75 things to do in the summer

From a day at the beach to a night at a street festival, plan ahead with these things to do in the summer in Los Angeles



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This is Santa Monica Beach. It looks like this in August, December, March—oh, and all those other months too.

This is Santa Monica Beach. It looks like this in August, December, March—oh, and all those other months too. Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Looking for things to do in the summer? Thankfully, in Los Angeles we have no shortage of outdoor activities and festivals to suggest. We've got you covered with a list—75 to be exact—of things to do this season, from rediscovering Hollywood to heading down PCH for a day at the beach or even splashing around at a summertime pool party. Read on to dispel your couch potato habits and make the most of an LA summer.

RECOMMENDED: See more summer things to do in LA


Indulge in the best ice cream in LA

Endless summers in Los Angeles mean non-stop cravings for the best ice cream. When temperatures climb and the Santa Ana winds roll in, treat yourself to the city's tastiest frozen treats. As Angelenos, we appreciate a quality scoop of ice cream as much as a quality workout—after a hike or even after a sweaty yoga practice. After all, what's the point of a great workout sesh if you don't indulge?


Discover the best hikes in LA with waterfalls

Looking for hiking trails in LA? Head outdoors after a rainy day and experience these five hikes with waterfalls. Here are five hiking trails in LA that’ll keep you cool by journey’s end with some of the area’s most impressive waterfalls.


Sit back, relax and watch a drive-in movie

  • Price band: 1/4

Electric Dusk Drive-In hosts monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) movies in the heart of Downtown, as well as private screenings and special events. You can park and enjoy the movie from your car, or grab an astroturf ticket to sit on the "grass". As if this didn't sound cool enough already, the drive-in is also pet-friendly, so bring your pups!


Spend an afternoon in the park

Among the lengthy list of picturesque attractions in this city—who can resist the temptation of a hike through Runyon or a trip to the beach?—there is a wealth of beautiful parks in Los Angeles. Whether you're an art aficionado or a devoted dog owner, there's a slice of nature that fits your lifestyle. Roll out a blanket or take a stroll through our favorite (and free) parks in Los Angeles.


Party it up poolside

Los Angeles provides a pretty much endless summer, but when the actual season rolls around, you'll find the best of LA's nightlife at the pool. The season officially kicks off with a splash of pool parties thrown at shindig-friendly hotels around town. If you’re looking to lounge (or dance) by the pool, music in ear and cocktail in hand, be prepared to arrive early or grab a hotel room the night before, as most parties cap out at 500 people.


Catch a must-see concert

Check out our critics' picks for must-see summer concerts in Los Angeles, from big name headliners at stadiums to local favorites at artsy institutions.


Enjoy open-air dining at Grand Central Market

  • Price band: 2/4

Buried in the heart of Downtown LA is this European-style food hall, which has been operating on the ground floor of the iconic Homer Laughlin Building since 1917. Some food vendors merit more praise than others, though Mexican- and South American-themed stalls offering treats like pupusas, carnitas tacos and aguas frescas remain some of the most popular. On the other hand, newcomers like Eggslut and Sticky Rice have turned this into one of the trendiest spots in town.


Hang out at Echo Park Lake

  • Free

After a two-year makeover, the Eastside's historic Echo Park Lake has finally become a family-friendly destination worthy of its Downtown skyline backdrop amid the lotus flower bloom and the spray of the fountains. The lake has been around since 1860—it was once used as a drinking water reservoir, and later as a recreational park with canoes, fishing and a floating lotus garden. Today, you can walk the track around the lake or push your way through it in a pedal boat; either way, make sure to stop at the revived boathouse (and its breakfast pit stop Square One) and the Lady of the Lake statue.


Break a sweat to stay cool

It's summer in Los Angeles, which means Angelenos are finding ways to chill out and cool down as temperatures rise. We're beating the heat by breaking a sweat. From the inferno challenge of LA's spiciest dishes to busting a move on the dance floor, here are five ways to sweat.


Enjoy art and an ocean view

  • Free

In 1974, oil magnate J Paul Getty opened this museum of his holdings in a faux villa in Malibu, based on the remains of the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum. (Click here to read more.)

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Jack 10
Jack 10

"85 to be exact" ...well