While our blazing inferno of a summer seems to last deep into October and even meanders into near-Christmas territory, Angelenos might be surprised to learn that summer technically ends September 21. Yes, like all great things, it must come to an end. But before you start stressing over the neglect of your impending fall wardrobe, give yourself this last month to be spontaneous and really revel in what you may not know LA has to offer, before the season is gone . . . forever ever.
1. Explore Sunken City
This under-the-radar stretch of terrain is located in San Pedro. Decades before, cliffside homes suffered a devastating landslide, leaving behind chunks of concrete serving as the perfect blank canvases for graffiti. Nowadays the Sunken City area is gated and sneaking in is technically trespassing, but the gate is easy to surpass and the juxtaposition of summer skies, ocean and [sub]urban art is especially worth it.
2. See the Venice Canals
Too broke for Venice, Italy but don’t want to deal with the hustle-n-bustle and blazing heat of Vegas? Away from the gawk-fest of the Venice Boardwalk lies a little a network of our very own canals, set against a backdrop of gorgeous homes. It’s the perfect setting for a quiet or romantic evening stroll.
3. Wander through Exxopolis
Downtown’s Grand Park hosts this interactive walk-in sculpture filled with dazzling displays of luminous light and color. Inside you’ll find a maze-like environment with “winding paths and soaring domes,” where you’ll encounter performances such as Brazilian berimbau or Japanese shakuhachi. Yup… we don’t know what those are either, but now is a better time than ever to get schooled on world culture. Tickets are free and can be reserved here.
4. Go on an Art Deco Tour
Jostling against our city’s jumbled landscape of concrete and dinky discount stores lies many art deco treasures. The LA Conservancy offers walking tours which allow you to discover the hidden and not-so-hidden architectural gems of downtown, including the Eastern Columbia Building, the Ray Bradbury Building (of 500 days of Summer fame), and more.
5. Picnic and Sip Wine at Barnsdall Art Park
Pack a picnic and join Barnsdall Art Park for one of their summer wine tastings. Atop the grassy hill you’ll find picturesque trees, a marvelous vista of the city, and even views of the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Obervatory. Wine tastings cost $25, include a limited edition wine glass, and are every Friday, with the last one falling on September 20.
6. Eat your way through a Food Tour
If you want to expand your epicurean knowledge of the city but can’t stand to wade through the mess of snooty or non-useful reviews on Yelp, take a guided food tour from companies like SixTaste. Expert guides will help you explore places like Downtown, Chinatown, Santa Monica, and Thai Town, and discover the the hidden gems of each. Ticket prices include the cost of the tour, food and gratuity.
7. Shop the Downtown Flea
Replace that embarrassingly generic IKEA ensemble of furniture with an ironically ugly set of furniture from Downtown Flea! Just kidding. But really, it’s probably time to add some character to your furnishings and Downtown Flea is the perfect opportunity. Spanning four parking lots of DTLA, this new flea market is sure to carry some hidden treasures.
8. View an Art Exhibit
Our city is bursting with art galleries and museums with countless exhibits. After all, Los Angeles is a hub for the arts and you never know when you’ll discover your new favorite artist. And what better way to do so than with free admission? Visit the Hammer on Thursdays for free entry, and view our pick, the Maya Hayuk exhibit, for a dose of psychedelia and bright flourishes of color.
9. Attend an outdoor concert or movie
This one’s a no-brainer. With Southern California weather’s famously sunny disposition, it’s no wonder that the city’s residents take to the outdoors for communal movie showings and free concerts. See our round-ups of movies and concerts here for a convenient list of happenings.
10. Go to the beach
Okay, this one seems like an obvious one, but a quick survey of our office reveals that nobody has gone to the beach this summer except for when we haphazardly attempted a drunken game of volleyball as an office team-building activity. Yikes! Fear of extreme heat and parking terrors have kept many a jaded Angeleno from the beach, but remember that seaside breezes help to cool you down, and the Pacific Ocean is actually quite cold. Head to Manhattan or Hermosa Beach, for example, and take advantage of the volleyball courts offered. Dip your feet into the ocean water. Lay out on a beach towel and catch a tan. After all, what’s the use in living in SoCal if you don’t take advantage of the region’s most envied geographical feature?