Here’s how to spend the last days of summer in L.A. and beyond

An illustration of a tent, the sun and moon, a car and a mountain.
(Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Apple)

Labor Day has come and gone, which means that we’re in the final days of summer. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean much for those living in always-sunny L.A., we’ve got a few ideas to make the most of this summer’s official last hurrah.

What says the end of summer more than having a good old-fashioned backyard barbecue? That’s why we’ve kicked off this list with a how-to guide for making the best burgers. Maybe you’d rather someone else do the cooking while you simply enjoy nature? Check out our guide to pairing the perfect takeout with 18 different L.A. parks.

For those who are hoping to soak up the last of the summertime rays of sunshine, we have you covered with plenty of hiking options. Nature preserves, dog-friendly treks, tree-covered trails, coastal excursions — you can take your pick of what fits into your schedule. If you’d rather spend time outside without the hiking component, we also found the best places in L.A. to find shade on hot summer days. Other summertime excursions include exploring Southern California’s best pot shops and chilling poolside at L.A. hottest hotels.

No matter where in California you are, we’ve made sure that there is something for you on this list including ideas for exploring Northern California, Central California, Catalina Island and Santa Barbara.

Please note, Forest Service officials have announced that all California national forests will temporarily close due to wildfire danger. Before hitting the trails or planning a camping trip, make sure to check for the latest updates and plan accordingly.