The Absolute Best Things to Do in L.A. This Summer—All 23 of Them
Out-of-towners think we have an endless summer in SoCal, when we know the truth—that the real fun, indoors and out, starts when we all get a little looser in the longer days of summer. Grab a glass of what we’re promising is your new favorite rosé and walk through our list of everything you should be doing this summer.
1. On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…you know the lyrics, now weekend at the Hotel Californian, the super-chic Santa Barbara getaway from decorator-to-the-stars Martyn Lawrence Bullard.
2. Enjoy a cold kombucha while browsing the post-industrial cool of Platform LA, Culver City’s outdoor shopping answer to The Grove and the Third Street Promenade.
3. Need a cold something-stronger-than-kombucha? Head to Hollywood’s Hotel Roosevelt Tropicana Bar, the DJ'd pool party, and sip on one hell of a Negroni.
4. For your weekend trips this summer, you’ll need a new bag. How does a rose gold Ifly suitcase for $69 sound? Like a steal if you ask us. Plus, it matches your phone.
5. What did a '40s gun moll smell like? We’re getting a combination lesson on local underworld history and a perfume-making sesh at Chinatown’s Institute for Art and Olfaction on June 8.
6. June 10 is National Rosé Day. That’s all the excuse we need to sidle into Venice’s chill wine bar The Otheroom and order a glass of Coppola Winery’s new Sofia Brut Rosé.
7. Every other Thursday night this summer, Spaceland will curate evenings of music, food trucks, drinks and regular museum-going at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Tokyo. See you there.
8. Browse The Ripped Bodice, the new bookshop started by two young sisters in Culver City. It stocks only romance literature, including subgenres (some that we never knew existed) like romantic suspense, historical cowboys, LGBQT and witches.
9. Go on a neon cruise, in which a curator at the Museum of Neon takes you on a tour of Los Angeles’s historic neon work. (Think of the Instagrams.)
10. Get all smooth jazz at the Grammy Museum’s Ella Fitzgerald exhibit celebrating the late icon’s 100th birthday.
11. Journey to the outskirts of L.A., where the crazy hodgepodge of art installations known as the 14th Factory includes a recreation of a 2001: A Space Odyssey movie set.
12. Time travel with the recently discovered snapshots of mondo-groovy '70s celebs (Mick Jagger in Malibu! Rod Stewart’s Coldwater Canyon football matches!) at KM Fine Arts through June 30.
13. Sister Queen Solange, we are all about you. And the other powerful women (damn, Missy Elliott and Bjork) plus dozens of other musicians playing the three-day FYF Fest in Exposition Park starting July 21.
14. The third Monday each month, High Desert Test Kitchen hosts a free potluck supper in Joshua Tree in which you bring a dish made with the monthly ingredient (June is catclaw bush) or a bottle of wine. Then artist-chef-organizer Sarah Witt will teach you all about foraging.
15. Forget hiking (for now). Let’s drink: Cool off with a cold brew in the new beer Garden in Griffith Park, just up the road from the Greek Theatre on Vermont Boulevard.
16. OK, now it’s time for some physical activity. Kayak on the L.A. River, floating up on all that winter rain.
17. You know that big marble building on Wilshire, the one with the strange mystical-looking carvings on the outside that you’ve zoomed by for years? Reserve a month out to get inside; it’s been refurbed as the city’s buzzy new museum, the Marciano Art Foundation.
18. From a 19-year-old Texas teen sensation (Kahlid) to a seminal '60s rock group (Eric Burdon and the Animals), they're all part of the sunset concert series on the pier in Santa Monica.
19. Location, location, location: Beat the heat in Malibu (for less than $300 per night!) at the newly remodeled Native Hotel, 13 rooms just steps away from Point Dume and Zuma Beach. We’ve made it.
20. Wake up early to follow a naturalist on a secret single-track hike to the top of the Hollywood Sign (it’s one of a bunch of new Airbnb Experiences).
21. Head to the beach. (Remember? You live by the beach.) And finish The New York Times best-selling Women No. 17, about Hollywood Hills residents behaving badly.
22. There’s no “Heart of the Ocean” blue diamond, but we’re still going to check out the major artifacts at the Titanic exhibit at the Reagan Library.
23. Speaking of oceans, we’re celebrating another fantastic summer by volunteering at the day-long September 17 California Coastal Cleanup. Because Labor Day might have come and gone, but we’re pretty much loving our Cali endless summer.