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Photograph: Michael Juliano

The 7 reasons why September in LA kicks ass

It's September and it still feels like the middle of the summer. What's not to love?


Don't let the East Coast buzzkills bring you down: Labor Day may signal the ceremonial end of summer, but it's not the death of fun. As we transition between months, we've come to the conclusion that September in LA kind of kicks ass. Sure, people are talking about fall and Halloween already, but don't discount an entire month just yet. There are many reasons to love September, so we took it upon ourselves to help you make the most of it.

RECOMMENDED: How many of the 75 things to do this summer have you done? You still have time...

  • Things to do
A lot of us don't take advantage of LA's sandy shores. But summer can be a downright awful time to visit the beach—blame traffic and tourists. That's alright, though, because September is like a do-over for all of those Angelenos who've been too lazy to trek to our wet western border. It's literally the best time to hit the beach: Ocean temperatures actually peak early in the month and retain their summertime “warmth”—don't expect the Pacific to climb above 70°F—for weeks to come. But let's be real, you're probably not even going to get wet anyway. With that in mind, pick out a "cold" (i.e. sub-70°F) day, pack a sweatshirt, wrap yourself in a blanket and soak up the sun on the most blissfully empty LA beach you've ever encountered.
Kids are back in school.
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

2. Kids are back in school.

Apologies to our dedicated throngs of teenage readers, but let's all of us 21+ adults raise a glass to the start of the school year. September is like summertime's adults-only victory lap: It's still warm, there are still outdoor events, it feels like summer but with fewer annoying teenagers around to hog its good vibes. So how should you take advantage of this? Go to the movies on a weeknight, shop in relative peace, bomb out of work early for a beach day, skip work altogether and go to Disneyland, have ice cream for lunch because you're an adult and can do as you please. Now get off our lawn.
It's literally the dog days of summer.
Photograph: Michael Juliano

3. It's literally the dog days of summer.

As a warm-blooded Internet user, odds are you like cute animals and the stupidly adorable things they're caught doing on video. Well, dog lovers, rejoice. During the Wiggle Waggle Walk in Pasadena, you can take your pooch on a charity walk around Brookside Park and the Rose Bowl—alternatively, you can walk alone and hope to make some furry friends. On the same day, Huntington Beach hosts its annual Surf City Surf Dog competition. Expect plenty of bulldogs in sunglasses and indifferent labradors on surfboards, as well as an all-too-real struggle to maintain your composure during this cuteness overload.
You can still catch an outdoor show.
Photograph: Adam Latham, Courtesy Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

4. You can still catch an outdoor show.

It's easy to take LA's year-round warmth and sunshine for granted. And you know what? September is a great time to do so—let's gloat a bit, alright? Labor Day signals the end of all things outdoors for most of the country, but LA must not know how to read a calendar because it's business as usual here for open air events. Cinespia's Hollywood Forever Cemetery screenings and the Hollywood Bowl's performances extend deep into the month. The outdoor movie and summer concert schedules barely show any signs of slowing down. Since it never gets that cold here, we're pretty sure these events eventually wrap up just so our East Coast frenemies don't feel so bad.
It's deep-fried fair season.
Photograph: Courtesy LA County Fair

5. It's deep-fried fair season.

While summer music fests are mostly behind us, large-scale fairs are just getting started. We can't explain why everyone decides to descend upon streets and fairgrounds in September, but the packed schedule of fairs means there's a tent with a deep frier just waiting for you. Asian street food? 626 Night Market. Buttery lobster? Port of LA Lobster Festival. Fried Doritos? LA County Fair. Fried kale? Abbot Kinney Festival.
You can drink... a lot.
  • Bars
Don't let the name fool you: Oktoberfest falls squarely in September. Sure, LA isn't known for its German heritage (at least not yet, lederhosen artisans), but we can pour a pint of some damn good beer. September is the perfect opportunity to hit up the city's best biergartens, whether you're looking for a swanky rooftop bar or a Bavarian spectacle. If you're simply looking to get sloshed your fix of hops without any of the European pageantry, round up a few friends for LA Beer Fest and its 200 different brews.

7. The rain is coming.

...theoretically, at least. September is usually the month when rainfall totals traditionally start to tick up again. Don't get us wrong, we love sunshine; like some sort of lizard people, our collective mood and well-being is tied to it. Clouds—they're just downright dreary. But rain, good ol' liquid precipitation, is like a Southern California miracle. Once you get past the fresh smell of oil and panic on the roads, there's nothing quite as refreshing as that first post-summer rainfall. Of course, we have to brave extreme drought, wildfires and Santa Ana winds before we can get there, and then hope that El Niño-size rains don't turn into mudslides... But in the name of hot showers, car washes and drinking water: Bring on the rain. Pretty please?
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