USC is at the center of one of the most exciting urban environments of the 21st century. Los Angeles is ethnically diverse, culturally vibrant, and has a fantastic and varied climate that permits unparalleled year-round recreational activities.
Local opportunities include skiing in the San Gabriel mountains, hiking and camping in the California desert or the Santa Monica Mountains, and swimming or surfing in the Pacific Ocean. Weekend trips from Los Angeles include some of the most awe-inspiring places on earth, including the Sierra Nevada mountains (with Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks), Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks, the Mojave Desert, and the Baja coast. A different kind of adventure entails the unique experience that is Las Vegas.
All aspects of high and popular culture are represented in Los Angeles; L.A. is an incredible center of outstanding and innovative film, music, theatre and dance. L.A. is also one of the most affordable and diverse cities in which to eat. From the fresh produce in numerous farmers' markets to sidewalk stands that are L.A. institutions, you will find not just the best hamburgers and hot dogs, but also amazing sushi, burritos, dim sum, pho, kalbi and pupusas. Despite its reputation as a very large city, Los Angeles consists of a collection of many smaller neighborhoods. Find the right one for you and you will find a wonderful and friendly place in which to live.
LACMA, MOCA, The Getty, Norton Simon, Neon, Museum of Jurassic Technology, Arts & Crafts, Hammer Museum, Huntington Library, La Brea Tar Pits (Page Museum), Japanese-American Cultural Center, Museum of Tolerance, California Science Center, Museum of National History, California of African American Museum
Griffith Park, Catalina Island, Angeles National Forest, Santa Monica Mountains Topanga Canyon State Park, Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Joshua Tree National Park (2 hours), Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (5 hours), Death Valley National Park (5 hours), Yosemite (5-6 hours), the Grand Canyon (7-8 hours)