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.



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Make like a tourist and take a Hollywood tour

Hollywood tour options are in no short supply, from the open top vans that line the Hollywood Walk of Fame to intimate walking tours. Explore major tourist attractions and celebrity hangouts or take an offbeat look at Hollywood history. Finding that perfect one can be a challenge, especially when most Hollywood tours are, in fact, excursions through the Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills. So, we hopped aboard Tinseltown's top tour buses to find you the best tours through one of Los Angeles' most famous neighborhoods.


Pack for a picnic at the best gourmet food stores

It's summer in LA and that means beach escapes and the great outdoors. Before hitting the sand or heading to the Hollywood Bowl or catching an outdoor movie, stop by the city's best gourmet food stores for a DIY picnic or pre-made box to-go. And for every other season of the year, stock up on gourmet food items from artisan condiments and fancy confections to local cheeses and homemade baked goods.


Try LA's spiciest dishes

We've incinerated our tongues on LA's spiciest dishes at the city's spots for the best tacos, best ramen and best Thai. Test your Scoville chops with Thai town's dynamite challenge or sink your teeth into a fire-bomb taco with our burn-your-butthole guide to the city's top spicy destinations that's guaranteed to melt your face off (and, yeah, pay the next day).


Practice meditation at Lake Shrine

  • Free

Just inland from the Pacific Coast Highway and easy to miss when you're rushing to catch the sunset, the mystical, mysterious Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine is run by a non-denominational order that welcomes visitors but doesn't proselytise to them. Set on a ten-acre site that was used as a film set during the silent era, the lovely gardens evoke old Hollywood: look out for the Dutch windmill chapel, the Mississippi houseboat and a number of gliding swans. The East, meanwhile, is represented by a gilded lotus gate enclosing a shrine that contains some of Gandhi's ashes.


Hear free jazz at the Original Farmers Market

  • Free

The Original Farmers market doles out lots of live music during the summer season, and our favorite is probably their free jazz Thursdays. Head to the West Patio from 7 to 9pm to hear tons of new and local jazz; sit outside and order food from anywhere in the Market or the Grove to enjoy while you listen.

  1. 6333 W 3rd Street, at Fairfax Avenue
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Make a splash at the US Open of Surfing

  • Critics choice
  • Free

America’s largest pro surfing competition attracts the world’s elite, who compete for big money while wowing 200,000 beach boys and girls in Huntington Beach. Heating up the festivities are live bands, a sports expo and after-parties with the friendly locals.

  1. Main Street, Pacific Coast Highway, 92648
More info

Stock up on produce at a night market

WeHo's public lot transforms into a weekly farmer's market that extends beyond free samples on a toothpick. Live music and movie screenings complement a selection of fresh California grown produce and local business stands. Food trucks such S'cream Truck will also be in attendance for the Thursday community gathering celebrating food, music and the famed Strip.

  1. 8755 Sunset Blvd
More info

Sweat it out at a Korean spa

  • Price band: 2/4

Treat yourself to a few hours of relaxation in this bamboo-colored Koreatown spa. Olympic Spa offers a variety of soaking pools, spa treatments and massage services ($1/minute) for your pampering pleasure. Appointments are recommended, but bringing the hubby and kids is not. No admittance for men or under 14s. How do you say "freedom" in Korean?


Volunteer to help feed the homeless

  • Free

Be a hero for a night at this month's Burrito Project event, where you'll help make and distribute fresh burritos, quesadillas and water to the homeless population of South Pasadena. Bring friends and meet the do-gooder group at St. Joseph Center Food Bank (1524 Fremont Ave) to wrap up the tasty Mexican meals. Donations of $10 for burrito ingredients, cases of bottled water or gently worn clothing are encouraged.


Explore the city for free

Explore the many free attractions in LA—from museums to iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, we’ve listed the best places to visit on a budget. Whether you’re looking to get outdoors, spot celebs or explore a new neighborhood, read on for must-see LA attractions. Plus, you can even get some post-eating and drinking ideas for your next wallet-friendly date night.

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Jack 10
Jack 10

"85 to be exact" ...well