Published May 24, 2021
While our LA weather may have us in the summer mindset 365 days a year, there’s something about the months between May and August that just hits different. Especially after a year of social distancing – and serious emotional wreckage – we are more than ready to dust off our bucket lists for the most epic summer Los Angeles has ever seen. With the return of patio season, boat days, rooftop bars, and so much more, we’re here to ensure that no one misses another summer again. Below we’ve broken out 22 of the latest in-season spots and all the details you need to have the best summer LA has ever seen.
El Matador State Beach is one of the most picturesque looking beaches along the LA coast. It's one of three beaches that make up Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, known for a number of coves and cliff-foot strands called "pocket beaches." It's just a little under an hour drive up highway 1 from Santa Monica
Where: 32350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Seek shelter six stories up at Mama Shelter’s rooftop. Its vibrant, color-charged terrace is sprinkled with plush daybeds and tribal throw blankets – all in palettes plucked straight from the LA sunsets you’ll view from the roof. Soak in the 360-degree views – including a head-on shot of the Hollywood Sign – while sipping cocktails named after popular Hollywood films. Pro tip: You can choose from 7 varying takes on the Moscow Mule at Mama’s Mule Bar
When: Monday-Thursday 12PM-12AM, Friday 12PM-2AM, Saturday 10:30AM-2AM, Sunday 10:30AM-12AM
Where: 6500 Selma Avenue, Los Angeles 90028
Grab a blanket, some snacks, and a spot in front of the big screen to watch crowd favorites at Drive-In At The Park, with locations in Culver City and Santa Clarita. Plus, food trucks are on the agenda, with popcorn, candy sold on-site as well.
When: Every Friday and Saturday, 6pm Doors
Where: Culver City: Kenneth Hahn Disc Golf Course, 410:S. La Cienega Blvd, LA, CA 90056 | Santa Clarita: Castaic Lake Park Headquarters, 32132 Castaic Lake Dr, Lot 11, Castaic, CA 91384
Whether you’re stopping in for a drink or an entire meal, Malibu Farm and its location right on the coast won't disappoint. It features two restaurants. 'The Malibu Farm Restaurant' a full-service restaurant with full bar & specialty cocktails, located at the start of the pier. And 'The Malibu Farm Cafe' a counter-service cafe, located at the end of the pier, over the Pacific Ocean.
When: Café: Monday-Friday 9AM-3PM, Saturday-Sunday 8AM-4PM; Restaurant: Monday-Friday 11AM-8PM, Saturday-Sunday 9AM-8PM
Where: 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
LA's first boat cinema is coming this summer and it’s officially on our bucket list! Boat Cinema is LA’s first movie experience from your own personal mini boat. Expect a magical night in one of the most stunning settings in Los Angeles with food, drinks, music and even pre-show hang time on the Boat Cinema Beach. Castaic Lake is a bustling lake environment with boaters, water skiing, long stretches of gorgeous beaches and camping. Boat Cinema will drop you into a world that you will only get here. Reserve a mini electric boat, a party boat float or you can even roll up in your own boat after a day on the lake. Pack a picnic or we can have one on your boat prepared for you, but come ready for a summer night on the water with incredible films, food, music and even our one-of-a-kind Canoe Concessions offering boat side service!
When: Every Friday-Sunday July through September
Where: Santa Clarita at Castaic Lake Swim Beach
We’re trying to think of something cooler than getting up close and personal with sea lions and dolphins. Read on while we keep thinking. You can actually kayak and stand-up paddle board to hidden spots in Marina del Rey, leading to swarms of amazing marine life.
When: Time Slots - 11AM-1PM, 1PM-3PM, 3PM-5PM
Where: Depart from Mother’s Beach at 4135 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
One of the best things about living in California is how close we are to some of the most iconic national parks in the country. Joshua Tree is one of the closest to LA at just around 3 hours. The park draws campers & hikers with its geologic wonders & signature Joshua trees. With California boasting everything from posh wineries to ancient natural world wonders, we’ve rounded up 14 of our favorite California gems for an epic summer road trip.
No one does summer sunsets quite like Los Angeles. And the best place to see an LA sunset, is from somewhere that offers you a vantage point of the full LA skyline. Enter: Griffith Observatory. You can make a full day of it – start with a hike to the summit, spend some hours gazing at the stars inside the Observatory (temporarily closed but fingers crossed it makes a summer revival), and top it off with an epic evening sunset of pink, orange and gold.
When: Early evening
Where: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Wine and adventure – name a more dynamic unexpected duo. On the Malibu Wine Hike, you’ll hike a 2-mile loop, exploring the vineyards of Saddlerock Ranch, organic gardens, Chumash native american cave paintings and more. During the 4x4 Vineyard Adventure, a tour guide will take you across the 1000-acre estate. Many of the stops on the 4x4 tour are exclusive to this tour and can not be experienced any other way, with snacks and wine provided for the trek.
Where: Malibu, California
Summer wouldn't be complete without frozen treats, and one of the best can be found in the heart of Larchmont. Our favorite flavors included Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbon (one of their classics) and the Honey Lavender. Be sure to work off the calories walking around the main drag, as Larchmont is one of our favorite hidden spots for people watching.
When: Everyday 12PM-11PM
Where: 240 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Island time awaits just a ferry away. You can take the Catalina Express ferry over from a variety of harbors around the LA and Southern California area, with most getting you to Catalina in just under an hour. One of our favorite things to do while on the island is to rent a golf cart and drive around the main town of Avalon. Later on in the season is the famous Catalina Wine Mixer (ring a bell for any Step Brothers fans?)...one of the most famous wine and music events in the world.
We’re vibing with this rooftop yoga class offering views of the LA skyline. With all levels and all bodies welcome, this black owned business has you working up a sweat and finding your zen, all while listening to R&B, Hip Hop and Rap music.
When: Saturdays; Times Vary
Where: 224 E 11th St Los Angeles, CA 90015
Suited for the “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey” types. For a more daring trek to Catalina, opt for a jet ski adventure. This isn’t your standard tour, but rather a Pacific Ocean adventure that you will never forget. Ride a jetski from Long Beach to Catalina Island and experience all the wonder that exists in our LA offshore playground. Plus, this adventure puts you "face to face" with hundreds of pacific ocean dolphins.
When: Varies, See below for availability
Where: Departs from Long Beach, CA
Silverlake is known for its thrift stores and hipster coffee shops so it’s a no-brainer that it would also be home to one of our favorite farmers markets. Produce, eats, clothes and more, the Silver Lake Farmers Market takes place every Tuesday & Saturday in one of LA's most up and coming neighborhoods.
When: Tuesdays 1:30PM-7PM, Saturdays 8AM-1:30PM
Where: 3700 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
A classic summer activity, snag a seat and a beer to watch a game at Dodgers Stadium. This season, seating will be socially distant with limited capacity and masks are required. However, we’d say that’s a small price to pay for some french fries and hotdogs.
When: See full schedule here
Where: 1000 Vin Scully Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Serving up coffees, cuisine, events and more, there are a plethora of must-stop stalls in downtown LA’s open-air Grand Central Market. This emporium hosts food vendors & florists, plus game nights, movies & other events, bringing together the cuisines and cultures of LA.
When: Everyday 8AM-9PM
Where: 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
For a unique bucket list experience, head to Rainbow Lagoon Park in Long Beach and rent one of their romantic and fun Swan Boats. Both out-of-towners and Long Beach locals will enjoy this brand new experience that’s a refreshing change from the typical beachside pastimes. Soak up some California sunshine as you drift alongside Shoreline Drive, past the Long Beach Convention Center and around Rainbow Lagoon’s grassy islands.
When: 10AM-10PM Everyday
Where: Shoreline Dr At, S Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802
Tucked away in the heart of Venice are the beautiful Venice Canals. Although you won't find any boat rentals, it's a beautiful place to take your daily stroll. You can also bring your own non-motorized vessel to see the neighborhood at water level (you’ll find the launch ramp located at Venice Boulevard).
Where: Venice, CA 90292
Located just southwest of downtown Culver City, you’ll discover the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. To the most local of LA residents, you may hear the site referred to as the Culver City Stairs. While the stairs make for a perfect quick workout, the outdoor staircase also leads up to an incredible view of the greater Los Angeles area.
Where: 6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, CA 90232
A lesser-known gem in Venice, the rainbow-hued Mosaic Tile House captures the vibrant essence of the neighborhood. Though it’s not well known to most, the second you embark into this larger-than-life piece of art, it’s like entering another time and space. You’ll be met with tiles of red, yellow and orange predominantly with every bold color imaginable radiating throughout the space.
When: Open Saturdays
Where: 1116 Palms Blvd, Los Angeles, California, 90291
Enjoy a made-for-you pinterest-worthy escape with picnics tailored to fit a variety of events and occasions, from that special 1st date or 50 year wedding anniversary, to birthday parties, bridal showers, family gatherings, or just a simple meet-up amongst friends.
When: Reservations by Request
Where: Various locations
Classic movies from your car make for the perfect night out. New, bigger, and extra high screens will ensure a good viewing experience for everyone. Sound will come from the stage, like a traditional concert, but you can also hear the show through your car stereo on FM radio!
PROMO: Use code BUCKETLIST below for 25% OFF
When: Dates Vary
Where: Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 W Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001