How to do Los Angeles: Maps

My second entry in my How To Do Los Angeles series, containing maps to help you get around the city. LA is so big and there’s so much good stuff, I couldn’t fit it all on one map. So here’s seven:

Map #1: The Sections

Los Angeles County is so large, locals often reference it in sections, like West LA (sometimes called the Westside) or the Gateway Cities. But other than Orange County and the four valleys, none of these areas are official; they are simply terms people use to reference general areas. Use this map so you know where they are talking about.

la sections

Map #2: The Cities

Los Angeles is weird: it is a city, but it has cities inside it, like Hollywood and Studio City. Don’t ask me; I can’t explain it. The map below shows all the Los Angeles sub-cities I mentioned in my How To Do Los Angeles: The Sites post. Most are right next to each other, so even though LA is spread out, at least you won’t have to cover the entire spread! (you still have to cover a lot though)

la cities

Map #3. The sights

This is probably the most useful map. Every site listed in my How To Los Angeles: The Sites post, all placed so you can see where they are. Other important locations, like universities and airports, are also listed.

la sites

Map #4. The Freeway system

Los Angeles has lots of freeways! This is a car city, so you’ll want to get familiar with them. Also, get used to people saying “the” in front of the freeway number (as in “the 405″); that’s how we talk around here.

la fwys

Map #5: The Metro

Yes, Los Angeles has a metro system. No, it’s not great, especially compared to other cities, but it is getting better. The Red Line in particular is awesome, covering Downtown, Hollywood, Studio City, and the No Ho Arts District. It’s also the only underground line, as it costs a lot to build earthquake-proof subways (Los Angeles’s second subway line, the Purple Line, is being extended from the Red Line to UCLA/Westwood at a cost of $420 million per mile!)

la metro

Map #6: Trains and Planes

Arriving on a plane or train? Here are Los Angeles’s airports and train stations. There’s actually two more airports in the greater LA area, one east of this map (in San Gabriel Valley) and one south (in Orange County). If you’re flying into LAX and don’t want to rent a car, consider the Flyaway. It connects you to Van Nuys, Westwood, Hollywood, Santa Monica, the Expo Line in South LA, and most usefully Union Station (ie Amtrak, Metrolink, and the Red, Purple, Silver, and Gold lines).

la train

Map #7: Los Angeles Transportation

Here’s the final map, the freeway, metro, train, and plane systems all together. Sorry, no map for buses; you can go here for that one.

la transpo

Whew! That was fun. I love maps and Photoshop makes it easy! Hope these are helpful. Up next, my Hollywood walk!


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