See LA Like a Local in Spring & Summer

May 18, 2015

Los Angeles is a multitude of micro-cities, where concrete and coastline collide to create one of the most diverse and bustling places in the world. If you’re planning to visit, you’re likely picturing yourself taking it all in from the base of the Hollywood sign or in a convertible, cruising down the palm tree-lined streets of Beverly Hills. Beyond the iconic activities that attract tourists from across the globe, we’ve compiled a list of must-do spring and summertime experiences favored by local Angelenos. Happy exploring!

Rooftop Bars

Photo from Flickr by Blake Patterson

Sip a “Midnight in Paris” on the 15th floor of Perch, overlooking downtown’s Pershing Square and the historic Union Station. Get there early to grab a seat by the fire pit on the outdoor patio and sip hand-crafted cocktails while listening to retro Parisian music.

A few blocks away, dip your feet in the pool at the Ace Hotel’s Upstairs rooftop bar (pictured), adorned with Navajo accents and a hip clientele. In the Midcity area, The Roof at The Hotel Wilshire, a Kimpton property, offers sweeping cityscapes and serves weekend brunch with bottomless mimosas by “Iron Chef” contestant Eric Greenspan.

Or, get panoramic beach views at High at Hotel Erwin in Venice, overlooking the boardwalk with plenty of people-watching to entertainment you from above.

Flea Market and Farmers Markets

Photo from Flickr by Alonzo

Peruse vintage treasures and local art at Melrose Trading Post hosted every Sunday on LA’s infamous avenue. While the popular flea market at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl also offers eclectic and rare finds, Melrose offers a great locale to get a taste of West Hollywood culture – keep your eyes open for celeb sightings!

Afterwards, cruise down the road to the farmers market on Melrose Place for fresh produce picks and a trendy cup of joe at Alfred Coffee & Kitchen. Other markets to visit beyond the historic Original Farmers Market at The Grove include the Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Hollywood pop-ups.

Malibu Wine Tasting

Just last summer, the Malibu Coast was deemed an official California wine region, and visitors can choose from a number of wineries to imbibe. Located on Pacific Coast Highway, Rosenthal Winery (pictured) offers ocean views from their tasting room.

Tucked away in the canyon, explore Malibu Wines, with a sweeping lawn and outdoor tasting bars in a ranch-style setting. If you’re feeling exceptionally adventurous, book a safari tour of the 1,000-acre vineyard and catch sights of the winery’s famous zebras.


Photo from Flickr by Ryan Vaarsi

Adventure beyond a hike to the Hollywood sign or Runyon Canyon and check out Griffith Park’s “Old Zoo” hike, taking you up twisting trails past remnants of the original LA Zoo built in 1912. Take a break to walk inside what was once a lion cave or pose for a photo in a monkey cage.

For stunning ocean views, visit Pacific Palisades’ Will Rogers State Historic Park and pass by horse stables and polo fields while accessing numerous hiking trails designed for all levels.


Presenting pop culture film hits paired with food trucks and live bands matching the theme of the movie, Street Food Cinema takes your theatre experience outdoors and across the city. Find your favorite flick, pick from one of Street Food Cinema’s 11 locations and make sure to pack a picnic blanket. Who doesn’t love “Forrest Gump” complemented with a fried shrimp po’boy from the Ragin Cajun food truck?

For seaside fun, one of the most anticipated warm weather events is the Twilight Concerts, free every Thursday night starting in July. Each week a band plays on the Santa Monica Pier, and onlookers set up camp across the sand, turning the shore into one of the city’s biggest summertime picnics. For outdoor concerts with mountain views, look no further than the Greek Theatre or the Hollywood Bowl, and don’t forget to pack your wine and cheese.

Local Breweries

After your hike through the old zoo, take a short drive across the train tracks to Golden Road Brewing, one of LA’s best craft breweries that is known not only for their drinks, but for their mouth-watering vegan fare. Try the 329 Lager, named after the number of sunny days per year in LA.

Or, stop into the downtown Art District’s Angel City Brewing Company for beer made onsite in an art-deco-adorned warehouse. Book a tour of the brewery, and if you have a dog, they’re welcome in the tasting room too!

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