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7 Helpful Tips from an LA Native

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7 Helpful Tips from an LA Native

Picture courtesy of Sasha Stories

7 Helpful Tips from an LA Native

“Where are you from?”

That is a question anyone who moves to Los Angeles is going to have to get used to answering. Since that question is always followed up by, “When did you move here?” Both really become a question of: “How much of an Angeleno are you?” The thing is, if you’ve just moved here or only been here a few years, you are most likely still holding onto whatever caricature of Los Angeles you brought with you.

You think everyone from LA wishes they could live in Hollywood, that Santa Monica is their favorite beach, and we always eat at Tommy’s Burger whenever we can… Think again! Los Angeles natives like myself have a completely different set of rules and perceptions about the City of Angels.

1. Hollywood is Holly-weird 

Let’s be frank, Hollywood is usually the first word that comes to mind when you think of Los Angeles. But that doesn’t mean that is the first place you should visit let alone move to. Hollywood is the most traveled tourist destination in the World. While walking the famous Hollywood BLVD, strutted with famous stars of celebrities, you are more likely to bump into someone from a country you can’t pronounce than an actual Los Angeles native.

That goes the same for professionals. Don’t hop off a plane or walk out the doors of your fresh lease thinking you’re going to meet a famous casting director or actor at the local Hollywood bar. It’s a great place to go out to every once in a while. I’ve been to some awesome premiers in the older theaters and caught some really great comedy shows, but don’t think hanging out in Hollywood is going to make you more LA. Take a trip to West Hollywood instead. 

2. The Best Beaches Are Not Found on a Website

You know exactly the beaches we are talking about. The one’s found all over Instagram with the cliche sunsets and the surfer girl posted by her small dog. Although, every beach in Los Angeles is truly beautiful, over the years the more popular beaches have become, well, exactly that — more popular.

Santa Monica is one of those beaches that is always going to attract tourists. And it is a great beach to spend the day on the pier, but anyone who has taken a swim in that ocean water knows that it is not the most pleasant or cleanest waters. 


Instead of going to the pier keep heading north on the Pacific Coast Highway until you hit Malibu. However, don’t just go straight to El Matador, aka., Instagram heaven. Take the offshoot street when you are about to hit Zuma Beach. Take it left to Westward Beach and beyond to Point Dume. This beach has a small parking lot, making for fewer beach competitors and a magnificent hike-able cliff for a one of a kind Los Angeles sunset. Feeling really adventurous? Google, Thousand Steps beach… Thank us later. 

3. Don’t Call Us Fake

We hear it all the time. Los Angeles people are fake. Well, the truth is most people you meet in Los Angeles are not from here. So who is really who in this situation? Albeit, the nature of the professional industries here does tend to gravitate to the more superficial aspects of cultural exchanges; that doesn’t mean you are not going to meet real genuine people. 
You have to play the game to win the game. Develop a strong filter. Understand who is just pulling your leg or trying to get ahead. And yeah, we’re nice here. Better to be nice and ‘fake’ then be rude for no reason. 

4. Stop Driving Your Gas Guzzler

If you’re driving your truck you took cross country from Texas or Ohio while living in Los Angeles, you’re making a big mistake. The City is built for car owners, but for a reason. You have to drive a lot in Los Angeles. 45 minutes back home to get somewhere might have been a small road trip, but now that you’re here in LA, we call that breakfast. We’re not telling you to go out and get a hybrid, but there’s a reason you see so many of them here in LA. Swap out your gas guzzler for something more economic. Your wallet will thank you.

5. Smog Alerts are your Tornadoes 

You hear people complain about smog second to only traffic in Los Angeles. Once you live here long enough you’ll realize smog is really the worst of the two. Your eyes will itch, your throat will be sore, and those beautiful mountain ranges or scene beach views that you’re used to seeing on your commute hide behind a smog ridden veil. It’s really not a safe time to go outside. Wait till the last hour of the day before exercising and drive with your AC on and your windows rolled up. 

6. You literally have no excuse to eat at a restaurant chain again 

You want your friends to start judging you more than they already do? It was okay for you back home to stop by a Carls Jr. or a McDonalds on your way over. However, here in Los Angeles we hold a higher standard for food. Maybe it’s part of the whole, “LA Fitness” thing, or maybe it’s a part of the “Gluten Free Movement,” but people judge you in Los Angeles on your diet. 
People want to know where the best new cafe’ spots are. They want to know where to get the best acåi bowl and the new juice place that just opened up. It becomes more than just being hip into new places to eat, but places to have meetings with clients, dates with partners, and a staple to enjoying the unique living experience that is LA. 

7. LA Stops When it Rains 

You might come from a town where nothing stops you. You might come from a town with tornadoes and blizzards but this town of 72 and sunshine does not. We come from mudslides and flash floods, but that’s not why Los Angeles basically shuts down in the rain. For some reason when it rains here everyone forgets how to drive. Parents keep their kids home from school and directors and producers reschedule shoots at the sign of the first drop of rain. 

Seriously, there’s a saying here in LA. “People don’t go to work when it rains in LA.” Don’t take it from us and get fired. But it’s important to know things slow down here when it rains. So don’t feel bad if you take some time and enjoy the peace and quiet. It doesn’t come often. 

Zane Foley

Zane Foley is a LA native with a passion for journalism. With a BA in Philosophy, Zane is always looking for an interesting story and point of view. Catch him on his skateboard on Venice Beach or hiking Mount Baldy with his dog on the weekends.

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