Top 10 Reasons to Visit Los Angeles in the Summer

What Makes Summer the Perfect Time to Visit LA?

The biggest reason NOT to visit LA in the summer is the crowds. But of course, the reason there are crowds is that summer is a great time to visit LA. Here are some of the best reasons to visit Los Angeles during the summer months.

  • 01 of 10
    Santa Monica Beach
    ••• Santa Monica Beach. Photo Credit: Rebecca Emery/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Summer is really the best time of the year to go to the beach in LA. It may still be cool, but you have a better chance of hot days and the water is a little warmer than the rest of the year. Lifeguard towers are only staffed during the summer, and most beach vendors only operate in summer.

    Check out my guide to LA Beaches and the Top Things to Do at the Beach.

  • 02 of 10
    Surfing in Huntington Beach
    ••• Surfing in Huntington Beach. Photo © 2009 Kayte Deioma, used with permission

    From kayaking to kite boarding, surfing to water-skiing, sailing to sport fishing, summer is the best time to be out on the Pacific Ocean. Although there may be better surf waves in the winter, the warmer 70 degree water is less chilling while still keeping you plenty cool in the summer heat.

  • 03 of 10
    Deja Vu at Six Flags Magic Mountain
    ••• Deja Vu suspended roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain. © Peter Brandt/Getty Images
    The lines are longer during the peak summer theme park season, but the hours are also longer, giving you more hours to get your money's worth out of your park visit.
  • 04 of 10
    Soak City
    ••• Soak City Beach House. Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of
    LA area water parks tend to stay open from Memorial Day though September or October weekends. So this is the only time of year you can enjoy this wet and slippery fun.
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Grand Performances at California Plaza
    ••• Sidestepper performs at Grand Performances at California Plaza. Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of

    Nearly every community in Greater Los Angeles offers some kind of outdoor music series in the summer, from the Santa Monica Pier to Downtown Los Angeles. Some are ticketed events, but many are free. Check out more free things to do in LA.

  • 06 of 10
    Shakespeare by the Sea Comedy of Errors
    ••• Shakespeare by the Sea Comedy of Errors. Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of

    With the plethora of talented actors in town, there is great theatre all year long, but during the summer, Shakespeare and other classics take over LA's outdoor stages with LA Summer Theatre Festivals from the Valley to Orange County.

  • 07 of 10
    Gulistan Dancers at Ford Amphitheatre
    ••• Gulistan Dancers at Ford Amphitheatre. Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of

    Summer is a great time to visit with kids, since there is some kind of Summer Family Festival going on almost every weekend, from neighborhood carnivals and international street fairs to special events at museums and the Hollywood Bowl.

  • 08 of 10
    Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade
    ••• Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade. Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of

    Los Angeles area communities go all out to celebrate Independence Day from fireworks at the Rose Bowl to the biggest 4th of July Parade in the west in Huntington Beach. See the Full list of 4th of July Events in LA and Orange County.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Pig Races at the Fair
    ••• Pig Races at the Fair. Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of

    The Orange County Fair provides four weeks of typical county fair fun mid-July through mid-August including rides, games, art, livestock, harvest and cooking competitions, technology exhibits and gadgets galore.

  • 10 of 10
    Pageant of the Masters
    ••• Pageant of the Masters. Courtesy of Pageant of the Masters

    Just 40 minutes south of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach stages three summer-long arts festivals including the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival, and Art-A-Fair.

    Read more about all the Laguna Beach Art Festivals.