Everyone dreams of escaping to Los Angeles for the summer. Between lounging at the beach and partying it up at concerts and festivals, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Los Angeles during summer.
Whether you’re planning the perfect family vacation or a getaway with your best friends, these LA summertime activities are the absolute best.
1. Experience the Thrill of Los Angeles Theme Parks
On top of the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, Los Angeles is home to multiple theme parks, bursting at the seams with unbelievable fun. Get ready to scream your head off on top roller coasters and thrill rides at popular nearby amusement parks, such as:
Tips for Visiting LA Theme Parks
Since visiting the theme parks is among the top things to do in Los Angeles during summer, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind for the best time ever:
Buy Tickets in Advance
There is nothing worse than standing in theme park ticket lines under the scorching LA sun. With this in mind, it is in your best interest (and the interest of your wallet) to buy your theme park tickets ahead of time. Plus, you’ll take advantage of huge discounts along the way!
Again, that Los Angeles sun is brutal. Lather up the sunscreen and reapply throughout the day.
Select theme parks allow you to bring in your own refillable water bottles. Take advantage of this perk and stay hydrated all day long.
Knowing what to bring and what to leave back at the hotel is important for attending theme parks. Use our Los Angeles packing guide to get started!
2. Visit Los Angeles Museums and Top Attractions
Los Angeles is filled with art, music, history, culture, and so much more. Use your summer vacation to explore all that LA has to offer! Among the top destinations, museums, and attractions are:
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour
- La Brea Tar Pits
- iFly Hollywood
- Los Angeles Zoo
- Hollywood Boulevard
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
- The Queen Mary
- Griffith Observatory
- The Broad
Tips for Visiting Los Angeles Attractions and Museums
Considering school is out and families are flocking to Los Angeles for the summer, take advantage of our travel advice before visiting LA museums and attractions:
Again, Get Your Tickets Ahead of Time
Just like at the theme parks, the ticket lines at museums, aquariums, attractions, and tour booths can be astronomical. Maximize your time in Los Angeles by purchasing your tickets before your trip. You’ll skip the line and walk right in!
Consider the Age Limit
Some museums and attractions may not be ideal for younger children. Whether it be the nature of the attraction or the context of the exhibits, use your discretion when bringing small children to these destinations.
Know What to Bring
As the top things to do in Los Angeles during summer, tourist attractions have security measures in place for the safety of guests. Before you go, review the attraction’s FAQs or security policies to see what you are allowed to bring inside. For instance, certain museums may not allow selfie sticks or outside food and beverages into the museum.
3. Hit Up the Beach
Summer weather + the beach = the perfect vacation.
Grab your sunscreen, bathing suit, and towel and make a bee-line to one of Los Angeles’ pristine beaches. Some of the best beaches to visit include:
- Leo Carrillo State Beach
- El Matador Beach
- Malibu Surfrider Beach
- Santa Monica Beach
- Venice Beach
Whether you’re looking to sunbathe or want to try your hand at surfing, going to the beach is the best way to spend the summer in LA.
Tips for Visiting Los Angeles Beaches
It’s no secret that LA is home to beautiful beaches, meaning thousands upon thousands of visitors flock to them each summer. With this in mind, you’ll find these tips quite handy!
Visit at an Off-Peak Time
Since going to the beach is one of the top things to do in Los Angeles during summer, it’s no surprise that they can become packed in an instant. Instead of dealing with crowds, try going in the early morning or late afternoon/early evening. During this time period, most of the beachgoers will have had their fair share of the sun and sand, and are packing up to head home.
The last thing you want to forget is your sunscreen. Make sure you pack it!
Take Out What You Bring In
No one likes a litterer. If you pack a cooler full of snacks and beverages, make sure you take all your trash with you. Better yet, if your chosen beach has garbage cans on-site, use them!
Know Where Parking is Available
Several of Los Angeles’ beaches are hidden or not off a main road. With this in mind, you may have to do a bit of searching for a parking spot. Do your research before your drive for an easier trip.
4. Explore the Great Outdoors
While Los Angeles has a reputation for skyscrapers, shopping, celebrities, fashion, and city living, those who love the great outdoors will love the abundance of activities available.
When visiting LA in the summer, consider checking out these outdoor opportunities:
- Hiking (Be sure to hike to the Hollywood sign!)
- Mountain Biking
- Jet Skiing
- Exploring a Local Park
- Rock Climbing
Tips for Discovering the Great Outdoors in LA
With so many excellent outdoor activities in Los Angeles, it’ll be hard to pick just one. So don’t! Experience them all, but keep our advice in mind.
Bring or Rent the Necessary Gear
Certain activities may require gear such as golf clubs or a bike. There are several places to rent outdoor equipment in Los Angeles. Add a line item in your travel budget for these expenses and you’ll be all set.
Respect the Wildlife and Nature
Should you come across a wild animal during your experiences, be safe and keep a distance. Do not try to provoke the animal or grab a selfie with it (seriously.) Instead, back away and continue on your fun. If an emergency should arise due to the animal, call 911 immediately.
Additionally, many sections of the greater LA area are wildlife preserves. This means you should not tamper with or take any plants, roots, dirt, etc. during your visit.
Sunscreen. Sunscreen. And More Sunscreen.
I can’t emphasize this enough! There’s nothing worse than sunburn while on vacation. Prevent this by bringing sunscreen for your outdoor adventures.
Consider an Eco-Tour
There are a ton of tour companies in Los Angeles that offer engaging outdoor tours and activities. Take away the stress of planning, reserve your spot on a tour, and let the pros show you around the great outdoors of LA.
5. Take a Day Trip
Once you’ve explored a good amount of Los Angeles, break away for a bit and go on a quick road trip! There are plenty of intriguing destinations within a few hours of LA. Rent a car and take a day to explore places such as:
- San Diego, CA
- Catalina Island
- Big Bear, CA
- Solvang, CA
- Joshua Tree National Park
Tips for Going on a Day Trip from Los Angeles
For a day trip you’ll remember forever, take our advice:
Rent a Car
Since it’s easy to get around Los Angeles without a car, you might not have rented one for your vacation. Compare rental car rates or use a service such as Turo for the best option.
Pack Some Snacks
After all, what’s a road trip without candy, snacks, and drinks?
Know Where You’re Going
Depending on your cell phone plan, you may or may not have service while driving through California. Considering one of the worst things to do in Los Angeles during summer is getting lost, be sure you know your route ahead of time.
6. Attend a Festival, Concert, or Event
Of course, among the ultimate things to do in Los Angeles during summer are festivals, events, and concerts. Some of the top event choices include:
- Stagecoach Festival
- Electric Daisy Carnival
- Free concerts around LA
- Friday Night Wine Tastings at Barnsdall Park
Tips for Checking Out LA’s Festivals, Events, and Concerts
Considering Los Angeles is known for unparalleled entertainment, these tips will come in handy during your trip.
Research Upcoming Events
Do your research before coming to LA. See what festivals, pop-up concerts, and other events spark your interest. Trying to find an event at the last minute might not be advantageous.
Get Tickets ASAP
Most of the Los Angeles music, food, comedy, and art festivals sell out rapidly. If you’re interested in an event, don’t delay—get your tickets!
Check the Crowd
If you’re traveling with children, double check what kind of audience the event is meant for. Much like every major city, Los Angeles is home to several 18+ events that are not suitable for children.
There are Endless Things to Do in Los Angeles during Summer
Los Angeles is the perfect summer destination. With so many things to do and see (many of which are completely free), there’s never a dull moment.
What’s your favorite thing to do during the summer in Los Angeles?