Geography

Los Angeles sits on a coastal plain with the Pacific Ocean to the south and west, the San Gabriel Mountains to the east and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north. The sprawling city covers nearly 500 square miles, and is the only city in the US bisected by a mountain range. Geologically unstable, LA offers its residents some 10,000 earthquakes per year.

LA is in the state of California, the third largest and most populous state of the United States, bordered by Oregon to the north, Mexico to the south and Nevada and Arizona to the east. The majority of California’s population lives within one of five different metropolitan areas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Riverside, San Diego and Sacramento.

With a coastline 1,300km long (800 miles), the state is tremendously diverse, encompassing gorgeous mountain ranges, sweeping desserts and wide sandy beaches.

California’s Central Valley is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world and the largest of any US state. The Yosemite Valley, 56km (350 miles) north of LA, is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and incredible rock domes. There is also Sequoia National Park, home to the largest living organisms on Earth, the massive giant sequoia trees. Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States, is in California, as is the hottest place in the western hemisphere, Death Valley.

But despite all the physical wonders of the state, it is Los Angeles and mythical Hollywood which captivates the world’s attention.

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