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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Sip on a summer cocktail

We checked out the best cocktail bars and best restaurants in the city to bring you LA's best tequila and mescal cocktails. Whether you prefer your libation smoky or savory or your glass salt-rimmed or muddled with fruit, try these 20 cocktails that say "fiesta!"


Groove to Summer Nights in Chinatown

  • Free

This all-ages monthly Saturday event in Chinatown is definitely among the most lively of the bunch of summer concerts in LA. Show off your moves on the dance floor to DJ sets and live bands, browse local art at the LA Craft Experience market, sample some food-truck grub or authentic Chinese cuisine from surrounding restaurants and party ‘til midnight in the heart of this historic neighborhood.

  1. 943 N Broadway
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Flaunt your skills at SaMo's swings, rings and ropes

  • Free

The original Muscle Beach (located on Ocean Front Walk, off Appian Way between Pacific Terrace and Arcadia Terrace) has plenty of regulars, gawking tourists and a healthy crowd of amateurs. On weekends, you’ll see some amazing beach gymnasts and the vibe is friendly—be courteous and don’t hog the ropes, and they’ll offer tips or share handfuls of chalk (you can also usually find chalk left in the sand near the ropes swings).


Stock up on books for your summer reading list

Looking for lit? If you're book shopping in Los Angeles, look no further. We've found the best shops and independent retailers offering art books, travel guides political tomes and children's tales. Check out these top 20 Los Angeles booksellers for the best bargains, out-of-print titles, author readings and community events.


Picnic at Silver Lake Reservoir

  • Free

Silver Lake's Reservoir has two dog parks (one big one small), a basketball court, playground and field for the kiddies, and a 2.2 mile trail around its entirety. A great place to bring kids, dogs, a picnic, or a running club. The Reservoir is also home to The Meadow, a soft, grassy knoll overlooking the water where visitors can lounge, picnic, or play a game of frisbeeor bocce. Note: no pups allowed.


Listen to music under the stars

  • Free

Every Thursday, head to the Santa Monica Pier for free bands on the beach during their Twilight Concert series. Pack a picnic (and arrive early to get a spot on the sand near the speakers) to enjoy as the local talent plays sunset sets with crashing waves in the distance—it's a quintessential LA music experience.

  1. 200 Santa Monica Pier
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Grab a pint at a top LA biergarten

Sure, LA may not have grilled fish on sticks as they famously do in Munich, but the spirit of Oktoberfest is in effect year-round at these seven biergartens. Stop in for a beer and wurst. You may even momentarily forget the annual fall Bavarian revelry taking place 6,000 miles away.


Relax in the shade of a Gehry building

It’s impossible to cruise along Grand Avenue and miss the Walt Disney Concert Hall, a twisted metallic explosion of Frank Gehry’s imagination. You may not realize, though, that the acoustically impressive hall harbors a lush garden in its shadows. Whether you're looking for a quiet place to sit on your lunch hour or a climb along the building's lustrous exterior, it's the perfect spot to both appreciate and escape the city.


Take your pup to the beach

Leo Carrillo has the best of both worlds—a well-equipped stretch of sand with seclusion and scenic beauty. Stretching one and a half miles across the north tip of Malibu, you'll find enough quite from the rift raft of Santa Monica beach warriors and crowds of Surfrider. Long boarders can paddle out for mellow waves—it gets no more than chest-high at this point break—while nature lovers can explore tide pools on the rock-dotted coastline and a nearby trail. Groups can make use of the on-site camping grounds, picnic area, RV lot and token-operated showers. And don't forget Fido: This is one of the rare beaches where dogs (leashed) are allowed to roam north of the lifeguard tower.


Splash around in an oceanfront pool

  • Price band: 2/4

What started as an opulent beachfront estate built by William Randolph Hearst for Hollywood star Marion Davies in the 1920s is now a modern, community beach club open to the public, thanks to Wallis Annenberg of the Annenberg Foundation, who provided $27.5 million for the transformation. Completed in 2009, the five-acre beach house accommodates a main house with a rec room for board games, ping pong and classes and events, a swimming pool, a splash pad, beach volleyball and tennis courts, soccer fields, canopies, a cafe and rentals for paddle boards.

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Jack 10
Jack 10

"85 to be exact" ...well