shops, street vendors, and talented performers. Visitors can witness the artistic flair of the Venice Beach Skate Park, where skilled skateboarders showcase their tricks and flips. The beach itself is a haven for sunbathers, surfers, and beach volleyball enthusiasts. The palm-lined Ocean Front Walk provides a perfect setting for leisurely walks and people-watching. Thus, with its diverse mix of artists, musicians, and free spirits, Venice Beach continues to embody the free-spiritedness and creativity of Southern California.

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

Perched atop Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory is an iconic attraction that also offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Los Angeles skyline and the famous Hollywood Sign. It serves as both an astronomical observatory as well as a public astronomy and space science center. Griffith Observatory has been captivating visitors since its opening in 1935. The distinctive Art Deco architecture adds to the observatory’s charm, also making it an architectural gem within Los Angeles. Inside, visitors can explore fascinating exhibits on astronomy, and space exploration, as well as the history of the observatory itself. The centerpiece of Griffith Observatory is the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, which offers immersive and educational shows about the stars and the universe. However, the real highlight of the observatory is stepping outside to the terraces, where visitors can see stunning views of the city, the iconic Hollywood Sign, and the sparkling night sky.

Griffith Observatory Hollywood

The historic Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, California, offers a panoramic view of the entire city.


The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

Located in San Marino, just outside Los Angeles, The Huntington is a stunning cultural destination. Founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, this expansive institution boasts a vast collection of rare books, manuscripts, and literary treasures that attract scholars and bibliophiles. The Huntington Library houses significant works, including the Gutenberg Bible and the Ellesmere manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales.”

In addition to its literary riches, the institution features a world-class art museum. It contains European and American masterpieces, decorative arts, and rotating exhibitions that celebrate various art forms and eras. The botanical gardens encompass over 120 acres of meticulously landscaped grounds and a diverse array of global plant species. The gardens are just a few of the many enchanting sections that captivate visitors with their beauty and tranquility. The Huntington Library provides a sanctuary for intellectual curiosity and aesthetic appreciation. It is a haven for those seeking to immerse themselves in the art, literature, and natural wonders of the world.

Getty Center in Los Angeles

A cultural treasure, the Getty Center in Brentwood showcases a vast collection of European art, sculptures, and decorative arts. Richard Meier designed the Getty Center as a modern architectural masterpiece that opened its doors to people in 1997. It houses an extensive collection of European paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and photography, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present. Visitors can explore the stunning galleries, enjoy the panoramic views of the city, and stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens.

The Getty Villa

The Getty Villa, located in Pacific Palisades, is an enchanting recreation of a first-century Roman villa. Modeled after the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy, it is dedicated to showcasing ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art and artifacts. Visitors can immerse themselves in the ancient world as they wander through the galleries and gardens filled with sculptures and archaeological treasures.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

The largest art museum in the western United States, LACMA boasts an extensive collection of art from various cultures and time periods. Visitors can explore galleries featuring ancient artifacts, European paintings, Asian art, contemporary works, and much more. Notable masterpieces in the collection include pieces by renowned artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet. The museum’s distinctive Urban Light installation, featuring 202 restored street lamps, has become an iconic symbol of Los Angeles. Beyond its impressive permanent collection, the museum regularly hosts rotating exhibitions that celebrate the creativity and diversity of the art world.

Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles

For movie buffs and thrill-seekers, Universal Studios Hollywood is a must-visit attraction. From thrilling rides based on blockbuster films to interactive shows and attractions, Universal Studios Hollywood provides an unforgettable and adrenaline-pumping adventure for guests of all ages. The famous Studio Tour takes visitors on a tram ride through working film and television sets, offering a glimpse into the world of movie-making. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter also transports fans to the enchanting universe of J.K. Rowling’s books and films, complete with iconic locations like Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village. Additionally, visitors can witness heart-pounding action in thrilling rides like Jurassic World – The Ride and Transformers: The Ride-3D. Thus, with a combination of entertainment, excitement, and Hollywood magic, Universal Studios Hollywood remains a premier destination for those seeking a truly immersive and cinematic experience.

Waterpark, amusement park Los Angeles, CA

Universal Studios Hollywood offers several exciting rides and adventures, leading to unforgettable experiences when in Los Angeles.


The Broad

A contemporary art museum located in Downtown Los Angeles, The Broad boasts an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art. Founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, this architectural marvel houses an extensive and impressive collection of postwar and contemporary artworks from some of the world’s most renowned artists. The museum’s sleek and futuristic design, featuring a distinctive “veil and vault” exterior, adds to its allure, drawing visitors from all walks of life. Inside, visitors can experience a diverse array of artworks, including pieces by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, and Jeff Koons. The Broad is also committed to accessibility through its free admission policy, allowing art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike to experience the power and impact of contemporary art.

Rodeo Drive

For those seeking a taste of luxury and high-end shopping, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is the place to be. This renowned shopping district has several luxury boutiques and designer stores, attracting fashion enthusiasts and celebrities from around the world.

Best Suburbs Around Los Angeles

Santa Monica

Located just west of Los Angeles, Santa Monica offers a laid-back coastal vibe with its pristine beaches, trendy boutiques, and a bustling pier. The neighborhood is known for its excellent schools, parks, and abundant recreational opportunities, making it an ideal location for families.

Santa Monica pier Ferris Wheel in California USA on blue Pacific Ocean

The Santa Monica Pier and Boardwalk is an iconic part of the Los Angeles coastline.



Nestled at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena is renowned for its charming tree-lined streets and historic architecture. Home to the annual Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl, Pasadena combines a rich cultural heritage with a vibrant arts and dining scene. The city also has a vibrant arts scene, including the Norton Simon Museum and Pasadena Playhouse. With beautiful parks, excellent schools, and a strong sense of community, Pasadena attracts families and young professionals alike.

Lion Float in Rose Bowl Parade, Pasadena, California

The Rose Bowl Parade first began in 1890 and is a spectacular display of pageantry.

©Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

Culver City

Situated on the west side of Los Angeles, Culver City has evolved into a trendy and bustling neighborhood. With a mix of historic landmarks, art galleries, and a thriving restaurant scene, Culver City offers a dynamic urban environment with a growing community.


Located northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Glendale is known for its diverse culture, excellent schools, and numerous parks and recreational areas. The city’s proximity to Griffith Park and the San Gabriel Mountains provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

Manhattan Beach

This upscale coastal suburb is famous for its sandy beaches, beachfront homes, and relaxed beach town atmosphere. Manhattan Beach offers a range of outdoor activities, including beach volleyball, surfing, and biking along the scenic Strand Beach path.

Manhattan Beach and Pier at day time in Southern California in Los Angeles.

The Manhattan Beach and Pier offer a great place to spend sunny days when in Los Angeles.



Nicknamed the “Media Capital of the World,” Burbank is home to major film and television studios, including Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Studios. The city features a mix of residential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and cultural attractions.

Long Beach

Located south of Los Angeles, Long Beach offers a unique blend of urban living and beachfront charm. The city boasts miles of coastline, an iconic boardwalk, and the historic RMS Queen Mary, now a floating hotel and museum. With its diverse neighborhoods, cultural events, and recreational opportunities, Long Beach appeals to a wide range of residents.

Long Beach Los Angeles California

Long Beach is not only one of the most important harbors in the United States but also a great destination to have fun when near Los Angeles.

©Larry Gibson/Shutterstock.com


Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains, Calabasas offers a peaceful and scenic suburban environment. The city is known for its affluent neighborhoods, excellent schools, and proximity to nature trails and parks. Residents can enjoy a suburban lifestyle while being just a short drive away from the cultural attractions of Los Angeles.

West Hollywood

A vibrant and trendy suburb, West Hollywood is a hub of nightlife, dining, and entertainment. Known for its lively music and arts scene, the city is particularly popular among young professionals and artists. West Hollywood’s vibrant atmosphere and proximity to the Sunset Strip make it an exciting choice for those seeking a dynamic urban lifestyle.

The Hollywood Sign, The United States

West Hollywood is one of the most dynamic suburbs of Los Angeles, offering lots of opportunities to explore music and the arts.


Los Angeles is a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and iconic landmarks. It continues to enchant millions of visitors and residents with the promise of the American dream. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the tranquil beaches and vibrant neighborhoods, the city offers an endless array of attractions. Surrounding suburbs also provide a balance of serene suburban living while still being close to the energy of the city. Whether exploring world-famous landmarks, indulging in culinary delights, or immersing oneself in the cultural tapestry of the city, Los Angeles remains a destination that appeals to all walks of life.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Ahmet Yalçınkaya ahmetyalcinkaya / CC0 – License / Original

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About the Author

Shreya is a climate scientist. She also studies paleontology and evolutionary biology. She enjoys reading all kinds of literature and listening to rock music in her free time.

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