Hiking/Camping: L.A. is the only major city in the United States bisected by a mountain range; four mountain ranges extend into city boundaries creating hundreds of phenomenal hiking, running and mountain biking opportunities. Take a 50 mile trek into the Santa Monica Mountains wilderness from a trailhead 15 minutes from UCLA. There are numerous running groups and track clubs, and several road races throughout the year! Or, hop in your car and head to one of the six (yes, six!) National Parks/Forests within 2 hours drive! Ask residents about their favorites!
Climbing: With world-class climbing locations such as Joshua Tree, Malibu Creek, Point Dume, Bishop, Taquitz, and Red Rocks as close as 40 min away, LA offers all the sport, trad and bouldering a climber could ever hope for! Local climbing is also available at the John Wooden Center on the UCLA campus and at the climbing gyms Rockreation right here in Westwood, and 20 minutes away at Hangar 18 in Hawthorne.
GriffithPark: Home of the L.A. Zoo, Griffith Park Observatory, Travel Town and the Greek Theatre.
Snow activities: Mammoth Mountain, Big Bear, Mountain High, Snow Summit, and Lake Arrowhead are short drives away for guaranteed skiing and snowboarding in the winter months.
Central location: Weekend/day trips to other cities (Las Vegas is a 4.5h drive, San Diego a short 2hr, Santa Barbara 90min, San Francisco 6hr, Palm Springs 90min, Napa, Idyllwild)…or, hop on the Amtrak! Where else in the world can you be an hour away from the snow and 30 minutes away from the beach?!
Beaches and Surf: Surfing, sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, beach volleyball, paddle boarding, kayaking, and sunbathing at Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Paradise Cove…the list goes on! Also, anyone can be a member at the new Annenberg Beach House for free in Santa Monica!
“Quiet places”: Lots of tranquil gardens and parks throughout the city.
Yoga/Pilates: Lululemon offers free yoga on the beach every Wednesday at 7pm, and PowerYoga and YogaCo are famous for their “donation” yoga with appx 10 classes offered daily.
Biking: Even in the city known world-wide for its traffic, there are TONS of bike-friendly streets! Nothing beats riding down the Pacific Coast Highway at sunset…
Catalina Island: A great place to enjoy your weekend off, to scuba dive, camp out, or go whale watching.
Horseback riding: A journey through the Hollywood Hills is a memorable experience. You can also catch a polo game at Will Roger's State Park on summer weekends.
Water sports: The UCLA gym has kayaking and other sports programs that residents can take advantage of at a discount.
Gyms: Present on practically every corner. You choose: LA Fitness, Bally’s, Equinox, Sports Club LA. Or, take advantage of the amenities on UCLA's campus.
Dog lovers: Tons of dog beaches, parks and adoption centers. Some residents are actually “foster parents” to dogs while they wait for loving homes.
Dine LA: Specially priced 3 course meals all over L.A. 2 weeks long, twice a year! Go ahead, try one of those fancy restaurants you read about in magazines!
Diversity of ethnic cuisine: Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Little Ethiopia, The “Persian Gulf” on Westwood Boulevard, Chinatown, Little India in Artesia, Armenian food, real Southern barbeque, etc…
Farmers markets: Fresh produce and more… all over the city, every day of the week – even one at the VA hospital where we work! Grab a bite to eat, listen to live music, and get your weekly shopping done all at one place.
Cooking classes: Impress family and friends after taking a cooking class at one of the many academies throughout the city. Some resident favorites include: The New School of Cooking, Hip Cooks, Sur La Table, and California Sushi Academy.
Snacks: Pinkberry versus Yogurtland for frozen yogurt? Sprinkles versus Dots cupcakes? Or maybe Diddy Riese? Twitter ‘Kogi’ to hunt down your favorite Korean BBQ truck. Or go to www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com to see when it will be stopping in your area!
Vegetarian/Vegan Cuisine: A veggie-lovers paradise. Whether you dine at Veggie Grill, Native Foods Café, or Café Gratitude, you will find everything from wheat grass shots to tofu steak.
Hotel bars/lounges: Glamorous hotspots such as the Viceroy, Standard, and Huntley, just to name a few, featuring the cuisine from top chefs in the nation!
In-N-Out Burger: One of the freshest hamburgers you will ever consume. We invented fast food, then perfected it.
Music: Bring your own picnic basket with wine and sit in the coveted $5 rear seats for the summer concert series at the Hollywood Bowl; sit under the stars and watch a live performance at the world famous Greek Theater; enjoy the orchestra at the Walt Disney Concert Hall; praise at Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues; Vibrato Grill Jazz; Saturdays off the 405 at the Getty, Jazz every Friday at the LACMA. There are also free concerts in Culver City, The Grove, and at the Santa Monica pier during the summers! http://andyhifi.50webs.com/shows.htm
Museums: So many to choose from: Getty Museum~always free with some of the best Roman and Greek art in the U.S., MOCA~free Thursday evenings, LACMA~free 2ndTuesday of the month, Hammer~free summer, Natural History Museum~free 1stTuesday, Annenburg space for photography~always free, Museum of Jurassic Technology, Huntington.
Theatre: See an off-broadway production or even a world premiere, often with famous actors at: The Ahmanson, Mark Taper, Kirk Douglass, UCLA-LIVE, Orpheum, Pantages, etc.
Sports: Do you prefer professional (LA Galaxy with David Beckham, LA Lakers and Clippers, LA Dodgers and Angels, LA Kings and Ducks) or college (UCLA, USC)? Also, many great bars for alumni to meet and root for their favorite college sports teams.
Arts: Culver City Art Walk, Bergamot Station, Downtown Art Walk 2ndThursdays, Brewery, Venice 1stFridays.
Shopping: The Grove, 3rdstreet promenade, Robertson, Melrose, Montana, Rodeo Dr.
Flea Markets: The Melrose Trading Post at Fairfax HS every Sunday from 9am-5pm ($2 admission) and the Rose Bowl Flea Market the second Sunday of each month from 9am-4:30pm ($8 regular admission).
Food and wine: New Zagat approved restaurants are always springing up around the city. Whether you chose to pay yourself or go with a CME course, you could easily get thru residency never eating at the same place twice. Wine enthusiasts: Santa Barbara has amazing vineyards, great for a weekend getaway!
Beautification: Go to the world-renowned Vidal Sassoon Academy to get a first class haircut for $10 or highlighting/color for about $20. Also try the Aveda school!
Gay Scene: Los Angeles is full of gay bars, clubs, and stores. Also, there are plenty of gay life festivals.
Show Tapings: Completely free and totally fun. Watch and potentially win prizes at: Jay Leno, Ellen, the Price is Right, Deal or No Deal, or any of the multitudes of daytime television.
Movies: “Reel Talk with Stephen Farber”-the hottest preview series in town! Experience great films and Q&As with filmmakers and actors every Monday night in Westwood and Brentwood. Also, preview movies before your friends and family have even heard of them. Cinespia is a popular experience for watching outdoor cult classics in the middle of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Stunning designs of theatres make for an incredible movie watching experience at the Mann Chinese Theater or The Fox.
Bars/Clubs: Hang out in Santa Monica, Downtown, Hollywood and Vine, or Abbott Kinney Road to find the ever-changing new "hot spot"! Go where the stars go, or chose to hang out at your own local dive. House of Blues is a must.
Celebrity Sighting: The Sepulveda VA (where outpatient medicine rotation is done) is a frequent site of filming. Many residents have actually had the opportunity to meet the cast of Grey’s Anatomy. This will really impress your friends in other cities!
Single/Dating scene: If you are single, the city abounds with dating opportunities. Whether you date the old-fashioned way, online or choose to go to a speed dating session, there will be someone for you in a city this size.
Family/employment: In 2005, Los Angeles placed second in a list of safest large cities. Additionally, virtually every type of industry is possible to pursue in LA, making it extremely possible for your partner to find a job here quickly.
Amusement Parks: Disneyland, Disney Adventure, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Raging Waters, Roaring Rapids…
Neurobehavior party: Starting as interns, one social event monthly is planned where you can unwind and schmooze with your co-workers. Maybe it’s bowling, a comedy club, or dinner. Whatever it is, its guaranteed fun.
Drag Queen Bingo: Spend $20 and get a packet of cards, great food, and an opportunity at great prizes all while a drag queen calls out your numbers! Located at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood (WeHo) every Wednesday.
Comedy: Some of the best in the world! Try Second City or the Comedy Club to be exposed to new and upcoming stars, or to see some classics present their new materials. Also, at ‘Point Break Live’ $20 gets you a so-bad-its-good re-enacted classic (outrageously funny!). Also, check out The Groundlings, which gets rave reviews from the LA Times.