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The Streets of Los Santos

 

Building a city in San Andreas.
A city is neither defined by its map, nor is it embodied simply by its people. It is a complex balance between the two. In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the challenge to the designers was the greatest faced since the series went from 2D to 3D. Not to underplay it but Liberty City was a relatively small town; Vice City was a full city set in its own era; San Andreas is an entire state—living and breathing, filled with vibrant people and completely realized structures and infrastructure. And like Vice City, the designers of San Andreas spent an enormous amount of time on translating the look and feel of actual places—Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and the countryside of both California and Nevada—into the fictitious world of San Andreas.

The Grove
The center of CJ’s universe is the cul-de-sac where he grew up, where his mom’s house is and where all his friends live. At the beginning of the game this is where CJ meets up with his old friends when he returns from Liberty City, and is one of the focal points throughout the storyline. He lived here with his younger brother and mother, both of whom are now dead and after moving back into his childhood home it’s up to CJ to try and put together the pieces of what happened. It is the home turf for the Orange Grove Families, and CJ will spend a lot of time in his first days back taking control of the gang again running things out of this house. The neighborhood has seen a lot over the years and has obviously suffered some wear and tear in the process the result is a tight community that is not very welcoming to outsiders and is protective of their own.

The Beach
Los Santos has several beautiful beaches. Need to cool down? Head out to the shore and go for a dip in the ocean; swimming is great exercise and the beach is always a good place for a morning run to build up your stamina - even go to the gym! The sand will slow you down, whether on foot, bicycle, or while driving a car. Despite its problems, Los Santos is still a popular tourist destination and the beaches are often crowded with sunbathers during the day. Head over to the Los Santos pier to catch a stunning sunset and wander around the pier’s amusement park before heading back to the beach where you might see the occasional beach party happening late into the night. Had enough of the sand? Go for a stroll along Santa Maria Pier or walk along the boardwalk and check out the cheap souvenir shops and fast food street vendors.

Vinewood
Known for its rock n’ roll glamour and steeped in history the Vinewood strip in Los Santos is definitely not to be missed. A popular area for just cruising around, be sure to check out the streetside attractions that include some of the most outlandish buildings and characters in Los Santos - Cathay Theatre, Vinewood walk of fame, and the historical Vinewood sign, which sits high in the Vinewood hills overlooking the hazy streets below. If trying to escape the tawdry, touristy bit of this area head deep within the Vinewood hills. Architecture buffs will drool over the residences found up here. Vinewood is a strange amalgamation where you’ll see everything from millionaire mansions to vacant lots and old motels. It’s the one place where eclecticism is welcomed.

Rodeo
The perfect place to spend all your hard earned cash is Rodeo, the most exclusive and expensive shopping district in Los Santos. This is by far the most affluent neighborhood in the city, and the most ostentatious. Similar to the extravagant suburbanism of Beverly Hills, the buildings are classic architectural styles, the streets seductively styled and here is where to find Los Santos’ rich and beautiful people wandering about.

Downtown Los Santos
Compared to other areas of Los Santos, downtown may seem like a ghost town. But this area is anything but dead- there are plenty of reasons to come to this part of Los Santos. This is the financial district of the city where you’ll find businesses and office workers. Naturally the conference center is located here. From a distance the downtown area is a sight well worth looking out for - the hi-rise buildings rise tall from the haze of the city. Check out Doc G Records, inspired by the classic Capitol Records building!

Be sure to look out for them when riding the Brown Streak railroad, which runs through these parts. Simply hop on a train and get off wherever you please- the San Andreas rail network moves through all areas of Los Santos. Be careful you don’t get in the way of one of these speeding bullets- they’re fast and won’t stop for anyone! It’s extremely dangerous crossing the tracks- we recommend taking one of the overpasses above the tracks.

The Freeways
Freeways, overpasses and intersections clearly shape the structure and look of Los Angeles. San Andreas is the ultimate driving state, and the multi-lane freeway snakes through it entirely, connecting Los Santos to San Fierro and Las Venturas, including all the points in between. The freeways are fast and convenient, sometimes taking local streets can add time to your trip, and some of the neighborhoods are just not safe to drive through. Thankfully, traffic never gets as bad in Los Santos as in the real LA!

Street Signs
Need to get to Ocean Docks from Mullholland Intersection in a hurry? Trying to find your way to Downtown’s Ammu-Nation to pick up some supplies for the night ahead? Luckily the street signs are clearly marked and conveniently placed around the city of Los Santos. Be sure to use them! In a city with as many neighborhoods as Los Santos you’re sure to need these to navigate around.

 

 

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