What are the perks of living in Southern California? Everything! The weather, the access to both the beach or the mountains, and the great culture are just some of the incredible reasons to live in SoCal. There’s also always something to do whether you’re willing to shell out some money or you want to do something on the cheap.
1.) Summer Bonfires
Burgers and bonfires by the beach! Decades comes and decades go, but chilling at the beach around a blazing (but contained) bonfire is a quintessential way to spend a Southern California night. Check out CBS LA’s list of Best Places For A Bonfire in Los Angeles.
2.) Outdoor Watering Holes
Get to a watering hole when the heat gets turned up! Swimming is such a beloved SoCal sport that some people make an effort to befriend someone with a pool. If you’re friends all live in studio apartments, hang out at the pool at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood or the Ace Hotel in Downtown. You can also go to one of our Best Outdoor Swimming Spots in Los Angeles and come home with that happy, warm covered-in-chlorine smell that reminds us of being kids.
3.) Take Me Out To The Ballgame!
Dodgers Games and Friday Night Fireworks at Dodger’s Stadium are a must! Have a blast every Friday during the summer when they set off a terrific fireworks show after a game! You can view the Dodgers’ schedule here.
4.) Urban Explorations
Go on urban explorations! Grab a flashlight, your smartphone map and a snack and go for long walks through your neighborhood. We spend so much time in the car and a Southern California night is the perfect way to see your city from a different perspective. Just don’t break into anyone’s property!
5.) Street Parties
You can guarantee that something good will be happening somewhere during a Southern California summer. Our weather is never bad! We love Chinatown Summer Nights, KTOWN Night Market and the ongoing Downtown Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles. Free and totally fun, plus food trucks!
6.) Bike It Out!
Southern California has parks and bike trails galore, but we also have some very pretty (and diverse) urban spots. Turn over your four wheels and get moving on two during this summer’s Ciclavia on August 14th. You can burn some calories for that post-biking ice cream trip.
7.) Getting Out On The Water
Even when we can’t get out of town, we love pretending that we’re on a trip by the lake or on the open seas (which is totally possible in L.A.) by taking a cruise on the Echo Park Paddle Boats or a kayak on the LA River. Want to get out on the Pacific Ocean? Head down to Marina del Rey Boat Rentals to rent everything from sail boats and jet ski’s to power boats and more. There’s plenty of paddle-boarding and water activities to take part in at these spots, too!
8.) Cool Treats
From frozen yogurt to ice cream and sorbet, Southern California has a plethora of terrific cooling off spots throughout the area. Eating frozen yogurt, ice cream or soft-serve for every meal is a must during these hot summers. Southern California has a devout frozen yogurt community as well. Check out our new favorite spot, Yoga-urt, in Glendale which is completely vegan soft-serve. Super yum!
7.) Music Festivals
These days, there’s a music festival for every type of music. From Hard Summer and FYF Fest to the Echo Park Rising shows, Southern California offers plenty of ways to get your music fix this summer. Wandering the streets and eating from taco trucks during a red-hot Southern California night and listening to new bands is always our idea of a good time.
8.) Outdoor Concerts & Movies
When summer hits, you can expect a myriad of terrific outdoor concerts and movies. From big name acts like Mumford & Sons, The Head And The Heart, Ben Harper, Jackson Browne, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Deftones, Ray Lamontagne, M83, and Fitz And The Tantrums playing legendary music venues like The Hollywood Bowl and the Greek Theatre to seeing an outdoor movie under the stars, Southern California summers rule! Visit CBSLA’s guide to Eat|See|Hear for dates and times for their outdoor movies, or The Hollywood Forever cemetery for information about concerts and movie times. Cinespia also offers terrific shows that can never be overlooked this summer. Or, visit some other options for seeing movies under the stars. Concerts at the bowl are not to be overlooked either. Get cheap seats, bring a picnic and just go for the sheer fun of sitting there and hearing eclectic types of music unfold.
9.) Sipping Drinks On Rooftops
Sure, it’s hot outside, but what better way to cool off than to visit some of Southern California’s best rooftops and enjoy a nice cocktail? L.A. and Orange County offer great rooftop bars with tasty drinks that will not only act as a great place to hang out, but also as a spot to beat that heat. From High at Hotel Erwin in Venice to Skyloft in Laguna Beach, there’s plenty to be thankful for during these summer months. Visit Los Angeles’ Best Rooftop Bars or cool off in Orange County.
10.) Catching Free Concerts
Free concerts are everywhere during summer months in Southern California. With music being one of the city’s most prevalent forms of entertainment, it’s everywhere. Stop by Monday night residences at The Satellite to see acts like Local Natives, Fitz & The Tantrums and other upcoming acts, check out lunchtime concerts in Grand Park, or visit Monday night residences at the Echo. Free music is everywhere!