LA city guide: 75 things to do in the summer

Use this LA city guide as your road map for things to do in the summer and ways to explore the City of Angels.

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Looking for things to do in the summer? Use this LA city guide for outdoor activities, festivals and ways to explore the city. We've got you covered with a list—85 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.


Sip on a summer cocktail paired with a jammin' playlist

Chill out with LA's best summer cocktails and summer playlist with these drink + song pairings from our favorite bars. Whether you're craving an alfresco swizzler or beachside drink in a bottle, sip on these 20 cocktails that kick off the season. And the best thing to pair with a fun-in-the-sun drink? A summer jam, of course. Turn up the volume and play this cocktail-inspired setlist loud.


Sit back, relax and watch a drive-in movie

  • Price band: 1/4

This funky 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!


Party it up poolside at Mr. C Yacht Club

  • Free

Live the good life at this exclusive nautical-inspired pool and cocktail brunch series. Take a dip in the pool then relax while sipping on classic Cipriani Bellini and specialty cocktails with Yacht Club Vodka while DJ Bobby French spins tunes.

  1. 1224 Beverwil Dr
More info
Echo Park Lake Reopening

Hang at the newly reopened Echo Park Lake

After two years of chain link, dust and bulldozers, the east side's historic Echo Park Lake reopened in June 2013. The lake has been around since 1860—now the park has an updated boathouse, track, lighting and railings, plus new landscaping, picnic tables and grills. The lotus gardens have been restored—with water lillies added—and the Lady of the Lake statue has been returned to her rightful place, overlooking the fountain.


Watch a must-see summer movie

From high-fiber docs to hot-buttered-popcorn blockbusters, we’ve got the lowdown on the movies you need to see this summer.


Enjoy open-air dining at Grand Central Market

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

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.


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

  • Critics choice
  • 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.)

Users say

Jack 10
Jack 10

"85 to be exact" ...well