The largely suburban and industrial Gateway Cities of Los Angeles County in Southern California make up the southeastern portion of the county, lying between the City of Los Angeles proper and the border of the county with Orange County.
- 1 Artesia - Noted for a large ethnic Indian population, one of the largest in the country, with many Indian grocers, shops, and restaurants.
- 2 Bellflower
- 3 Cerritos - Home to an architecturally interesting library.
- 4 Commerce - A local commercial center home to a casino and a large outlet mall.
- 5 Compton - A predominately Hispanic and African-American inner city suburb, equal parts famed as the heart of the West Coast rap scene and notorious for gangs and violent crime.
- 6 Downey - Home to the world's oldest McDonalds and a couple of small museums.
- 7 Huntington Park
- 8 La Mirada
- 9 Lakewood
- 10 Long Beach - The second-largest city in the Los Angeles area, home to the Gateway Cities' only major tourist attractions: the Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums, and a large harbor with a cruise ship terminal and ferries to Catalina Island.
- 11 Lynwood
- 12 Norwalk
- 13 Pico Rivera
- 14 Santa Fe Springs
- South Gate
- 15 Whittier - A pleasant suburb on the hills above the basin to the north, with a number of historic buildings and museums.
Several freeways cut through the area, the most prominent being I-5, which cuts in a northwest-southeast direction through the northern portion of the region between Orange County and Downtown L.A. To the south, I-105, CA-91, and I-405 all pass east-west through the Gateway Cities, with the 405 cutting across Long Beach. Major north-south freeways are I-710, which travels north from Downtown Long Beach up through several of the Gateway Cities to East L.A., and I-605, which links the region to the San Gabriel Valley.
The Gateway Cities are directly served by a single major airport, the Long Beach Airport, which is primarily served by JetBlue with limited service via American and Delta Air Lines. LAX to the west is served by more airlines and is a major international hub.
Rail service in the area is limited in scope, but does exist. The Metro Rail Blue Line serves Compton and Long Beach from Downtown L.A., with stops in Downtown Long Beach close to the city's major attractions. The Metro Rail Green Line runs east-west along I-105, stopping in Lynwood, Downey, and Norwalk, with a transfer to the Blue Line in South Central L.A. The region-wide Metrolink service has stops in Commerce and Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs, although that service is primarily geared towards local commuters.
Driving is the primary means of getting around the region, giving the sprawling nature of the Gateway Cities and the long distances between destinations. Several freeways cut through the region and there is a strong grid pattern of major surface streets. Bus service in the area is provided by several overlapping transit agencies, the primary ones being the county-wide Metro agency, Long Beach Transit in and around Long Beach, and Montebello Bus Lines[dead link] in Montebello, Whittier, and surrounding communities.
Many of these cities are near South Central Los Angeles, and can be very dangerous, especially Compton. This area is prone to gang violence, and some of these cities are dangerous to walk alone in even during the daytime.
- Orange County lies to the south and east, home to famous surfing beaches and the popular amusement parks of Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm.
- The South Bay region is to the west and contains the Los Angeles Harbor, beaches, and the seaside cliffs of Palos Verdes.
- Downtown Los Angeles is northwest off of I-5 and holds many attractions for visitors, including where the city was founded, historic buildings, and contemporary architecture.