Gain some perspective into all aspects of moving to Los Angeles. Our Los Angeles moving guide will help you prepare for everything the City of Angels throws at you — from its varied employment opportunities to its infamous traffic.
Moving to Los Angeles
Los Angeles Moving Advice
Known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, many people move to Los Angeles with big hopes and dreams—and for good reason. Los Angeles was sustained by the film industry in the early 20th century, and it continues to yield high returns (over $11 billion in revenue last year) to this day, so go ahead—make your move!
Los Angeles, nicknamed the City of Angels, is known as one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States. No matter what your cultural background, you’ll find it a welcoming city to call home, whether you’re moving to or moving in Los Angeles.
Making your Los Angeles move during the fall or winter can reduce your moving costs—especially rates for moving truck rental or hiring professional movers—since it’s considered the moving off-season. Also, weekend rates tend to be the highest. Some other things to consider before making your move to Los Angeles, California:
- If you are considering Los Angeles—moving to Hollywood, Westwood or Beverly Hills—make sure you choose a date that doesn’t coincide with a movie premiere or awards ceremony, as many roads will be blocked. Some events, such as the Golden Globes, typically take place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. On Oscar day, traffic worsens throughout Los Angeles, and multiple roads shut down in Hollywood.
- Traffic can get pretty bad in Los Angeles, especially on the major freeways (405, 101, 5 and 110, to name a few), and is worst during rush hour. Follow the Los Angeles traffic report prior to moving to LA to determine which time is best to get on the road. Also keep in mind that traffic is at an all-time high on Fridays, so it’s definitely not a good day of the week for moving!
- Los Angeles heat can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in August and September. Temperatures reached a record-high temperature of 113 degrees Fahrenheit in September of 2010. If you’re moving close to the coast, however, you won’t have to worry as much about over-heating.
- As with any move, make sure to change your address online. It’s cost-efficient, easy to do, and will give you peace of mind that your mail will make it to your new home by the time you move in. You’ll also receive coupons for businesses in your new neighborhood after changing your address with USPS.
- Do your homework, and make sure you’re not moving to your new home during scheduled street cleaning. Most streets in Los Angeles have specific street cleaning days and time frames. If you park on a street during this time, you run the risk of getting a ticket. Know your street-cleaning schedule (posted on most roads) and sign up to receive phone reminders so that you don’t forget.
- If you explore the city before moving to LA, always read the parking signs. Almost every single street in Los Angeles, CA, has multiple parking signs that indicate parking restrictions on specific days and times.
- Keep a stash of quarters in your car for parking meters.
Check out our downloadable planners and checklists.
Los Angeles, CA, Neighborhoods
Tourists are surprised when they find that unlike single, compact cities, Los Angeles is an expansive suburban city comprised of numerous communities sprawled out over 468.67 square miles.
Those planning on moving to Los Angeles have a wide range of areas to choose from when picking their next home. The city is configured into over 100 neighborhoods in 16 regions, which are drawn out in this map project by the LA Times.
Getting Around After Your Move to Los Angeles
Getting around in Los Angeles is challenging; most “Los Angelinos” have accepted gridlock traffic as a part of the LA lifestyle. Being that LA is a large city that continues to expand and change, road construction has become a regular occurrence that disrupts traffic flow, both on major highways as well as suburban neighborhoods. LA is quite expansive, and isn’t easy to get around on foot, which is why most residents drive.
On a positive note, the Los Angeles Metro and city bus services are top-notch, and will get you where you need to go. Immediately after moving, Los Angeles, CA, may be frustrating, but you’ll quickly figure out which freeways to avoid (the 405!), and which service street routes to take in lieu of the freeway.
For long-distance trips, you’ll have easy access to air transportation in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles International Airports:
- Los Angeles International (LAX)
- Ontario International (ONT)
Los Angeles Domestic Airports:
- Bob Hope Airport
- John Wayne Airport
- LA Palmdale Regional Airport
Los Angeles Media Outlets
If you’re moving to Los Angeles, you should know where to find comprehensive coverage of local news and community events.
The following list of newspapers, publications and local TV channels will give you a great head start into settling into your new home, and will give you an insider’s perspective to help you discover the city’s innumerable hot spots and various points of interest.
Los Angeles Times
With a daily readership of over 600,000, the Los Angeles Times is the most widely circulated newspaper in the entire state of California, and one of the biggest newspapers in the country. With roots dating back to 1881, the LA Times has racked up an impressive 39 Pulitzer Prizes. The LA Times is considered to be a left-leaning publication, reporting on a variety of stories of local, state, national and international significance.
Along with standard inclusions such as a sports section, a business section, crossword puzzles and comics, the newspaper also contains extensive arts and entertainment inserts that can be used as a guide for newcomers to get up to speed on the wide variety of events taking place in the vicinity.
A free weekly publication, LA Weekly focuses heavily on the extensive music, film, theater, art and cultural scene of Los Angeles. With a circulation close to 175,000, the newspaper is one of the most widely read publications in the state and has played a key role in the promotion of the LA entertainment scene since its inception in 1978.
Hoy Los Angeles
Published once per week and free of charge, Hoy Los Angeles is geared specifically for the large Spanish-speaking population of the Los Angeles metro region. The newspaper reaches over half a million readers every week, and covers a variety of news, sports and entertainment stories that impact the Latino community.
Los Angeles Daily News
The second-largest newspaper in LA, the Los Angeles Daily News was founded in 1911 and today claims an average daily readership in excess of 150,000. With a reputation for little political bias in reporting, the Daily News is considered far and wide to be a highly reliable source of news reporting in the LA area.
The Los Angeles Jewish News
Established in 1973, The Los Angeles Jewish News places its main focus on discussing political and business stories that impact the Jewish community living in and around Los Angeles. It also regularly covers international news stories, with a special emphasis on the State of Israel. Published monthly, The Los Angeles Jewish News reaches an audience of over 100,000 readers.
Considered to be the most widely read Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, La Opinion is published daily and reports regularly on local news, sports and business for Latino residents of Los Angeles. The newspaper was founded in 1926 and continues to grow its circulation, averaging over 120,000 readers on a daily basis.
Local TV News Channels
Moving to LA, you’ll find no shortage of local TV stations capable of keeping you up to date on developing local, state, national and international news. For the best coverage, tune to channels:
- KABC TV 7 (ABC affiliate)
- KCBS TV 2 (CBS affiliate)
- KLCS TV 58 (PBS affiliate)
- KMEX TV 34 (Spanish-language Univision television)
- KNBC TV 4 (NBC affiliate)
- KTTV TV 11 (Fox affiliate)
- KVEA TV 52 (Spanish-language Telemundo affiliate)
- KXLA TV 44 (Asian TV programming)
If you’re moving to Los Angeles, you’ll enjoy a moderate Mediterranean climate and an average of 284 days of sun each year. Rainy winters and dry summers are typically brought on by moderate transitions in temperature. Summer temperatures average between 64.2 and 76.6 degrees Fahrenheit; winter months average between 47.8 and 65.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures can, however, reach into the 100’s during August and September. In September of 2010, temperatures reached a record 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check out this LA Times map listing various elementary and high schools in Los Angeles. Here you’ll also find each school’s student-to-teacher ratio, unofficial API rank and diversity rank. Another great link to keep handy is for the Los Angeles Unified School District. The 2010-2011 School Report Card is also available for the LA Unified School District, which includes any and all info you might need for elementary, junior high or high schools in your area.
Most Notable Los Angeles Elementary Schools (According to the Department of Education):
- Amanecer Primary Center
- Antonio Maria Lugo Academy
- Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet
- Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
- Celebrity Troika Charter
Most Notable Los Angeles High Schools (According to Newsweek):
- Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies
- North Hollywood High School
- Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies
- Bravo Medical Magnet High School
- Marshall High School
Los Angeles has a wonderful network of online resources that’ll help take care of important tasks like registering to vote. Here are some of the top government resources for those moving to Los Angeles:
- For permits including construction, tree trimming, etc. visit LACity.org.
- For information on taxes, or any matters pertaining to the IRS, visit IRS.gov.
- Register to vote in Los Angeles at LAVote.net.
- Find your trash and recycling days and times as well as other resources at LACitySan.org.
- Get a new driver’s license by finding a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your neighborhood with DMV.org.