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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Hike up to the Hollywood Sign

  • Free

What may be one of the biggest LA mysteries is how to get as close as possible to the iconic Hollywood Sign. Originally created in 1923, the then "Hollywoodland" sign was supposed to be up for only a year and a half, yet it will be celebrating its 90th birthday this year.


Rock out at FYFest

Each summer music-loving Angelenos from all over the city make a pilgrimage for one of SoCal's best festivals. At FYF, emerging artists take the stage along with established acts in every genre from rock to funk and dance, while fans turn out for two days of musical bliss in the California sun. Get to know the lineup and check back often for updated coverage leading up to and during the festival.


Visit El Matador State Beach during sunset

Small, beautiful and dominated by rocky outcrops, El Matador looks not unlike a European beach. Six miles north of Malibu and 25 miles from Santa Monica, it's past just past Leo Carrillo Beach, accessible via a steep gravelly path.


See butterflies take flight

  • Price band: 1/4

Nature lovers rejoice! Spend a day at the NHM's Butterfly Pavilion with more than 53 butterfly and moth species and an assortment of California plants. The seasonal outdoor exhibit allows for adults and children alike to witness nature up close—we're talking having bufferlies take flight and land on your arms or shoulders.

  1. 900 Exposition Blvd, between S Figueroa St & S Vermont Ave
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Spend a day on beachy Abbot Kinney

While Venice's claim to fame may be its beach culture from Dogtown to the Boardwalk, the 'hood's most stylish block, Abbot Kinney, has some of the city's best boutiques, galleries, restaurants and bars. Accessorize in your best beachside casual and hop on your cruiser. Here's your LA city guide and to Abbot Kinney’s best places to shop, eat & drink and play.


See live music outdoors for free

There’s nothing like the sound of music on a summer breeze. From small venues to classic spots like the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek Theatre, LA knows outdoor music.


Go wine tasting at Barnsdall Art Park

  • Price band: 2/4

Barnsdall Park’s wine tastings regularly attract sell-out crowds. Perched on top of Olive Hill in the west lawn of historic Hollyhock House, Barnsdall Fridays includes four selections of boutique wines provided by Silverlake Wine every week with a spectacular sunset and 360 degree views of the city.

  1. 4800 Hollywood Blvd
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Fly a kite overlooking the ocean

  • Free

Perched over the Pacific in San Pedro sits one of the most idyllic spots in all of LA: the Korean Bell of Friendship. The mighty metallic bell's rusty green finish complements the ornately painted hipped roof—its paint job has seen better days, but that doesn't detract from the beauty of the 1976 goodwill gift from South Korea. The exposed, grassy bluff is an ideal spot to fly a kite or just lounge in the grass of Angel's Gate Park. If you've resisted romance with the South Bay, let this be your first date.


Master the art of archery

  • Free

Instead of spending away the summer being a couch potato, why not get a little active and be a badass while doing so? That’s right, we’re talking archery lessons, and free ones at that. You can make like Katniss and Robin Hood and learn how to hit the bullseye for free all around the city.

  1. 2459 Motor Ave
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Work out with an outdoor stair climb

  • Free

The nearly 200 steps at the twin Santa Monica stairs are a mecca for hard bodies and weekend fitness warriors who also jump rope, stretch, jog and power through pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups in between climbing.

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