There’s no doubt that Los Angeles is one of the most iconic cities in the world. From its sunny weather and palm trees to its red carpets and celebrities, LA is a city that has it all. Whether you just rented an apartment in San Diego or you’ve lived in the city for years, check out these 10 fun facts about Los Angeles that you may not know.
1. The iconic Hollywood sign originally read “Hollywoodland”
In 1923, the original sign made its debut as a form of promotion for a new housing development in The Hills. The sign was illuminated and only intended to stay up for a year and a half, but it quickly became an iconic landmark and was left for decades to come. The sign began deteriorating and falling apart in the 1940s and was eventually restored in 1978 with more durable materials and a proper structure in place.
2. LA residents spend over 100 hours in traffic on average each year
What’s more iconic than the City of Angels? The LA traffic. While it’s no surprise to anyone that Los Angeles has bad traffic, you may find it shocking that drivers in LA will spend over 4 days in traffic a year.
3. Los Angeles is home to the only solar-powered Ferris wheel
Located at the Santa Monica Pier, the Pacific Wheel boasts panoramic views of the SoCal coastline and features dazzling lights that light up the pier each night.
4. Those iconic LA palm trees were actually imported
Like many of the people living in Los Angeles, most of the palm trees are also transplants to the area. There are a variety of palm tree species throughout LA, but the most prominent are the Mexican fan palms that were imported to the area in the 1930s from Mexico.
5. The original name for Los Angeles was “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula”
This translates to “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula,” and was given to the area by the Spanish governor.
6. Hollywood wasn’t always the entertainment capital
Today, Hollywood is known for being the film capital of the U.S., but Atlantic City, NJ held this title before LA did. Filmmakers moved as far west as they could to get away from New Jersey resident Thomas Edison and his film patents.
7. Los Angeles was one of the largest oil producers
Oil was discovered in LA in the 1890s and by 1923 it produced nearly 1/4th of the oil in the world. Today, Los Angeles is home to the third-largest oil field in the U.S.
8. LA has hosted the Summer Olympics twice
The City of Angeles hosted the global event in 1932 and 1984 – it’s one of the few cities in the U.S. to host the Olympics twice. Los Angeles is planned to host the Summer Olympics again for a third time in 2028.
9. UCLA is the birthplace of the internet
In 1969, the first message was sent by Professor Leonard Kleinrock from the University of California, Los Angeles campus to Stanford University.
10. Los Angeles is home to many private, members-only clubs – even for magicians
The Magic Castle is an exclusive clubhouse for members and their guests only. It hosts several shows, magic classes, and more.