Top 10 Ways to Beat the Heat in Los Angeles

Things to Do in Los Angeles When It's Too Hot

Crowded Santa Monica Beach

 Rebecca Emery/Getty Images

One thing that is relatively dependable in Los Angeles is that inland summer temperatures will be hot. For a few weeks here and there, it's scorching all the way to the beach. Here are some great ways to escape the oppressive heat if it gets too much for you.

  • 01 of 10

    Go to the Beach

    Manhattan Beach
    Marika Bortolami / flickr

    LA County has 81 miles of beaches from Malibu to Long Beach. Orange and Ventura Counties offer additional miles of sand and sea. Beach temperatures are generally 20 to 30 degrees cooler than in inland areas of L.A.

    If you're not a lay-on-the-beach type of person, there are plenty of activities, from bike rentals to kite surfing, and attractions to make your trip to the beach a cool one.  

  • 02 of 10

    Visit a Museum

    Los Angeles Museums
    Mark Gibson / Getty Images

    With over 230 museums and historical homes to visit in the Los Angeles area, you can find someplace to get out of the sun for an hour or all day.

    Explore which museums strike your fancy, from the more traditional art and history museums, to museums of cars, trains, planes, and ships or the quirky Bunny Museum and Museum of Death. There's certainly something for every taste.

  • 03 of 10

    Hop on a Bus Tour

    Starline Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Bus
    Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to

    If you want to cover a lot of ground while keeping cool, take an air-conditioned bus tour. There are several companies and itineraries to choose from.   

    Note that there are a lot of open-top bus and van tours. The upper deck or open van probably won't be your best bet if it's 100 degrees out since there's no shade and no AC.

  • 04 of 10

    Take a Self-Drive Tour

    Capitol Records Building, Hollywood
    Downtowngal, Creative Commons

    If you have a car and prefer to see things on your own, try a one-day driving tour of LA. As long as you have air conditioning in the car, you can stay cool and comfortable, and driving toward the water or the mountains will drop the temperature by 10 to 20 degrees most of the time. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Sail off on a Boat Tour

    Los Angeles whale watching
    Alessandro Valli / flickr

    If you've seen most of the on-shore attractions, try a boat tour, boat rental or fishing excursion. It's always significantly cooler out on the water. Boat tour options range from private gondola tours of inland canals to dinner dance cruises and harbor tours. For a bargain, you can just ride around on a water taxi all afternoon in Long Beach. 

  • 06 of 10

    See a Movie in a Classic Movie Palace

    El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
    Kayte Deioma

    Normally, you might not want to spend part of your vacation time inside a movie theater, but in Los Angeles, going to one of the classic Hollywood movie palaces like Disney's El Capitan can add another dimension to your film viewing experience.

  • 07 of 10

    Shop 'Til You Drop at LA Shopping Malls

    Beverly Center, Los Angeles, CA
    Kayte Deioma

    Many of the shopping centers in Southern California are now built as outdoor malls, rather than the enclosed, air conditioned malls built in the 60s and 70s. The shops themselves are air conditioned, but you're outside between shops. There are a few indoor LA malls left where you can still escape the heat while you browse from shop to shop.

  • 08 of 10

    Splash Around at Water Parks

    Knott's Soak City Water Park
    Kayte Deioma

    Water parks are a great way to cool off if you're in the neighborhood. We listed water parks lower on the list for two reasons. First, most of them are located outside the most common tourist areas in LA, so you have to drive a bit to get there. Second, they are located in some of the hottest areas, so the time you spend waiting in line, you may be in the 112-degree heat.

    Knott's Soak City in Buena Park and Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove are the most accessible and quite convenient if you're visiting Knott's Berry Farm or Disneyland. Great Wolf Lodge is the only one that will help if we're experiencing a heat wave October through Mid-May since the others are only open during the summer months.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Indulge in Frozen Treats

    Disney Soda Fountain
    Myrna Litt / flickr

    Frozen treats range from low-calorie sorbets to thick and creamy ice creams. When its hot outside you'll crave something sweet and cool. LA Weekly publishes a list of the top ice cream parlors where you can cool off and indulge your sweet tooth. 

    Los Angeles is home to many international ice cream parlors. LA Weekly takes you on a written tour of a world of cool delights such as coconut shaved ice and mochi ice cream, kind of an ice-cream filled rice dumpling.

  • 10 of 10

    Attend a TV Show Taping

    Paramount Studios
    Kayte Deioma

    Many shows take a hiatus in summer, but there is always something taping in LA. To escape the daytime heat, look for game shows or daytime talk shows taping.

    Get tickets for shows at CBS Television City to see popular shows like Dancing With the Stars or Dancing with the Stars Juniors as the contestants dance their way toward that elusive mirror ball trophy. And then get tickets to join in on the Late Late Show to see James Condon, the Carpool Karaoke king.

    If it's really hot or rainy, they try to move the waiting line indoors or at least into the shade.