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The narrowest definition of Los Angeles is the CITY of Los Angeles (excluding all neighboring areas). The city is 462 square miles of land mass and has 3.8 million people living in dozens of neighborhoods. The northernmost portion of the CITY of Los Angeles is contained in the massive San Fernando Valley. This is, largely, a suburban area of homes and local shopping but there are hotels here, as well, that might be less expensive than in more central areas. Staying in the San Fernando Valley, of course, will mean longer drives (or rides) to most attractions.
Some of the more centrally-located neighborhoods (south of the San Fernando Valley) which have varying tourist appeal are listed below in alphabetical order. The most popular areas are in Bold:
But, for tourists, “Los Angeles” can mean an area that includes neighborhoods outside of the city proper. These adjacent areas (the most popular ones are in bold) fall into 2 categories:
a. Cities or unincorporated areas that are literally surrounded by the city of Los Angeles on all sides (they fill a ‘hole’ in the city’s territory):
b. Cities that are adjacent to the city of Los Angeles (adjacent to the city or not far from it):
Tripadvisor has a ‘hotel finder’ section that will assist you in locating a hotel in a particular neighborhood. Instructions on using the ‘hotel finder’ can be found here:
Then, there's a bigger governmental unit-- Los Angeles COUNTY, the most populous county in the United States, with about 11 million people. The COUNTY of Los Angeles includes the CITY of Los Angeles, the adjoining cities listed above, and about 74 more cities (many of them quite small and rarely of interest to most visitors) and all unincorporated areas of the county. Eighty eight incorporated cities are in Los Angeles County in all.
Finally, there's the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area -- a gigantic place, almost 34,000 square miles of area, where people live, work, and shop, covering 5 counties and almost 18 million people.
Orange County is one of these 5 counties and the one of most interest to tourists. The professional baseball team known as the Los Angeles Angels plays in the city of Anaheim, in Orange County. Note: L.A’s Dodgers (baseball team) play in downtown Los Angeles.