Sunset in Venice
, a district in Los Angeles
Within southern California are two major cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as three of the country's largest metropolitan areas. With a population of 4,042,000, Los Angeles is the most populous city in California and the second most populous in the United States. South of Los Angeles and with a population of 1,307,402 is San Diego, the second most populous city in the state and the eighth most populous in the nation.
The counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside are the five most populous in the state, and are in the top 15 most populous counties in the United States.
The motion picture, television, and music industry are centered in the Los Angeles area in southern California. Hollywood, a district of Los Angeles, gives its name to the American motion picture industry, which is synonymous with the neighborhood name. Headquartered in southern California are The Walt Disney Company (which owns ABC), Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, MGM, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros. Universal, Warner Bros., and Sony also run major record companies.
Southern California is also home to a large homegrown surf and skateboard culture. Companies such as Vans, Volcom, Quiksilver, No Fear, RVCA, and Body Glove are all headquartered here. Skateboarder Tony Hawk; surfers Rob Machado, Tim Curran, Bobby Martinez, Pat O'Connell, Dane Reynolds, and Chris Ward live in southern California. Some of the most famous surf locations are in southern California as well, including Trestles, Rincon, The Wedge, Huntington Beach, and Malibu. Some of the world's largest action sports events, including the X Games, Boost Mobile Pro, and the U.S. Open of Surfing, are held in southern California. The region is also important to the world of yachting with premier events including the annual Transpacific Yacht Race, or Transpac, from Los Angeles to Hawaii. The San Diego Yacht Club held the America's Cup, the most prestigious prize in yachting, from 1988 to 1995 and hosted three America's Cup races during that time. The first modern era triathlon was held in Mission Bay, San Diego, California in 1974. Since then, southern California, and San Diego in particular have become a mecca for triathlon and multi-sport racing, products and culture.
Southern California is home to many sports franchises and sports networks such as Fox Sports Net.
Many locals and tourists frequent the southern California coast for its beaches. The inland desert city of Palm Springs is also popular.