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Tips For How To Live Your Best LA Life, Courtesy Of Fellow Angelenos

(Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)
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No matter how long you've lived in Los Angeles, there's always more mysteries to solve, traffic to outsmart, delights to discover and wisdom to acquire. That's why we created How to L.A. -- our ongoing series of practical guides for day-to-day living in this sometimes dizzying place.

We've brought you guides to parking, wildlife, biking, and pronouncing some of L.A.'s most-debated words. But we didn't do it alone. This series was a newsroom-wide effort, and it was also informed by smart, savvy readers like you and you and you and also you.

And the nuggets of wisdom keep coming.

Below is a collection of choice tips we've gotten since the series launched. So far they've been a mix of cheeky, cynical and helpful directives for living in this weird, wonderful place. Please keep sending them (we have a form to do that below).

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If you need help thinking up one of your own, consider these prompts:

  • What crucial piece of info would you share with a friend who just moved here?
  • What L.A. know-how would you trot out to impress a visiting family member?
  • What is something you have learned to avoid?
  • What is something you have learned to embrace?

Tell us all your secrets below, and you could see your L.A. tips on this page soon. We shall update periodically.
And now, your tips. Take, leave or argue about 'em.


First up, and no surprise here, many readers sounded off with their advice and how to minimize the existential dread of traffic, plus offer tips for getting around the region and driving better (or not at all).

Neal Ti:

When driving in LA, stay off your cell phone. When you drive in LA be a driver, not a person that is doing everything but driving and literally showing others that the world revolves around you. This is how you prevent others from being aggressive towards you. Plus when everyone finally does this, traffic may not be as bad as it is nowadays. 5th Generation LA resident.

Elizabeth Lockhart:
Never, never, never, ever travel more than three blocks without checking your GPS.

Amanda Pleau:
If you have to drive across town, take a route with the fewest turns. It will take a lot longer, but it will be much less stressful.

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Desiree Ramirez:

Never take the freeway... allow yourself some time to cruise the streets, you never know what new restaurants or shops you may be missing, and it is better scenery than traffic.

Kaz Gamble:
Get a bicycle with a basket instead of a car.

Spencer Windes:
Give up your car. Seriously, give up your car. If you live anywhere south of the Hollywood Hills, sell your car and start using rideshare services and mass transit. I never thought I could live in LA without one, but the smartphone has revolutionized carless existence. You'll save money and reduce stress. Give it up!

Toni Devereaux:
If you're 62 or older, get an LA Metro senior pass. Apply online or in person at Union Station. Your photo ID Metro card will get you rides for 35 cents peak, or 75 cents during rush hour."

Zo Lo:
The 2 freeway is the best freeway in LA.

Edward Cervantes:
Avoid Wilshire; take Olympic. If on the bus, avoid the 20; take the 28.

But if you take no other lessons, maybe take this one:

Demi Cambridge:

Leave earlier than you think you need to leave.


Stephen Russell:

Fly in and out from Burbank Airport (save for international flights alas).

Patricia Kelly Yeo:
Take a free shuttle to a nearby parking lot to pick up an Uber without the hassle/wait time of the various ridesharing areas.

Parinna Joon (via Facebook):
If you must fly into LAX pick a flight that arrives LA after 7 pm local time to let the traffic ease a bit; you will be doing a big favor to the poor soul that is going to pick you up from the airport. And do not pick a flight arriving on a Friday evening ... for the same reason to avoid LA's epic Friday night traffic.