Aerial view of a massive highway intersection in Los Angeles, California.

City Guide / Los Angeles

Living in Los Angeles: Pros and Cons

By Bri Hand | Nov 17, 2021

Welcome to Los Angeles County, where a day can range from celebrity cameos in West Hollywood to beachside bonfires in Santa Monica and everything in between. Whether you’re working at a top-notch coffee shop, touring a studio lot, or hanging 10 on your surfboard at the beautiful beaches, it’s helpful to have a guide before you get into the Southern California mindset. 

Of course, nowhere is perfect, so this article will cover all the bases when it comes to living in Los Angeles, pros and cons included. So, if you’re looking for an honest guide to moving to the city, you’ve come to the right place. 

This guide will go in-depth on the pros and cons of:

  • The job market
  • Transportation
  • Outdoor activities 
  • Entertainment and nightlife
  • Weather

Plus, we’ll sprinkle in the need-to-know tips for living in Los Angeles that will make your new city feel like your hometown. Let’s get started!

Living in Los Angeles pros and cons: The job market

LA County may be known as the center of show business, but the economic layout of the city is nearly as diverse as its residents. Besides the entertainment industry, the Los Angeles area is known for being home to many tech companies with headquarters in Silicon Beach, such as Google, Hulu, and YouTube. 

Not only that, but healthcare, construction, hospitality, and agriculture are all central industries to LA’s economy. So, what does that mean for you?

Pros

LA’s extensive economic industries affect the entire city. If you’re moving there, you’ll notice things like:

  • Big opportunities: Looking to take the next step in your career or thinking of pivoting into a new sector? The number of people, jobs, and training programs available in Los Angeles means that forging a new path in your professional life is a real option. Moving to Los Angeles could be the first step on a journey toward doing exactly what you love for a living.
  • Increased wages: While the overall cost of living in LA is higher than in other parts of the country, Los Angelinos also command higher salaries. Depending on your industry, you could find a significant pay bump by moving here. 

The diversity of industries also means more opportunities to network within and outside of your chosen profession. Between business and social events, you may find yourself connecting with individuals who can help you grow your career. You may even build some lifelong relationships with mentors and colleagues.

Cons

Despite all the wonderful opportunities, there are a few drawbacks to working in the city, including:

  • Competition: Any big city has a competitive streak, but in the Los Angeles area, you’ll be competing in one of the largest markets in the world. If you’re coming to the city without stable employment, it may be a bit stressful to try and find the right position quickly.
  • Low starting pay: While you may be able to earn a higher salary in Los Angeles, if you’re just beginning your career, you may have to settle for a relatively low starting wage. Think of it as an investment in your future!

Most of these drawbacks regarding the job market can be easily avoided if you’re coming to the city with a steady job. If you’re already thriving in your chosen career, you can unlock the potential of the LA job market without risking a thing.

Living in Los Angeles pros and cons: Transportation

Getting from point A to point B in LA can be a little intimidating if you’re used to a more walkable urban area. The city is sprawled across about 500 square miles, so you may want something more than your two feet to travel on.

Pros

Notable benefits to transportation in the city include:

  • Major freeways: Since the first freeway was built in 1935 (known as the Airline Highway), freeway construction has been central to the city’s growth. Today, millions of vehicles travel on Los Angeles freeways every day. 
  • Taxis and rideshares: You no longer need to own a car to experience the benefits of driving in LA. Taxis and rideshare options are plentiful in the city, and prices remain reasonable even during peak hours.

Besides personal vehicles, there are also public transit options. The LA Metro operates several rail and bus lines throughout much of metropolitan Los Angeles. While public transit isn’t the most popular way to travel in the city, it’s always an option if you get tired of the freeway traffic.

Cons

The cons of transportation in Los Angeles won’t come as a surprise to anyone that knows about the city. Still, they’re important to reiterate, specifically:

  • Traffic: A recent study found that residents of the city spend 119 hours in traffic every year. While that may be higher than anywhere else in the country, it averages out to less than half an hour per day.
  • Overall distance: As we mentioned, LA is spread out, so going from one end of the city to another takes time, especially during rush hour. To that end, you may find yourself less than excited to accept invitations to events on the other side of town. 

Living in Los Angeles pros and cons: Outdoor activities

What are you going to do when you arrive in town? Well, if you’re like a lot of residents, you’ll be eager to explore the amazing scenery, enjoy the great weather, and jump into some outdoor activities. 

Pros

LA offers outdoor enthusiasts the following benefits: 

  • Trails, views, and parks: The great outdoors in a major American city—it’s almost too good to be true! In actuality, Los Angeles is home to a whole host of parks and trails that provide some delightful scenic outlooks, from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook to Vista Hermosa Natural Park.
  • An outdoorsy culture: Looking for a companion on the trail? LA residents can be easygoing, accepting, and eager to join you on your next trek. 

Cons

There are happy trails ahead, just be sure to consider the slight downside of outdoor adventures in LA:

  • Crowds: On a busy weekend, you might find yourself feeling a little crowded even when outdoors. Unfortunately, there’s just no getting around how popular some trails and parks are in the area.
  • Smog days: LA is known for a little atmospheric phenomenon known as smog. On days when air pollution hits its peak, outdoor activities are less than ideal. Occasionally, you might have to cancel plans and stay inside.

Living in Los Angeles pros and cons: Entertainment and nightlife

Los Angeles is a city that works hard and plays even harder—hey, Hollywood! Residents are no stranger to the country’s best entertainment, from concerts to local festivals.

Pros

While there are tons of daily, weekly, and monthly events happening in LA at any given moment, these two entertainment options can be enjoyed just about every day of the year:

  • World-class museums: LACMA, The Getty, and The Broad are just a few of LA’s most iconic museums. You can explore the classic and the contemporary, and pick something up at the gift shop for your out-of-town friends. 
  • Nightlife: Bars, clubs, and live music are key parts of LA’s vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re looking to dance or toast craft cocktails, LA has a unique venue for you to let loose.

Cons

If you’re moving to LA, it’s helpful to consider:

  • Relative expenses: It’s not always about money, but sometimes it’s best to put the costs in perspective. While there are plenty of low-cost entertainment options, drinks and meals out can add up in the city. The average cost for a single cocktail in the city averages about $15.
  • Risk of burnout: With so much going on in the city, you might risk burning out, especially if you agree to every social event you’re invited to. Practice saying no on occasion to prepare for the onslaught of entertainment choices.

Living in Los Angeles pros and cons: Weather

It may not be the most exciting thing to talk about, but the great weather does affect you every single day. It may have even been integral to your decision to move to the West Coast. 

Pros

Los Angeles residents have a lot to brag about, boasting some of the best weather in the country. Once you arrive in the city, prepare for:

  • A ton of sun: With an average of 284 sunny days per year, Los Angeles certainly delivers residents their daily supply of vitamin D. Just be certain to apply sunscreen! 
  • Mild temperatures:  You can probably ditch your winter parka when you arrive. Temperatures are rarely close to freezing, and even the coldest evening can be weathered with a jacket.

Cons

Weather is a bit of a give and take in Los Angeles, though most residents agree that the benefits outweigh the inconveniences. Still, be mindful of:

  • Slight seasons: The trade-off of daily sun and mild temperatures is a lack of real seasonal change. While winters are typically wetter and chillier, you’re not going to be making snow angels anytime soon.
  • Little rain: California drought has been a major issue in recent years. The overall lack of rain in the city can lead to some troubling consequences for local wildlife and plants.

Truly thrive in Los Angeles with Landing

Life is all about balance—with the pros inevitably comes a few cons, especially when living in a city as bustling as Los Angeles. If you’re ready to start rolling with whatever the city throws at you, there’s one more thing you should know about: living in Los Angeles gets that much better with Landing.

Pros: Landing offers convenient, fully furnished apartments, with flexible leases for digital nomads, world travelers, and those curious about life in another city. Not only that, you can bring your favorite four-legged companion with you! 

Cons: We’ve yet to run into any!

Your next home in the city can be the picture of perfection with a full furnished apartment in Los Angeles. Become a Landing member today!

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About the author

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.