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Hollywood Sign
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Izayah Ramos

Here’s what’s open in Los Angeles right now

An up-to-date list of the latest business, venue and outdoorsy reopenings in L.A.

By Michael Juliano
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Los Angeles has taken some pretty big steps toward reopening—or rather had. As a result, things may seem just as confusing as when places first started closing in March. And even with California’s new four-tier reopening plan, the state, county and city-level reopening plans can seem impenetrable, so we thought we’d cut right to it and let you know what’s open in Los Angeles right now.

After a number of notable reopenings in the late spring that were mostly walked back in the middle of the summer, L.A. is now poised to once again look at reopening more sectors of the economy, albeit much more slowly this time. But we’re also not there quite yet; things are still far from normal, so you may find our list of canceled events and closed venues (including movie theaters and entertainment venues) useful for now, as well as our guide specifically about what you can and can’t do outside. Also, just because places can reopen doesn’t mean they immediately will, so make sure to check with individual businesses or locations that you may be interested in visiting. And one important note: You’ll need to wear a face mask whenever you leave your house, including when visiting businesses or being around other people (and you should be keeping at least six feet from others).

To help keep you informed, we’ll continue to update this list of what’s open in L.A. as more announcements are made.

What’s open in L.A. right now

empty grocery store
Photograph: Unsplash/Nathália Rosa

Essential businesses

Both the city and county have allowed essential businesses to stay open throughout the “safer at home” order, including supermarkets, government services, gas stations, repair shops, health care providers, hardware stores, banks, handymen, laundromats, hotels and more. In addition, all DMV locations now offer limited services to customers with appointments.

Tidbits wine bar in Santa Monica
Photograph: Courtesy Tidbits by Dialogue

Restaurants (outdoor dining and takeout and delivery only)

On July 1, indoor dining rooms were ordered shut for what was initially at least three weeks but has persisted into California’s new reopening framework. Outdoor dining areas can remain open—including on some streets and pop-up patios—and restaurants can still provide takeout and delivery service. Indoor dine-in service won’t be able to resume until L.A. moves into the second tier of California’s new reopening plan, and even then capacity would be limited to 25%. 

California had initially approved Los Angeles County to reopen dine-in service at restaurants in May. Aside from indoor dining, the guidelines today are similar to what they were then: Reservations are encouraged, while face coverings (while not eating) are required and restaurants must limit their capacity. In addition, bars that serve food can also reopen.

Not quite ready to dine out? You can still take advantage of delivery deals from some of L.A.’s best restaurants.

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Malibu Wines
Photograph: Courtesy Malibu Wines

Winery and brewery tasting rooms

On September 29, L.A. County permitted winery and brewery tasting rooms to reopen for on-site, outdoor service—at least, as long as the brewery serves food (wineries are now exempt from that rule). Tasting rooms without a dedicated kitchen can serve drinks outdoors if they partner up with a food vendor (spots with dedicated kitchens, like Highland Park Brewery and Arts District Brewing Co., had already been able to reopen).

Skylight Books
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Retail businesses and shopping malls

In early May, some shops were able to reopen for curbside pickup. But on May 27, to align the county with a statewide order, all retails locations were able to open for in-store shopping at half capacity (in early September, the state technically rolled this back to 25% capacity).

That same order also allowed pools in multi-unit residential buildings and churches to reopen; however, on July 13 houses of worship were ordered to move services outside, and indoor malls were shut down—malls have since been allowed to reopen at 25% capacity on October 7, though food courts must remain closed.

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Hermosa Beach
Photograph: Courtesy Marion Michele

Beaches

After reopening in mid-May for active recreation, beaches all over the county are now open for leisure activities, as well. That means you can surf, swim, bike, walk or run, as well as sit, sunbathe or picnic with members of your household. Bike paths (including the Strang), piers and boardwalks can open again (though the Venice Pier remains closed, and the Boardwalk is techically open only for shopping and dining and its businesses as opposed to loitering ). Sports like volleyball are still off limits. Parking lots are gradually reopening with reduced capacity to prevent overcrowding.

Aquarium of the Pacific
Photograph: Courtesy Robin Riggs

Museums, galleries, zoos and aquariums (outdoor areas only)

L.A. museums had been given the go-ahead to reopen with modifications, but on July 1, the state announced that they must close indoor spaces for at least the next three weeks. Only a couple of museums had reopened before that announcement; the Aquarium of the Pacific was among them, and it’s one of the only spots we’ve seen that now offers outdoor-only admission.

Prior to the indoor-area closure, most other museums said they were waiting until later in the summer to reopen. When that time comes, expect an emphasis on timed reservations, face coverings, temperature checks, one-way walkways, visitor logs, groups being limited to members of the same household and the closure of interactive exhibitions.

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Hair salon
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Allie

Hair salons, barbershops and nail salons

After being forced to close indoor operations in July, hair salons and barbershops can now resume indoor service at 25% capacity. As of October 1, nail salons came resume indoor services at 25% (though the county encourages doing as much as possible outdoors if possible).

However, other personal care services like tattoo parlors and massage studios are still limited to outdoor operations only (in late October, the state gave them the go-ahead to reopen, and the county is expected to follow suit soon). L.A. first reopened hair salons back in May and the latest safety measures are similar to those initial ones, including that both you and your hairdresser will need to wear a face covering.

home gym
Photograph: Shutterstock

Gyms (outdoor only)

On July 13, gyms were forced to close indoor operations. L.A. County has said that gyms can operate outside (even under a canopy as long as there’s proper air circulation), but don’t expect most gyms to be able to move everything outdoors.

Earlier, gyms in L.A. County were allowed to reopen as long as they adhered to some very strict protocols. Guidelines include face coverings, symptom screenings, reservations, and distancing between equipment as well as customer and trainers. Saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs must remain closed. As of July 1, you’re also required to wear a face mask and gloves at all times.

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Echo Park Lake, lotus
Photograph: Rozette Rago

Parks

Most local parks have remained open, but you may not be able to access some indoor facilities (i.e. Griffith Park may be open, but not the Observatory). On September 30, the county allowed playgrounds to reopen—however, whether or not they open is ultimately up to each individual city or county parks department.

In May, golf courses, tennis and pickleball courts, equestrian centers, BMX bike areas, community gardens, model airplane areas and archery, trap, skeet and outdoor shooting ranges were allowed to open, as well.

Eaton Canyon Falls
Photograph: Victor Leung

Trails

On Saturday, May 9 all trails in both L.A. County and the City of Los Angeles were allowed to reopen. You must wear a mask in the trailhead parking lot, as well as on crowded stretches.

Do note that there are some restrictions (for example, Malibu Creek and Will Rogers have reduced parking); we suggest checking in with the county’s trail reopening alert for the latest news and exceptions (for example, Runyon Canyon was initially closed but later opened, and Eaton Canyon was temporarily closed and now requires reservations).

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Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplas/Dane Deaner

Farmers’ markets

These open-air markets temporarily had to shutter in late March but were quickly able to reopen if they provided plans for maintaining six feet of distance between shoppers. This only affected farmers’ markets within the City of Los Angeles; those in Pasadena, Santa Monica, Torrance and Culver City, for example, continued to operate. That said, you’re likely to see social-distancing–friendly changes in place at many markets.

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Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

Drive-in movie theaters

Movie lovers, rejoice: Drive-ins are back. Though initially a seemingly safe alternative to movie theaters, they too were shuttered after countywide orders were strengthened. For a while, the Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre in Montclair was the lone exception. Now, all drive-ins in L.A. and the surrounding counties are allowed to resume screenings (and a bunch of pop-up drive-ins have arrived for the summer).

There are some important rules you need to know, though: In general, you may not park your vehicle within 10 feet of another vehicle, you must view the movie from within your vehicle and you must practice social distancing at all times.

West Hollywood Library
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/WeHoCity/Jonathan Moore

Libraries (curbside pickup)

The L.A. County Library system has reopened over 40 locations across the county for sidewalk service, and the city-run L.A. Public Library offers pickups at 20 locations. In both cases, you can place a hold and pick up your book from the library on weekday mornings and afternoons. (One interesting note: Though the state allows L.A. to open libraries at 25% capacity, the county has opted to keep them limited to curbside pickup.)

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Andaz West Hollywood
Photograph: Courtesy Andaz West Hollywood

Hotels and short-term rentals for leisure travel

Under the stay-at-home order, hotels were to be used only for public health needs and temporary housing solutions. But now hotels can welcome travelers again. Whether or not your local hotel of choice will choose to reopen right away is another question entirely. If they do reopen, they’ll need to comply with some pretty strict guidelines that include symptom screenings, intense cleaning protocols, and the removal of reusable items from rooms, like magazines and menus.

Camping New York
Photograph: Shutterstock

Day camps, campgrounds, RV parks and outdoor recreation sites (including swimming pools)

A slew of outdoor activities are back, including camping. Each industry has its own set of modifications, but in general you’ll need to wear a face mask and bring your own supplies.

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Dodger Stadium
Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash/Sasha

Professional sports (without live audiences)

Pro sports leagues have each crafted their own plans to return. But in terms of L.A. guidelines, here’s what you need to know: Games can resume without fans in attendance, and even athletes will have to wear masks and adhere to physical distancing guidelines when possible.

According to the state, sports stadiums will once again be allowed to welcome fans at 20% of their capacity in the orange tier, and 25% in the yellow one. In both cases, ticket sales are restricted to fans within 120 miles of the stadium (that’s about as far north as Bakersfield and as far south as San Diego). This only applies to outdoor stadiums.

Metro
Photograph: Courtesy Steve Hymon/Metro

Public transportation

Public transit networks across the region have remained open, but many have modified their schedules. In addition, starting May 11 passengers are required to wear masks in order to board Metro buses and trains; DASH, Commuter Express and Cityride buses; and at LAX.

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What reopenings have been rolled back?

On June 28, bars that don’t serve meals were ordered to close. On July 1, that order expanded to all indoor dining, as well as indoor areas at movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms (L.A. movie theaters had yet to reopen); with their closure came the announcement that such measures would be in place for at least three weeks.

On July 13, additional indoor closures were announced, including gyms, tattoo shops, personal care services, offices for non-critical sectors and houses of worship (malls, hair salons and barbershops were included in this but they’ve now been allowed to reopen). The state-announced order also specifies that indoor protests are no longer allowed (but outdoor ones are).

What’s on the horizon?

After pausing its reopening plans in late June, California has now laid out a new four-tier framework. As of late October, L.A. remained in the purple tier, the most restrictive one (you can keep up with the county’s status on the state’s website). If L.A. can meet the requirements of the red tier for two weeks, the state would allow it to reopen indoor spaces at restaurants, museums, movie theaters and gyms with very limited capacity. Even with that state approval, it’ll ultimately be up to L.A. County to decide whether or not to reopen those sectors. 

Even at the least restrictive tier, live performance theaters, entertainment centers, concert halls and venues, stadiums and arenas (with spectators) and festivals will remain closed or canceled.

Major theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios won’t be able to reopen until the county in which they reside reaches the least-restrictive yellow tier, which is likely many weeks if not months off in L.A. and Orange Counties.

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