We may not out of the woods just yet, public health safety-wise, but there's still a lot to be thankful for—namely that we've got great outdoor dining options, fun sightseeing and gorgeous surroundings to explore in crisp, enjoyable weather. Here's our guide to celebrating Thanksgiving in Los Angeles this year. Just make sure to follow the CDC’s holiday guidelines and wear a mask, OK?
6 COVID-Safe Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Los Angeles This Year
1. Dine on a Restaurant Patio
Since Los Angeles weather gets up to the low 70s in November and doesn't usually dip below the 50s, this month is a sweet spot of outdoor dining (just bring a wrap to throw over your legs). Coin & Candor in Westlake Village is offering a Thanksgiving prix fixe with menu items including pumpkin risotto and organic roast turkey breast. Fig in Santa Monica, The Front Yard at the Garland Hotel in North Hollywood and West Third Street classic spot The Little Door are also serving Turkey Day feasts in outdoor dining areas. Note to self: There's never going to be a better excuse for taking the day off from cooking.
2. Participate in Weed Wednesday
This just in: Apparently, last year in states with legalized recreational marijuana, vendors noted an uptick in business on the day before Thanksgiving. Maybe it was busy office types taking advantage of their time off to pick up some bud, or extended family members girding themselves for family reunions, but this year is your chance to embrace the new normal with some new products. There are little Besito's mini pre-rolls (so that you don't have to share with anyone else), ALT liquid cannabis that you can just add to any beverage and little dissolve-in-your-mouth and Kin Slips that are specially formulated to help you do everything from think big to sleep solidly.
3. Embrace Cabincore
The latest aesthetic trend is all about embracing fall-friendly plaids, wearing lug-soled boots and flannels. We're eyeing this Doen dress in gorgeous taffeta, but thinking we'll dress it down by wearing over jeans and a light turtleneck with boots, since we'll be dining outdoors. Then in 2021's holiday season, when indoors dining is a thing, we can trot it out with heels and hosiery. Bring on Black Friday for all the deals on this relaxed yet chic look.
4. Take in an Opera from Your Car
After the Pacific Opera Project's March rehearsals of Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutti were shut down due to COVID-19, the show is back on—renamed Covid Fan Tutte—this fall with the action re-set at a Southern California golf resort circa 2020. The story follows two girls who have crushes on two gold caddies, and rich gold club member and his snack shop waitress helper who create complications for the young lovers. And it's all played out while you're safe in your car, in a Camarillo parking lot. Get your tickets now—this one’s bound to sell out fast.
5. Explore Cali History in the Open Air
The Picture Bridge at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena is an old-fashioned wooden bridge that doubles as a history museum. Along its length, it has 41 paintings of California treasures such as Cathedral Spires in Yosemite, Midway Point on Carmel’s Seventeen Mile Drive and man-made icons such as Mt. Wilson Observatory and Catalina Island’s Avalon Bay. The paintings were originally painted in 1933 by local landscape artist Frank M. Moore, who was paid $10 and all the food he and his wife could eat (a big deal during the Depression). After 80 years of exposure to the elements, the faded oil paintings were recreated by the vivid copies in place and just unveiled. Another excellent outdoor history lesson: the Great Wall of Los Angeles, a half-mile-long mural that depicts a people's history of Los Angeles, focusing on moments of social injustice (the influx of Dust Bowl refugees, Zoot Suit Riots, Japanese-American internment) that are often erased in establishment histories.
6. Hike the Backbone Trail in Style
Trail Magic Adventures is our kind of camping: Basically, they carry all the tents, food and heavy stuff, so you're free to hang on to a sweater and a water bottle and say Wow, look at that coastline! Check out that woodsy canyon! The company recently started leading guided hikes along the Backbone Trail, a 69-mile ridge along the top of the Santa Monica Mountain range that runs from Los Angeles to Ventura County. You can sign on for one night or for the whole five-day course...and it's the perfect way to get you and your family members finally off your phones.