What city is GTA 5 based on | 25 GTA 5 Locations That Are Based On Real-Life

What city is gta 5 based on? Like previous Grand Theft Auto games, Grand Theft Auto 5 contains locations that are based on actual real-world places.

One of the best-selling games of all time is filled with intricacies that surpass our expectations. Like previous Grand Theft Auto games, Grand Theft Auto 5 contains locations that are based on real-world places.

The extent to which real-world locations were utilized in Grand Theft Auto 5 however, is more than we could hope for.

Their appearances are similar to the real thing to a great extent. In some cases, locations in Grand Theft Auto 5 are a near-replica. Including an observatory, a familiar sign, and a famous mountain; these are fifteen Grand Theft Auto 5 locations that are based on real-life.

Updated on April 25, 2023, by Ben Painter: Los Santos is home to many attractions, visit the Del Perro Pier to ride on a rollercoaster or to watch a movie at the Oriental Theater.

There is plenty to do, but all of these sights in Grand Theft Auto 5 are based on real locations in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas of California.

Rockstar Games has put so much detail into the world, which is probably why Grand Theft Auto 6 has taken over a decade to be released. This update adds five new areas in Los Santos that are based on real areas, explore them in Los Santos playing as Trevor, Franklin, or Michael in story mode or as the created character on GTA Online.

Bishop’s WTF?! (Based On Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!)

Bishop’s WTF?! can be found on Vinewood Boulevard and serves as a museum for the weird and wonderful. It’s seemingly named after the Aliens character of the same name; a nice nod to its real-world equivalent, which share’s a name with the movie’s main protagonist, Ripley.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! first launched as a newspaper panel in 1918, but has since gone on to be adapted into a wide variety of formats, including radio and television shows, books, and, of course, museums.

One of such museum sits proudly on Hollywood Boulevard, and it is this location on which the Bishop’s museum in GTA 5 is based.

The Vinewood Bowl (Based On The Hollywood Bowl)

Located in the luxurious Vinewood Hills, the Vinewood Bowl is an outdoor amphitheater and the home of the fictional reality television show Fame or Shame. There’s a large parking lot nearby and also a quaint little cafe that helps to service all of the thirsty concert-goers.

Its real-world counterpart, the Hollywood Bowl, shares many similarities with the fictitious location, although perhaps has a slightly larger stage. The iconic venue, which was first opened in 1922, has a capacity of 17,500 people; thus serving as the perfect outdoor venue for Tinseltown’s rich and powerful.

what city is gta 5 based on

The Oriental Theater (Based On Grauman’s Chinese Theater)

Grauman’s Chinese Theater, or the TCL Chinese Theater, as it is now known, is one of the most iconic locations in Los Angeles. It’s played host to the premieres of some of the biggest movies of all time and is also the home of the hand and footprints of some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

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The Vinewood Von Crastenburg Hotel (Based On The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel)

Although the Von Crastenburg Hotel & Resorts chain seems to be based on the Hilton line of hotels, the company’s Vinewood location is almost certainly inspired by the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

It’s located on Clinton and Meteor and includes amenities including a swimming pool, a nightclub, and a restaurant.

The Hollywood Roosevelt on which it is based is the oldest continually operating hotel in L.A. and features a similar Spanish-style exterior as the one that can be seen in the game.

It first opened its doors almost a century ago and hosted the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1926.

Tequi-la-la (Based On Whisky A Go Go)

Having once been a mob-operated restaurant, Tequi-la-la is now one of Vinewood’s trendiest nightclubs. It can be found on Eclipse Boulevard and has been featured in numerous GTA 5 and GTA Online missions and activities.

There’s also a game room down in the basement where players can play darts or the QUB3D arcade game.

Its real-world equivalent is named Whisky a Go Go, which has stood proudly on Sunset Boulevard for more than half a century. Countless big-name bands and musicians have performed there over the years, including Led Zeppelin, System of a Down, and AC/DC.

The nightclub is so popular that it has its own official TV channel on Roku Connected TV and even had a newly discovered human gene named after it back in the late sixties.

Galileo Observatory (Based On The Griffith Observatory)

Players might have visited this location multiple times in Grand Theft Auto 5 and never knew it was an observatory. The observatory is not functional to players, although it is possible to peer through coin-operated telescopes that surround the structure. It’s an excellent place to view the city of Los Santos.

Vinewood Sign (Based On The Hollywood sign)

This one may not come as a surprise for players who have driven around the Vinewood Hills or the locations that look upon it.

The Vinewood sign, as many may have guessed, is based on the Hollywood sign in Hollywood, Los Angeles. It serves as a banner for the district of Vinewood, which is an integral part of the fictional city of Los Santos.

In real-life, Hollywood is a tourist hot spot and one of the most famous locations in the United States. The only thing missing from Grand Theft Auto 5 is the ability to climb the sign!

Del Perro Pier (Based On The Santa Monica Pier)

For those who have toured around the United States, this location’s existence in Grand Theft Auto 5 may not come as a surprise. Del Perro Pier is a fictional place in the world of Grand Theft Auto 5, but the location was inspired by the Santa Monica Pier.

The Santa Monica Pier is another Californian location contained in the game. The majority of the places in Grand Theft Auto 5 that are based on real-world locations are from the state of California. The resemblance between the Santa Monica Pier and the Del Perro Pier is peculiar.

Vespucci Beach (Based On Venice Beach)

Even real-world geologic locations are not exempt from Grand Theft Auto 5. Vespucci Beach, found on the west coast of the city of Los Santos is a spot that hipsters and the general public frequent.

It overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and it’s loosely based on Venice Beach. Chances are, most players will have visited Vespucci Beach a few times to see the Super Yachts in the water or have ridden a sea-doo.

Venice Beach is yet another example of a real-world location that is contained in Grand Theft Auto 5.

Big Creek Bridge (Based On The Bixby Bridge In Big Sur, California)

For those who have ever driven down Grand Theft Auto 5’s western highway, or have been boating in the ocean off to the west, there’s a strong chance they will have seen the Big Creek Bridge. The water that goes under the Big Creek Bridge runs into the mountains.

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Many players may not have known that Grand Theft Auto 5’s Big Creek Bridge is based on the Bixby Bridge found in Big Sur, California. The resemblance between the two bridges is uncanny. It’s one of the many secrets of Los Santos that only a handful of people know.

Playboy Mansion Easter Egg (Based On The Playboy Mansion)

This iconic location is lively in the nighttime, which is why it’s best to visit the Playboy Mansion once the sun goes down. Of course, the site is based on the Playboy Mansion. It even has a grotto, like the real mansion. Attention to fine detail was ensured to create this enchanting Easter egg.

Although Hugh Hefner has now passed away, the Playboy Mansion still remains an iconic Los Angeles landmark. And thanks to games like Grand Theft Auto 5, among other things, the legacy of Hugh Hefner lives on.

Marlowe Vineyard (Likely Based On The Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyard)

The Marlowe Vineyards are found in the northern part of Los Santos. The north area contains some of the most beautiful scenery in the game. Marlowe Vineyards are likely based on the Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyard, given the high degree of similarity between the two.

A house sits at the top of the hill, just like at the Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyard. This is one place in Grand Theft Auto5 that players simply can’t miss!

Mount Chiliad (Likely Based On Mount San Jacinto)

Mount Chiliad is Grand Theft Auto 5’s tallest mountain and a hotspot for conspiracies. Including sightings of Bigfoot and the presence of a UFO, many conspiracies are surrounding the mountain.

It is likely that the mountain is based on Mount San Jacinto because of its appearance and similarities.

Mount Josiah and Mount Gordo are the two other named mountains in Grand Theft Auto 5. It is also possible that Mount Chiliad is based on Mount San Antonio or Mount San Gorgonio.

Los Santos Storm Drain (Based On The Los Angeles River)

This iconic Grand Theft Auto 5 location is called the Los Santos Storm Drain, and it’s based on the Los Angeles River. Races and missions take place in this area, so experienced players will have encountered it a few times by now.

The worn look of the lane fits the game perfectly, although the river’s proportions have been toned down for the game. Why developer Rockstar Games decided to make the river smaller than it is in real life is unknown. Perhaps they shrunk the river, so players could drive through it.

Rancho Towers (Based On The Watts Towers in Watts, Los Angeles)

One of the lesser-known Grand Theft Auto 5 locations that are based on a real-world place is the Rancho Towers. They are found in the southern area of Los Santos and are based on the Watt Towers in Los Angeles. The Rancho and Watt towers do not serve a purpose other than decoration.

The Watt Towers were designed by architect Sabato Rodia. According to discoverlosangeles.com, “In 1921, with help from his brother, Rodia bought an oddly shaped, triangular lot at 1765 E. 107th Street.”

Legion Square (Based On Pershing Square)

Legion Square is a decorative part of Los Santos, being the home to various colorful sculptures right in the middle of downtown. The small park is near the center of Los Santos, slightly to the left and right around Vespucci Boulevard and San Andreas Avenue. Players will be going here for several side missions, both in the single-player campaign and Online.

Legion Square is almost an exact replica of Pershing Square in Los Angeles, fitted with its own unique and colorful buildings right in the middle of LA. Funny enough, a similar area is referred to as Pershing Square in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Badger Building (Based On Capitol Records)

The Badger Building is a relatively small but important building to anyone familiar with its real-life counterpart. It can be found around the Hawick shopping district in Vinewood.

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The building itself doesn’t serve much purpose in Grand Theft Auto 5, though serves as one of SecuroServ’s headquarters in Grand Theft Auto Online.

The Badger Building’s design mimics the real-life Capitol Record building, most known for producing American albums for the Beatles. Other known artists that have worked with Capitol Records include Frank Sinatra, the Bee Gees, and the Beach Boys.

Liquor Ace (Based On Carniceria Toro Loco)

Rockstar’s attention to detail is unmatched, as even the smallest locations are based on real-world places. Liquor Ace is primarily used by Trevor Philips throughout the main campaign of Grand Theft Auto 5.

Most notably, it’s used as the primary shootout in the mission “Trevor Philips Industries”, and later as the planning arena for the Paleto Score.

Believe it or not, Liquor Ace is, too, based on an actual location. Fans have discovered a similar abandoned liquor store, called Carniceria Toro Loco, in Mecca, California’s Salton Sea region.

Maze Bank Arena (Based On The Forum)

In the southern part of Los Santos, players can find a stadium sponsored by the fictional Maze Bank. The location is most notably used in the story mission “Fame or Shame”, where the fictional reality show holds its auditions.

It’s also frequently used in Grand Theft Auto Online, particularly for the Arena War events.

The Maze Bank Arena is based on the Forum in Inglewood, California, which used to house the Los Angeles Lakers. Similar to how the Maze Bank Arena is named after the Maze Bank, The Forum also had naming rights held by Great Western Bank.

Kortz Center (Based On Getty Center)

A little way out of Los Santos lies the Kortz Center, a museum overlooking much of the city. The center serves as a setting for the crucial and explosive story mission “The Wrap Up” and several missions and activities for Grand Theft Auto Online.

The Kortz Center is based on the Getty Center, a campus of the Getty Museum located in Brentwood, Los Angeles. The museum contains several sculptures and paintings, including well-known artists such as Van Gogh.

what city is gta 5 based on

El Gordo Lighthouse (Based On Point Fermin Lighthouse)

Located in Cape Catfish in Blaine County, gamers may remember this location from the GTA 5 Online Series A heist, Trevor meets a buyer at the house on the lighthouse, but it goes wrong of course.

The house itself on the lighthouse is heavily inspired by Point Fermin Light is a lighthouse on Point Fermin in San Pedro, California. Although now not functioning the building remains a cultural landmark in the area and is regularly visited by tourists.

Morningwood (Based On Westwood)

Westwood is a residential and commercial area located in Los Angeles and in Los Santos, Rockstar couldn’t help but through a little innuendo in there and name this area… Morningwood.

There are several buildings in this area to access in the app including the Tivoli Cinema which is a direct replica of the Fox Bruin Theater, and it can also be purchased to earn a nice income in Los Santos.

Morningwood is home to many stores and businesses Gusset (Victoria’s Secret), Bean Machine (BJ’s Pizza Grill), and G&B (American Apparel). Residents of LA will recognize these, but many will have to visit their virtual counterparts in Morningwood.

Hookies (Based On Neptune’s Net)

Neptune’s Net is a famous seafood restaurant and biker bar found in Malibu, California that has been featured in many movies and TV shows such as Iron Man 3, Gossip Girl, and Point Break.

Gamers can find Hookies in on the Great Ocean Highway in North Chumash, Blaine County, which is heavily based on Neptune’s Net.

The building is famous for being one of the locations for GTA Online players to base their methamphetamine business, a much more nefarious setting than the location in real life.

ULSA (Based On UCLA)

The University of San Andreas, Los Santos commonly shortened to ULSA is located between Richman Street and Picture Perfect Drive in Richman. It is based on the popular university UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles).

As part of the Organization’s Work while searching for an executive, ULSA is one of the possible hideout areas where the VIP or CEO must survive for 10 minutes. The EMP during the set-up for the Diamond Casino heist may also spawn in several locations across the campus.

Portola Drive (Based On Rodeo Drive)

Rodeo Drive is one of the most expensive shopping areas in the world, the rich and famous come to this two-mile-long stretch in Beverly Hills to indulge in the finer things in life.

In Los Santos, it is known as Portola Drive, and gamers can shop at Posenbys or visit Michael da Santa as his home is located on this road. A very iconic location for players of story mode.

The shopping area is a location of three missions: “Casing the Jewel Store”, “The Jewel Store”, and “Job Meltdown”. It comes as no surprise that one of the richest locations in the world is the target of theft on Grand Theft Auto.

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