Yes, this is a travel blog - but right now I need to pay homage to LA in the summertime, because it's unlike anywhere else. The city of Angels buzzes with energy and happiness after the June solstice; it feels like there are fewer horns blowing in traffic jams and more smiles exchanged with baristas and bartenders. Everyone is outside, hiking or swimming, cycling, walking, or just sitting and watching time pass by. The beaches and city parks breathe new life when the heat of July swoops in to escort June gloom out the door. If I'm not gushing enough about my city, I'll give you five good reasons to help you understand what I mean.
1. Hiking and camping near water often turns into swimming. The hiking in and around Los Angeles is incredible any time of the year - it's one of my favorite things about living here. And sure, there's something to be said about hiking in the winter when you can sport long sleeves and a hat without breaking a sweat. But in the summer, you have to earn your hike - it's hot, and you're probably dripping sweat, and exhausted. So there's nothing better than jumping in the nearby reservoir, or taking a seat in the river you've crossed over a few times. Bodies of water near campsites turn into pseudo-bath tubs that get you "kinda clean." But mostly - it's just fun!
2. Weekends evenings are spent at rooftop bars. It's not that the rooftop bars go away in the winter, but they sure are better in the summer. Chilled rose and fruity cocktails are delivered on trays to girls in sundresses leaning on the railing, watching the sun go down over the city. String lights pop on and groups gather around bistro tables as warm breezes roll down over the hills from the valley. I mean, it's just...perfect.
3. Music festivals are in full swing. Coachella may have come and gone, but this year is the beginning of a new festival era - Arroyo Seco's inaugural weekend just happened this Saturday and Sunday in Pasadena. Less about the fashion and night life and more about chill vibes and local food and drink, it was a huge success with the LA crowd. And Arroyo Seco is just one of many - summer in LA also brings around FYF Fest, Nocturnal Wonderland and more.
4. The beaches are at their best. It's questionable if the water is ever really "warm enough" to swim in - my boyfriend tells me I'm just being a wimp. But whether you're in the water or not, it's always fun to enjoy a day at the beach in the summer. Families set up camp with shade tents and plenty of food, and there's always a token group of college kids attempting to hide their beer from the beach patrol. And, because LA arguably has some of the best looking people in the world, it's always enjoyable to people watch...if you know what I mean.
5. Things that normally happen inside also happen outside. You may be noticing a theme here - Angelinos love being outside in the summertime. The Hollywood Bowl and The Greek Theater bring concerts outside, and Street Food Cinema and Cinespia bring the movie theater experience to a park or cemetery (seriously) near you! Restaurants open up or extend their outdoor patio seating, and rooftop bars...did I mention rooftop bars??
I guess what I'm trying to do is convince everyone I know to come visit me this summer. If you don't know me, you should still come - rent one of the many incredible Airbnbs in LA, or splurge and stay in a fancy Beverly Hills hotel. Just - don't miss LA in the summer. And if you can't catch this one, catch the next one. Or at least put it on your "to go" list. It's worth it!