The biggest and most populous city in the state of California, Los Angeles is also the most populous city in the western half of the United States and the second bigger in the entire country, trailing only to New York City. One of the key cultural and commercial hearts of the entire world, Los Angeles sits on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of just over 500 square miles. The city has a population of around 4 million people, with over 13 million in its surrounding metropolitan area.

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Before it was founded, the area that would eventually become Los Angeles was home to various Native American tribes. A Spanish explorer claimed the area in the name of New Spain in 1542, but the city wasn't actually founded until 1781, when it was technically known as "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles", which was eventually shortened to Los Angeles. The city passed into Mexican hands after the nation's war of independence, but was purchased by the US at the end of the Mexican-American war.

The city's prime location and rich resources, including oil, helped it to grow very quickly. In the early 20th century, Hollywood became a part of the city, helping Los Angeles to grow into a dominant force all around the world. Nowadays, the city is known as one of the key cultural hubs of the United States, hosting countless major events and being the prime location for America's filmmaking industry. Many huge companies and start-ups are headquartered in Los Angeles and the city is one of the most-visited touristic locations in the world.

Elevation of Los Angeles

The elevation of a city or town is an important geographical statistic that denotes how high or low that location is in relation to sea level. Many major cities around the United States are located in coastal areas that tend to have low elevations, and Los Angeles is the perfect example. Los Angeles has an average elevation of around 285 feet (87 m), but the city has very different elevations at various points. For example, the highest point in the city of Los Angeles is Mt Lukens. Located in Los Angeles County in the northeastern part of the city, Mt Lukens has an elevation of 5,075 feet (1,547 m). Meanwhile, the lowest point in Los Angeles is the Pacific Ocean itself, which is at sea level.

The mean elevation in the state of California is 2,900 feet (880 m), making it the 11th highest state in terms of mean elevation. When compared to the state average, the elevation of Los Angeles is much lower, but is not the lowest point in the state. The point with the lowest elevation in all of California is Badwater Basin, which is also the lowest point in the entire United States with an elevation of 279 feet (85 m) below sea level. The highest point in California is Mount Whitney, which is the highest mountain of the United States excluding Alaska and has an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m).

Other major cities in California include San Francisco, which has an elevation of feet ( m), San Diego, which has an elevation of feet ( m), the capital of Sacramento, which has an elevation of feet ( m), and San JoseOther major cities in California include San Francisco, which has an elevation of 52 feet (16 m), San Diego, which has an elevation of 62 feet (19 m), the capital of Sacramento, which has an elevation of 30 feet (9 m), and San Jose, which has an elevation of 82 feet (25 m). Compared to these locations, Los Angeles has a higher mean elevation.

Climate and Things to Do in Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles enjoys a Mediterranean climate and is well known for its generally high year-long temperatures. Low temperatures and snow are rare in Los Angeles, but some rain does fall through the winter and early spring. The hottest month of the year is August with average highs of 84°F (29°C), while the coldest month tends to be December with average lows of 48°F (9°C).

Since it’s one of the biggest and most-visited cities in the world, there’s plenty to do in Los Angeles. From surfing and sunbathing on the city’s beaches to taking in the sights like Hollywood Boulevard and the Beverly Hills area, there are attractions and activities to suit every visitor. Popular theme parks, clubs, bars, restaurants, museums, galleries, and more can be found all around LA.