Head to San Francisco to celebrate the iconic bridge’s milestone with fireworks, live music, exhibitions and a parade of classic boats. If you miss the celebration, events will be held throughout the year.
Sit under the stars for a night of entertainment, live music and food trucks. Watch a 52-foot-wide projection screen and enjoy food from the Coolhaus truck, the Lime truck and more. Some of the live bands scheduled to play include So Many Wizards, Max & the Moon and Act As If.
Summer barbecue fans will want to definitely check out this whole animal roast at the Tender Greens in Hollywood. Get recipes and tips from participating chefs. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat-and-drink feast of the roast, sides and beer pairings.
Cost: $40 per person
Dates: 4th Sunday of the month from May 27 to Oct. 28
Get together with friends and have a burger cook-off, then send the best recipes to the Los Angeles Times and enter the Battle of the Burgers. Winners will be invited to the Los Angeles Times test kitchen, have their recipes appear in the paper and also be invited to demo their recipes at the Taste event over Labor Day weekend.
Cost: Free to enter
Dates: Entries accepted through May 30; voting May 31 to June 11
If you think strawberries are those sour white fruits you buy at the supermarket, then you haven’t had them fresh from the vines. At the Carlsbad Strawberry Co., you can handpick your strawberries right in the fields. Just buy a bucket and then start filling it to the brim with the sweetest berries you can find.
Over 30 local artists will be showcasing their paintings, drawings, sculptures, jewelry and more at Miramar Park. The park is located on a grassy hill, offering views of the Pacific Ocean and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Dates: First Sunday of the month through September
A laid-back town nestled high in the San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild is a place to “get away from it all.” But it’s even more charming when local artists set up shop to paint outside during the Plein Air Festival.
The festival opens with the North American premiere of Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love” and closes with the world premiere of Steven Soderbergh‘s “Magic Mike,” with many more screenings in between. Discussions with the cast and creator of AMC‘s “Breaking Bad” as well as the creator and director of HBO’s “The Newsroom” are on the agenda for the festival.
In tropical Vietnam, night markets are essential for escaping the summer heat. Fortunately, you can enjoy a Vietnamese night market without traveling farther than Orange County, as the Little Saigon Night Market returns for its second year in June. Enjoy cold sugar cane juice or egg rolls at one of the food stands. If you’re looking to do a little shopping, offerings will include clothing, home goods and flowers.
Dates: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, June 15-Sept. 9
Categories: Shopping, Home & Garden, Entertainment, Kids, Arts & Culture
—J.L. (Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times)
See painter Roger Medearis’ scrapbook photographs, sculptures and paintings of life and landscapes in the Midwest, the East Coast and California. Work up an appetite walking through the gardens and then head to the Rose Garden tea room for tea and scones.
Cost: $15 weekday and $20 weekends for general admission
Art imitates life, but life also imitates good art. The Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach features more than three dozen living recreations of great works of art over 90 minutes, including Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” Vincent van Gogh’s “The Night Café" and Leonardo da Vinci “The Last Supper.” The theme for this year’s pageant is “The Genius,” which explores the connection between art and developments in science and technology.
Cost: General admission starts at $15 and includes admission to the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts
Grab a bite to eat on the promenade then snag a spot on the pier as it transforms into a concert arena. Each night features a different theme, with ‘80s pop rock bands, reggae bands and salsa dancers all slated to perform. You can also put your dancing skills to the test at a tango lesson on Aug. 25.
The fair’s selection of fried foods should be enough to lure you, but if you desire more, you’ll also find rides, games, exhibits, shopping, demolition derbies, rodeos and live entertainment. Performers this year include Adam Lambert, Dead Man’s Party and Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose Hernandez.
Categories: Shopping, Eating, Kids, Entertainment, Arts & Culture
—J.L. (Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times)
Is your favorite show ‘The Amazing Race?’ Here’s your chance to participate in a real scavenger hunt of your own and explore Los Angeles. Form a team and solve clues and face physical and mental challenges around the city for a chance at qualifying for the National Championship in Miami, where the winner will receive $6,500.
Cost: $50 per person by June 21; prices increase after
If you love the stinking rose, you’ll love the Gilroy Garlic Festival. It’s three days of garlic, crafts and live entertainment. The festival features cooking competitions, demonstrations from acclaimed chefs and a Garlic Festival Queen.
Strap on those knee braces, lace up those Jordans that have been buried in the back of the closet since he retired (the third time — yeah, that whole Wizards thing wasn’t just a bad dream) and get a couple of friends together to enter the Nike 3-on-3 basketball tournament down by Staples Center.
Price: Entry fee starts at $180 per team for adults (prices increase after July 1)
The Orange International Street Fair features live entertainment, shopping and row upon row of vendors serving from food around the world. The fair sets up in historic downtown Orange, which is worth a stroll, fair or not.
Categories: Shopping, Eating, Kids, Arts & Culture
—J.L. (Glenn Koenig, Los Angeles Times)
What better way to spend a summer night than under the stars listening to classical music? The acclaimed Los Angeles Philharmonic will play works from composer Tchaikovsky. The closing piece is the “1812 Overture,” which is accompanied by fireworks.
—J.L. (Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times)
Enjoy traditional barbershop services with a twist -- customers receive a complimentary cocktail with every haircut or shave. No need for a cut? Head to the back of the shop and enter the speak-easy, complete with nine grilled-cheese sandwich options.
Expand your taste in ice cream and experience the savory-sweet side of frozen desserts at Neveux Artisan Creamery & Espresso Bar. Explore unique flavors such as Basil Olive Oil, Strawberry Balsamic, and Coconut Curry Lemongrass.
Is there anything better than a stroll through the Getty Museum‘s Central Garden an hour before sunset on a sunny summer day? In a word: No. The garden was created by Robert Irwin and the design takes up 134,000 square feet. The tree-lined walkways, the stream and waterfall, the specialty areas — there’s no other experience like it in Los Angeles. In the “Bowl Garden” alone you can find kangaroo paw, golden angels’ trumpet, crape myrtle, floribunda roses, sage and verbena. The space feels majestic and intimate at the same time.
Ignore your friends who don’t want to set foot in downtown Los Angeles and insist they join you for a quiet visit to the James Irvine Japanese Garden at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Or come alone. It’s used for weddings and receptions but its greatest use may be one of simple contemplation. The (relatively) tiny space includes a stream, blooming trees and flowers. A 30-minute meditation should settle the most tumultuous of minds.
For locals, Venice Beach is often lost in a haze of cliches. Weight-lifting/chain-saw juggling/multiple piercing cliches. Plus, parking on a summer weekend can be miserable. Why bother? Unless….you take an afternoon, or, even better, an early morning, on a week day and abandon the beach for a stroll on the neighborhood canals. Admire the pedestrian bridges and modern architecture that is interspersed amid decades-old bungalows. Imagine what life was like as Angelenos strolled the same paths 100 years ago.
There are UCLA graduates who decided to attend the Westwood campus solely because of the campus sculpture garden (formerly known as the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden). Check out the Noguchi, the Calder, the Lipchitz and the Rodin. Then take off your shoes and stretch out on the grass and abandon every worry in the world.
Cost: free, but $1 to $11 for self-service parking
Some of our beaches fulfill a lot of stereotypes: pale sand and great bods, volleyball and families, picnicking and regularly emptied trashed bins. Naturally, those beaches are popular in the summer and hard to get near during the day. So our advice is: Don’t bother going to Manhattan Beach….until about 5:30 or 6 p.m. Then carry your towels, your dinner and your sweat shirts and spend a couple of hours enjoying the best part of the day.
Cost: The sand is free; pier parking lots are $1.50 per hour
Although starting a community garden isn’t an easy task, it is certainly the most rewarding. Spearhead an initiative to get your neighbors involved in turning an ugly, empty lot into something beautiful.
Meet with friends for a round of drinks and a game of bocce at Tin Roof Bistro. Their “Bocce Hour” (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday) features food and drink specials while you enjoy the Italian sport outdoors.
Who can explain the Museum of Jurassic Technology? Many words have been written and yet nothing really prepares you for spending an hour or two in an exhibit space that was designed to mess with your mind. Try it and then give us a call and try to explain what you’ve just seen.
Relive your Hawaiian vacation and grab a bowl of shaved ice to help cool off in the summer heat. Choose from a selection of flavors and toppings (be sure to sample mochi) at Get Shaved’s stores or any of their food truck stops in Los Angeles.
—D.D. (Genevieve Garner / Photo courtesy of Get Shaved)
Walk the path along the Hollywood Reservoir and enjoy the quiet. Mulholland Dam, built in 1924, houses Los Angeles’ drinking water — so, no pets are allowed on the trail — but there are gorgeous views of the water and the Hollywood sign.
Learn about the history of Catalina Island on this zip line tour (yes, you read correctly: zip line). Starting at the top of the hills and speeding through Descanso Canyon, adventurers will stop at different “eco-stations” to admire the view between zip lines and will end their journey at Descanso Beach.
Cost: $120 per person for 2 hours
Contact: Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour, 1 Descanso Canyon Road, Avalon;
It’s not that we don’t love the wonders of Newport or Laguna Beach. We do. But our advice is to skip all that and head straight to Little Corona at Corona del Mar State Beach. Go early with a coffee and wake up with caffeine and the contemplation of tiny sea life in the tide pools that distinguish the area.
There’s nothing about Mo-Chica that shrieks “one of the more interesting dining experiences in Los Angeles,” but that’s what you can experience if you take the time to dine at the Peruvian restaurant near USC. Quinotto, a dish with wild mushrooms, quinoa grain risotto and crema fraiche, is just one of several dishes that might knock your socks off.
Learn more about what the Los Angeles underground hip-hop scene has to offer at this special series offered at LACMA. The series was put together by hip hop artist Murs, and different artists will be performing in front of the museum’s “Urban Light” sculpture.
Cost: $15 general admission
Date: Third Thursday of the month, through October
Visit The Echo Park Time Travel Mart and gather essentials for traveling into the past (or future). Need a Centurion helmet? Or a robot toupee? Get them both here. Profits from the store help support the 826LA writing and tutoring center.
Grab the family and board a vessel for some quality time out at sea. The Newport Landing Whale watching crew will take you on a two and a half hour whale cruise in search of giant blue whales and finback whales off Newport Beach.
Once a month the entire Natural History Museum stays open until 10 p.m. for an evening of live music concerts, tours and scientific discussions. This season’s discussions will be moderated by Michael W. Quick, PhD. (Department of Biological Sciences and Executive Vice Provost, University of Southern California).
Cost: For adults, museum and concert admission $18, museum admission only, $12
Hiking and outdoor yoga are two great ways to enjoy the Los Angeles summer weather. Combine a cardio workout from hiking with the benefits of yoga in a yoga hike at Griffith Park. A trainer will take you through a trail with stops along the way for yoga.
The Yamashiro farmers market is unlike any farmers market in the city. The nighttime market offers beautiful views of the city, located in back of the Yamashiro restaurant. Listen to live music and stroll the vendors, which include fresh produce, clothing, candles and prepared foods, including offerings from the Yamashiro Grill.
Dates: Thursdays until the first Thursday of October
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first timer, this recreational lawn game is fun for everyone. The Roxbury Memorial Park is one of the only places in the city that has a croquet green where you can spend the afternoon with friends playing this game.
Cost: Fees will vary, call for more information and reservations (323) 937-4343
The Colorado Street bridge, built in 1913, is a beautiful, must-see landmark in Pasadena, known for its Beaux Arts arches. At sunset the lights that line the bridge illuminate a romantic path into Old Town, the downtown area of the city. Walk the bridge and then enjoy the many shops and restaurants the city has to offer.
Leimert Park is a thriving community of artists located in South Los Angeles. Walk the streets and duck into the small coffee shops and art galleries or check out The Leimert Park art walk, which brings the best the area has to offer into one place. It’s a bustling scene of DJs, poets, rappers, artists and a famous drum circle.
Los Angeles is full of great taco trucks, so why choose just one for dinner? Next time you feel like tacos, try at least two trucks in one night. Start at Tacos Leo in the parking lot of the 76 station at Venice and La Brea for pastor tacos, then finish at the taco truck up the street at La Brea and Olympic called El Chato for a killer burrito.
Rollerblading on the strand of any beach can be fun, but it’s especially enjoyable seaside in Manhattan Beach. Don’t own your own roller blades? Rent a pair from the Hermosa Cyclery then head to the beach to people and glide down the strand.
In need of relaxation? Take a dip in Desert Hot Springs. The city is built over natural hot mineral water aquifers and is home to over 20 spas. It’s a particularly interesting experience in the middle of the summer.
Price: Spa use starts at $5 at the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel
Grab supplies for s’mores and head to Dockweiler State Beach west of LAX airport. You’ll hear the roar of planes overhead, but Dockweiler is one of the few Los Angeles County beaches that permit bonfires. Arrive early to stake out your pit.
This 111-year-old funicular takes you up and down Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. A ride takes about a minute, so while you’re in the area, visit Grand Central Market, located across the street, or stroll through downtown’s art galleries along Spring and Main between 3rd and 8th streets.
Drive-in movies may have gone out of fashion, but with ticket prices at conventional theaters soaring to upward of $12 for a new release, perhaps it’s time to relive the bygone days. At the Mission Tiki drive-in, you get two movies for $7. Bring a picnic basket along and enjoy dinner before your film.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a morning run. Why not extend your jog to 13.1 or 26.2 miles? Marathons are a great way to see a city, whether new or familiar. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to train.
Cost: San Francisco, $115 for half and $155 for full; Half Moon Bay, $80 for half and $125 for full; Lake Tahoe, $120 for half and $130 for full
Dates: San Francisco half and full, July 29; Half Moon Bay half and full, Sept. 23; Lake Tahoe half and full, Sept. 30
—J.L. (Brant Ward / The Chronicle / Associated Press)
If you can’t afford to visit Denmark this summer, drive about two hours north of Los Angeles to Solvang, a domestic substitute. You’ll find windmills, Danish cookies and wooden clogs. The picturesque city is easy to see on foot, but you’ll also find shops that rent surreys and bikes.
—J.L. (Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times)
Starting in Huntington Beach, the Santa Ana River Trail stretches all the way to San Bernardino. Biking the trail, you get a little bit of everything. It passes through marshlands, urban areas, rivers and forests.
Take advantage of long summer days and hike to the top of Mt. Wilson. It’s no easy climb, as a round trip from Chantry Flat is about 13 miles and will take you a full day. Along the way, you’ll pass through rivers and a 50-foot waterfall. Once you reach the top, your reward is an observatory, café and panoramic views of the San Gabriel Valley.
If you’ve made the drive to the Bay area from the Southland, you probably took Interstate 5. It’s fast but lacks in scenery. This summer, take your time and cruise California’s coast along Highways 1 and 101. You’ll pass through picturesque destinations such as Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey and Santa Cruz. This route isn’t recommended if you’re prone to carsickness, as the roads can be winding.
Find inner peace at His Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights. This picturesque temple offers classes in meditation and Buddhism, which are available in English, as well as art exhibitions and tours. While you’re there, have a vegetarian meal at the temple’s dining hall.
The adobe-clad monument to universal love and goodwill is famous the world over as a folk art treasure. But artist Leonard Knight, who worked year-round to maintain the “mountain,” entered a convalescent home last year, and its future is uncertain. Be sure to visit in case preservation efforts fail. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-salvation-20120226,0,4744945.story
Pictured: Glass Studio in Highland Park(Ricardo DeAratanha, Los Angeles Times)
The towering boulders of the 76-acre Stoney Point Park are a favorite for climbers, as well as plain old hikers adventuring over rocks and through tight spaces. There’s an endless variety of ways to getting to the top, which provides one of the best views of the San Fernando Valley.
Step out for an urban tour of Silver Lake’s secret public staircases — former access routes left over from the days before car culture took over. With a little searching, you can find hiking routes online for free, but of course there’s also an app for that (as well as a paperback guide written by Charles Fleming).
Located off the 110 Freeway in Montecito Heights, Debs Park is one of the most underrated green spaces in the city. The Audubon Center there hosts free nature hikes and bird-watching programs for the entire family, presented in both English and Spanish.
Aerospace dropout George Van Tassel claimed that aliens had given him the plans to build a time-traveling rejuvenation dome out in the Mojave Desert. The Integratron’s current owners regularly host “sound baths,” in which quartz bowls are played within the dome, accentuated by its unusual acoustic properties.