I moved to Los Angeles about 12 years ago following a business opportunity. I was growing tired of the gray weather in Seattle and jumped at the chance to start a new chapter in my life. What wasn’t exciting about L.A.? Disneyland, Hollywood, amazing beaches and more.
When you first arrive in Los Angeles you are as much a tourist as those who are just here to visit. The city is a hot spot for sightseeing, people watching, movies, concerts, sporting events, shopping and beaches. The list is nearly endless. And when you move here you do all that. Then, after a while, you begin to get a sense of the sheer size of L.A. It covers 467 square miles – not including the surrounding five-county metropolitan area, which boosts it up to more than 34,000 square miles. We’re talking millions of people (and consequently mind-numbing traffic).
Los Angeles has a different meaning to me now that my oldest has turned 6 and is more ready to enter the fray that is our great city. I want my boys to be citizens of the world and L.A. provides us some great stepping stones. Want to experience a Chinese New Year celebration? Chinatown is a hop, skip, and a jump away. Feel like eating traditional Korean barbeque? Yup, Koreatown has that. There is such a wealth of culture here that we don’t often realize it until we look through the eyes of a newcomer or child.
Let’s not forget the great outdoors. Yes, even our concrete jungle has a wealth of nature. From hiking experiences and parks like North of Malibu, Griffith Park and Baldwin Hills; to sandy beaches like Santa Monica, Venice and Huntington Beach. Swim, surf and sunbathe – you want it, we got it. And none of this even includes the amazing Los Angeles Zoo.
But let’s be honest, the heat can be scorching and a little much for outdoor activities. Never fear, museums are here! There is the Getty or Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) for the older crowd; to name just two. Then there’s Kidspace Children’s museum in Pasadena and Zimmer Children’s Museum for the younger crowd. There are free options as well, so don’t bust your wallet!
After living here over a decade, and being that both of my boys were born here, I consider Los Angeles home. I can’t wait to explore it all over again, this time through the eyes of my sons!