Interesting Facts about Los Angeles

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There are quite a few interesting facts about Los Angeles. Many of them aren’t even known by the people that actually live here and call the city home. We compiled a list of interesting facts that, if you live in LA, you probably didn’t know, and if you don’t live in LA, you will find incredibly surprising.

1. Tourists in LA Surpassed the 50-million Mark

The 2018 tourist record of 2018 shows about 50 million people visited the city from around the world. It hosted a total of 42.5 million domestic tourists (a 3 percent increase) and 7.5 million international travelers, which is a 3.6 percent increase. [1]

2. They Probably Changed the Name Because They Forgot the First One

Did you know the original name of Los Angeles was “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora Reina de los Angeles”! This translates to “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of the River Porciúncula.” It was later shortened to just Los Angeles. [2]

3. Los Angeles is a Filmmaker’s Dream

Los Angeles is the hub and epicenter of America’s film and music industry. LA culture is considered the world culture because of its modern art and close to 100 museums that hold its history. With the perfect sunny and bright weather to accommodate a great shoot, the city is known to be a dream for a filmmaker.

4. Hollywood Sign is 45 Feet Tall

Standing at a level of 45 feet, the Hollywood sign is an iconic attraction of the city. It’s a spot for tourists looking for the perfect click with the iconic trademark. With many trails leading up the hill, it’s a  4-mile hike that can take up to two hours, and for those looking for a ride, you can take the car service or even get a horse ride.

5. Now That’s What We Call Diversity

People from all over the world come to LA. The city is known as a cultural hub of people from 140 countries who speak 224 different languages.

6. LA has Some Artistic Records

The city is home to more museums than any other state in America. With more than 105 museums, and some of the world’s most beautiful gardens, LA is a place magnificently planned and beautifully crafted. It is full of inspiring art and boasts acclaimed structures and over 1,500 theatrical productions each year.

7. Home to the World’s Most Iconic Landmarks

The Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, California Science Center with the Space Shuttle Endeavour, TCL Chinese Theater, Universal Studios, the infamous Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and so much more reside in Los Angeles.

8. LA Used to Produce ¼ of World’s Oil

It might come as a surprise to many, but LA is not just about film and arts. It was oil that fueled its growth and LA was a major oil producer by 1930. It produced 1/4th of world’s total oil and lead the whole country in production. LA is still the biggest urban oil field in the US with thousands of active oil wells located in the greater L.A.

The Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, California Science Center with the Space Shuttle Endeavour, TCL Chinese Theater, Universal Studios, the infamous Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and so much more reside in Los Angeles.

9. There are More than 2,600 Names on the Walk of Fame

Looking to see your favorite actor’s nameplate? You’ll find them lined up by the sidewalk. Holding names of famous filmmakers and actors by honoring their signature, handprint, and name with a golden star. There were 2,734 names of honorable stars on the Walk of Fame (as of September 27, 2022). [4]

10. Los Angeles Has One of the Largest Parks in the USA

Griffith Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the USA. With open space for golfing, play area, hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. Scattered with waterfalls and lagoons, the park has 50 miles of trails set close to the water features of the park.

11. Housing the Old-Time Farmers Market

The Farmers Market is dedicated to the foodies looking for delicious yet organic options and features over 100 vendors. The market offers an extensive range of fresh products. You can find a variety of cuisines and treats at the marketplace that continues its tradition since 1934, attracting domestic as well tourists from all around the world.

12. A Fan’s Dream Come True

The Universal Studio Tour takes you around the largest TV and movie studios to ever exist. A 60-minute tour can take you around about 13 city blocks of movie studios; chances are you’ll also come across some of Hollywood’s biggest stars on the way.

13. LA Hosts Some of the World’s Biggest Concerts

Los Angeles has been hosting some of the world’s most famous and biggest concerts since 1922 at The Hollywood Bowl. It’s an open-air amphitheater that can hold over 17,000 people.

Some famous legends who have performed at the bowl are Elter John, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. It’s the perfect place for the fans of classical arts and music. It’s also famous for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra with 80 musicians performing on the stage, including classically trained musicians from all around the world.

14. Joanne Woodward was the First Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Joanne Woodward became the first honoree to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 9, 1960. The actress won an Academy Award for portraying a woman with multiple personalities in The Three Faces of Eve. [5]

15. LA has Secret Tunnels Underground

The Downtown Los Angeles area was once home to a network of underground tunnels. If you go on a tour of Los Angeles, your guide will probably tell you about the network of this 11-mile service tunnels. These tunnels became the epicenter of drinking and other criminal activities during the Prohibition Era and some of these are still accessible through guided tours. [6]

16. There is a Mysterious Castle in LA

Behind a wrought-iron gate at 7001 Franklin Ave in Los Angeles, there is a private club in an old Victorian style mansion called the Magic Castle. This may be one of the best-kept secrets in Los Angeles. Since 1963 this exclusive club has been serving as the home base for the Academy of Magical Arts.

The Magic Castle is an exclusive clubhouse, restaurant, and magic theater in Hollywood. It is essentially a private club for magic enthusiasts and skilled magicians. Membership is very selective, and entrance is by invitation only.

17. The “Hollywood” Sign Originally Read “Hollywoodland” 

The Hollywood sign, a symbol of Los Angeles and one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, was originally built in 1923. The sign originally read HOLLYWOODLAND.

The real reason for its inclusion? The sign was originally intended to advertise a housing development. It wasn’t until 1949 that the ‘LAND’ word was removed. [7]

18. The World’s First and Only Solar-Powered Ferris Wheel

Did you know that Santa Monica’s Pacific Wheel is the only solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world? The nine-story high wheel features 74,000 LEDs powered by the sun. The RGB lighting show is one of its kind and is run using a software that can present lighting up to 24fps for an amazing lighting entertainment. [8]

19. Goats are used in LA to Prevent Wildfire

It might sound a bit strange, but it’s actually true. According to NPR, the city of Anaheim has renewed its contract with Environmental Land Management, which involves grazing around 400 goats on city hillsides. These goats eat dried brush and invasive grasses to limit the chances of a fire spreading everywhere, especially on difficult to navigate terrains [9]

20. UCLA in LA is the Birthplace of the Internet

On October 29, 1969, at a UCLA office in Boelter Hall, Professor Leonard Kleinrock sent the first message to Stanford University via a network that evolved into what we call the Internet. The first message was supposed to be “LOGIN,” but the system crashed after Kleinrock sent the message; hence only two letters were sent: “LO.”  [10]

Conclusion

Los Angeles attracts people from across the United States and around the world. It is a diverse, multi-cultural hub with many attractions for visitors and residents alike. Just mentioning the name of the city conjures up images of blue skies, crisp and sunny streets and virtually unlimited ways of entertaining yourself.

References

  1. Los Angeles celebrates record milestone of 50 million visitors in 2018. (2019, January 29). Discover Los Angeles. https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/los-angeles-celebrates-record-milestone-of-50-million-visitors-in-2018
  2. com Editors. (2019, February 28). Los Angeles: A history. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/los-angeles-california
  3. Density, car ownership, and what it means for the future of Los Angeles. (2010, December 13). Streetsblog Los Angeles. https://la.streetsblog.org/2010/12/13/density-car-ownership-and-what-it-means-for-the-future-of-los-angeles/
  4. Staff, U. T. (2021, October 7). Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne: See stars with their stars on the Hollywood walk of fame. Latest World & National News & Headlines – USATODAY.com. https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/entertainment/celebrities/2021/10/07/hollywood-walk-fame-celebrities-stars-photos/6034589001/
  5. com Editors. (2009, November 13). Joanne Woodward earns first star on the Hollywood walk of fame. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/joanne-woodward-earns-first-star-on-the-hollywood-walk-of-fame
  6. What you need to know about the abandoned speakeasy tunnels of Los Angeles. (2021, September 29). TheTravel. https://www.thetravel.com/are-there-underground-tunnels-in-los-angeles
  7. Fodor’s Southern California. (n.d.). Google Books. https://books.google.com/books?id=x4Y9DwAAQBAJ&pg=PT258#v=onepage&q&f=false
  8. World’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel goes ‘Green’ for Earth Day at Santa Monica pier. (2021, April 20). SM Mirror. https://smmirror.com/2021/04/worlds-only-solar-powered-ferris-wheel-goes-green-for-earth-day-at-santa-monica-pier/
  9. California cities turn to hired hooves to help prevent massive wildfires. (2020, January 5). NPR.org. https://www.npr.org/2020/01/05/792458505/california-cities-turn-to-hired-hooves-to-help-prevent-massive-wildfires
  10. UCLA: Birthplace of the internet. (n.d.). UC IT Blog. https://cio.ucop.edu/ucla-birthplace-of-the-internet

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