Los Angeles, located in Southern California, is home to sunshine, beautiful beaches, and ripe avocados. It’s a great summer destination and the Holiday Swap app is filled with great tips from restaurants, breweries, beaches and more. Here are our twenty favorite places to go to in LA, which make a great bucket list for the summer.
Food in Los Angeles
Sweet Rose Creamery
Sweet Rose Creamery’s homemade ice cream has some of the best and most authentic flavors. The mint chip is made with real mint and the caffe latte is flavored with Café Luxxe’s coffee beans (another favorite).
Salt and Straw
Looking for new, bizarre yet amazing ice cream flavors? Head to Salt and Straw. They have the classics, but also unique flavors that you never thought would work in ice cream before like pear and blue cheese or black olive brittle and goat cheese.
The Butcher’s Daughter
The Butcher’s Daughter on Abbot Kinney is filled with natural light acai bowls and smashed avocado on toast. If you’re looking for a healthy bite to eat, this is it.
What is better than sitting outside on the Malibu pier and eating brunch (or lunch or dinner, whatever you fancy). The food is great and you can watch the surfers on the first point.
If you want to try some of the best pizza on the west coast head over to Gjelina. However, if you want to spend less, Abbot’s Pizza is an excellent alternative.
If you’re looking for great coffee in the morning or an afternoon pickup, try Intelligentsia. They also have a great chai latte, or better yet, dirty chai.
The Rose Café is a good choice for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a coffee and a pastry. It works with your friends, family, a date or even just to sit and do work.
Entertainment in Los Angeles
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is probably most notable for being the place of rest for notable figures such as Judy Garland and Jerry Siegel, but it is also one of the best outside cinemas during the summer. Bring blankets, dinner, and drinks, and enjoy one of the screenings under the stars.
Whether you go in the day, at sunset or at night, the view of LA is impeccable from Griffith Observatory. We highly recommend going to a live show in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium after exploring the exhibits.
Santa Monica Pier
Head to the Santa Monica Pier this summer for a great view of the beach, some fun rides and live music over the summer in the evenings. If you take a picnic and sit on the beach you can get the best view and still enjoy the music from the pier.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
The concert hall designed by Franky Gehry is an inspiring piece of architecture. They are currently celebrating their tenth anniversary, so head over to listen to an amazing performance.
Rose Bowl Stadium
Rose Bowl Stadium is a must-see. All summer they have different events from sports, to food festivals, and the famous flea market held every second Sunday of the month. It’s a fun vibe for the summer and you can enjoy some good food and drinks while you’re there.
Activities and Culture in LA
Day(s) at the Beach
If you’re in LA over the summer you need to have a couple of beach days. Try surfing at Malibu’s Zuma Beach or take a picnic and sit by the Santa Monica Pier. Whatever you do, just make sure you go!
Rent a bike along the famous Venice boardwalk and bike along the beach path. You’ll get a quick tour of Venice and Santa Monica and enjoy the beautiful ocean breeze. If the beach isn’t your style, take a bike ride along the Los Angeles River where there is an abundance of restaurants to have lunch at, such as Spoke and Salazar.
Although LA is mostly known for its beaches, there are also great hiking trails with waterfalls. Trek on the Gabrielino Trail to reach the 50-foot waterfall.
Despite the worrying sign for mountain lions, this is a great hike in the heart of Malibu. You’ll get incredible views of the mountains and ocean hiking the 2.5-mile loop. It’s a must-see for the summer.
The Getty Villa
Whether you want to go for the art, the architecture or the gardens, check out the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.
Santa Monica Farmers Market
The farmers market is a great place to purchase local produce and get some breakfast, fresh-pressed juices, coffee and more. We recommend going to the Main Street farmers market open on Sundays. They usually have some live music, activities and an abundance of food stands offering everything from waffles to burgers.
Take a stroll along the historic Venice canals. The canals were built by Abbot Kinney in 1905 and continue to be an LA staple. Take a walk along the canals for the beautiful scenery, bridges, and homes.
La Brea Tar Pits
The La Brea Tar Pits Museum is one of the most spectacular displays of fossils dating back from the Ice Age. It’s an incredible experience with a rich history. You will definitely learn a lot on this trip.
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