Los Angeles is a Cultural and Recreational Mecca

Retiring in LA

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Los Angeles is a cultural hub with destinations and activities to last many lifetimes. Whether you’re interested in the outdoors, music, food, sports, museums, theater, or film, Los Angeles has plenty to offer.

Bruce and Barbara Ashton, a married couple who have lived in Los Angeles since 1968, find plenty to enjoy on their days off in Los Angeles. Bruce works as a lawyer, and Barbara is an artist who teaches watercolor painting at a small private art school, Brentwood Art Center. When Barbara isn’t traveling abroad to teach workshops in Italy and France, she enjoys “dining, movies, some plays, visiting friends, and going to art museums.”

Bruce is a fan of the wetlands near their new L.A. apartment in Playa Vista:

“It’s right near a nature preserve, so I can hike very easily. And sinceround bruce it’s near the ocean, the air is much cooler. The nearby colleges also put on a lot of cultural events, and they are always stimulating.”

Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy Los Angeles’ year-round Mediterranean climate. Located on the Pacific coast, Los Angeles boasts miles of picturesque beaches for the sun worshipper in everyone. And if you’ve gotten your fill of sand and surf, Los Angeles is also home to more than 150 hiking trails of varying length, difficulty, and scenery. These mountain bike and dog-friendly trails are great in the cool winter air; in the summer, seasonal waterfalls reappear, and the green mountains surrounding Los Angeles fill with wildflowers.

Retiree and longtime L.A. resident Sally Sussman says her family has always enjoyed the local art scene:

“My husband and I had subscription tickets for years to the roundsally2
Music Center. We are big art and museum people. I’m now living a ‘new normal,’ due to my husband’s recent health issues, but we still make it to the theater, and we certainly still frequent the Getty Museum since it’s in our neighborhood and very close by.”

There are a plethora of options for live entertainment. Los Angeles has more than 50 music venues and is a popular stop for internationally known artists as well as local musicians. The city is also home to a world-class opera and symphony orchestra. Los Angeles’ theater scene bursts with actors, writers, and directors whose talent can be enjoyed at any of nine prominent area theaters. And if your preferred form of live entertainment is sports, you will not be disappointed. Los Angeles is home to top-level baseball, hockey, basketball, and soccer franchises, with football returning in 2016.

Movie fans enjoy being at the heart of the American film industry. Hollywood is a vital part of the downtown scene, and there are entire museums dedicated to movie history, as well as multiple art, history, science, and cultural museums around the city. The newly renovated Natural History Museum draws visitors from around the world, and the Griffith Observatory allows guests to view our galaxy through telescopes and enjoy live planetarium shows.

Judy Fenton, who grew up in Los Angeles but now lives an hour-and-a-half away in Orange County, says, “I’ve driven in to see museums, Disney Hall, and for family events. But I’m at an age when I don’t want to drive so much anymore, which is another reason I’m moving back into the city to retire.”

Los Angeles also has one of the nation’s outstanding dining scenes. From five-star restaurants to food trucks, Los Angeles has options to satisfy everyone. The greater L.A. area contains more than 7,000 full-service restaurants spanning all cultures, including a few operated by world-famous chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and Michael Voltaggio. Since the mid-1990s, Los Angeles has aggressively revitalized the downtown and is known for its rich diversity. The city has become a cultural destination and continues to grow with even more to do and explore.

Barbara Sosnowitz is a retiree who recently moved to Los Angeles from Boca Raton to be closer to family, and loves that she can be outside every day:

“I’ve lived in Los Angeles for two weeks now, and I’m already roundbarbaraSenjoying myself immensely—I walk every day. I can walk around and shop at Runway Mall, which is great. Just today I got ice cream there and then sat watching people go by. It’s a relief to be somewhere I can enjoy these things on my own and also be close enough to my family that I can make it across town to all of my grandchildren’s ballet recitals and school stuff.”

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