The City and County of San Francisco can be found on the west coast of the United States, on a small peninsula which divides San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Its population is estimated at over 800,000.
First settled in the late 18th century and known then by its much longer name of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles (the Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels), the Spanish colony began to prosper with its rich soil and plentiful livestock.
The city steadily grew to incorporate its surrounding villages and towns, including Hollywood in the early 20th century, which voted for incorporation to boost its own water supply and to gain adequate sewage facilities. Hollywood's first official motion picture, a short silent movie named In Old California by D.W. Griffith was filmed in 1910 and was one of the forefathers of cinema. Other filmmakers, keen to repeat Griffith's success travelled across the country from New York and set up in LA, leading to the city's status as the movie capital of the States.
Though Los Angeles is home to many of the industry's biggest film and television production companies, you are unlikely to stumble across a major motion picture being shot here on your trip due to the rising costs. However, there is still plenty to see on your travels - visitors come from around the world to check out the Walk of Fame and legendary movie theatres. Los Angeles is also one of the busiest ports in the world, importing and exporting goods across the Pacific.
Many guided tours run through the city, allowing travellers to get a taste of what life in Los Angeles was like through the eyes of some of its most famous inhabitants.
The Staples Centre is also the home of the city's major sports teams; take in a game of basketball involving the LA Lakers, Clippers, or for the women's game, the Sparks. The LA Kings of ice hockey, winners of the 2012 Stanley Cup, also play their NHL games throughout the winter in the Staples Centre. If you would rather enjoy a more relaxed game of baseball, the LA Dodgers play their games at the Dodger Stadium.
Last updated: 2 February 2014