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Things To Do

27 Awesome Things an Angeleno Should Do Every Summer in Los Angeles

June 23, 2015 by Brian Champlin

Got your summer plan figured out? Need more ideas for things to do for a summer in Los Angeles?

If you’re still thinking things through, sorting dates, and rounding up friends for random adventures then this is a perfect list for you.

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Below you’ll find a compilation of most excellent ideas for ways to spend your summer hours in city of angels. It’s kind of a catch-all for all the evergreen activities, events, and points of interest we think you should definitely be enjoying this summer in L.A.

You might even make some of them an annual tradition.

And of course, regardless of what you choose, just be sure to have fun!

(List below sorted in no particular order)

Beach Day in Santa Monica

A crowded beach day in Santa Monica: Credit: Mats Haugen via flickr

[REMINDER: In some cases We Like L.A. does receive revenue when visitors click on ticket links and make purchases, however we maintain complete editorial control over the events we suggest. Basically, it only makes it on to the website if we think it is cool!]


1. Have a Beach Day

Duh.

The automatic first checkbox of everyone’s summer to-do list in Los Angeles.

2. See Friday Night Fireworks at Dodger Stadium

The quintessential summer sports activity in L.A. is hanging out at a Dodger game, but a night game can be way more bearable if it’s super-hot that day. And what better way to take advantage of a night game then with some post-baseball fireworks.

If you need to save, check out this Goldstar offer for discount tickets for Friday Night Fireworks at Dodger Stadium.

3. Go to a Free Museum

Have you seen our handy list of free museum days? If not, take a look and try to make it to at least one of these spots over the course of the summer. After all, it’s free!

4. Get a Free Slurpee from 7/11 on July 11th

Did you know every July 11th is Seven Eleven day? And on this momentous of occasions the convenience store gives away one free slurpee to every customer.

Just another option for cooling down on the cheap!

5. Enjoy an Outdoor Movie Screening

There are MANY outdoor movie options during the summer in Los Angeles.

Here are a few favorites to consider:

Eat See Hear 2015

Credit: Eat|See|Hear

6. Visit the Aquarium of The Pacific

L.A. County’s premier aquarium is the fourth most attended aquarium in the nation, and well worth a trip for a summer outing (and you can check out downtown Long Beach in the process too).

If you need to save some $$$ on your tickets, Goldstar has offers  50% off regular priced admission to the Aquarium of The Pacific.

7. Watch A Fireworks Show at Disneyland

The happiest place on earth is just a freeway drive away, and nothing completes the experience more than a mid-evening fireworks show. Fireworks shows change seasonally, so be sure to check their website.

8. Enjoy a Summer Happy Hour

Looking for a spot that features great food, great deals, and an atmosphere that takes full advantage of the perfect summer weather in L.A.? Try one of these 10 perfect summer happy hour spots in Los Angeles.

9. Have a Drink at a Rooftop Bar

Speaking of perfect spots, consider the summertime the perfect opportunity to explore one of the best rooftop bars in Los Angeles.

Hotel Erwin Rooftop Bar View of the Venice Boardwalk

View from High Lounge at the Hotel Erwin. Photo Credit: Amatullah Guyot

10. Do an Evening Hike at Griffith Park

The Sierra Club actually does regularly scheduled, free guided hikes up to the Mt. Hollywood peak and other points of interest within Griffith Park, usually starting between 6:30pm – 7:00pm on multiple days throughout the week. I’ve found the best place to stay updated on upcoming hikes is through the meet-up.com group for the Sierra Club, Griffith Park.

11. Check Out the Downtown Art Walk

Every second Thursday of the month see downtown Los Angeles come alive in a vibrant blend of art, community, culture and food known as the DTLA Art Walk.

12. Dine on the Beachside

When’s the last time you had an epic meal at a beachside restaurant? Think that sounds like a fun idea? Here’s a great list of beachside eating options.

13. Go Hunting for Taco Trucks

Whatever your pleasure, no better time than a late night in the summer to go exploring and find some mobile culinary goodness. Here’s a list of some of our favorite food trucks in L.A. to get you started.

14. Hike to a Waterfall

A relatively easy hike will get you to a beautiful secluded waterfall where you can bring a picnic, relax, and enjoy the beauty of nature (just be sure to do it during the morning when it’s still cool outside).

Check out Modern Hiker’s write-up on hiking Eaton for more information.

15. Set Some Quiet Time Aside for Yourself

You can’t be running around all the time so make sure you make it to one of the many quiet spots in the city and reacquaint yourself with you inner calm.

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L.A. County Arboretum

L.A. County Arboretum. Credit to Chris M. Morris via flickr

16. Take a Drive Up the Coast

A drive up PCH is something every angeleno should experience at least once a year. No better time than the summer months.

17. Go to the L.A. County Fair

Fried pickles, BBQ brisket, cotton candy, corn on the cob, donut burgers…. do I need to say more.

Check the L.A. County Fair official website for more info.

18. Do Yoga in Grand Park

Did you know Grand Park hosts weekly yoga retreats during the lunch time hour. Take a quick break and center yourself in the heart of downtown. PLUS: Don’t forget there are actually tons of free events at Grand Park all summer long.

19. Chase a Sunset

Sometimes all you need to have a great summer experience is a camera, an attitude, and a little bit of time. Looking to find some great views of Los Angeles to make a memory and snag a photo? Check this list of free places with breathtaking views in the city of angels.

Sunset Point Dume Malibu

Sunset at Point Dume in Malibu. Credit: Rain0975 via flickr

20. Listen to a FREE Outdoor Concert

Whether it be at the Levitt Pavilion free concerts, at KCRW’s Summer Nights, the Grand Performances at California Plaza, or one of any of dozens of other free shows during the summer, make an effort to get out there and enjoy the show.

21. Watch a Grunion Run

Grunion spawning generally occurs from March through August with peak spawning from late March to early June.  Females may spawn up to six times each season, laying between 1,600 and 3,600 eggs during one spawn (or more!). There are also three separate guided Grunion Run events at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro.

22. Hang out at the Annenberg Community Beach House

The Annenberge Community Beach House  in Santa Monica features a heated pool, observation deck, board games, ping pong, splash park, and more. Really awesome for the kiddies.

It’ll cost you ($10 for adults, less for the little ones) but well worth the price of admission at least once during the summer.

23. Walk along Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica

An iconic L.A. walk. Get out there at least once a summer to experience what’s going on at the Promenade.

24. See a Show at the Hollywood Bowl

Pack a picnic and go to one of L.A.’s signature outdoor concert venues. Check the 2015 summer schedule to see if there’s a concert that may tickle your fancy.

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25. Taste the Secret Menu at In N Out

Did you really need an excuse to go to In N Out. No worries, we’ll give you one anyway.

We say use the summer to try something new off their secret menu! Nothing like enjoying a 3×3, animal style fries and an Neapolitan shake while relaxing in summer time.

In N Out Animal Fries and Double Double

Credit: Krista via flickr

26. Go to a Star Party at Griffith Observatory

One special Saturday every month the Observatory hosts a free public star party to highlight interest in observing the cosmos. The event is a great excuse to try out a variety of telescopes, check out visible objects of our solar system (Sun, Moon, and visible planets), and also speak with knowledgeable amateur astronomers and stargazing enthusiasts.

27. Spend a Day at the Waterpark

Sometimes you just REALLY need to cool down. So why not take a trip to Raging Waters in San Dimas (it worked for Napoleon in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure).

Just be sure to take advantage of the discount tickets available via Goldstar for a day at the waterpark.

What are your favorite things to do in Los Angeles during the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

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