If Game of Thrones' tagline was instead "Summer is coming", it'd probably take place in LA instead of Westeros, people would be smiling instead of surly, and... um... there would likely still be tons of nudity. Also, they'd probably do these 12 insane things happening this Summer, every one of which you're gonna want to calendar, bookmark, and hopefully not kill members of your family at.
The 12 things you absolutely have to do in LA this Summer
What: Friday night wine tasting at Barnsdall Art Park
When: May 30th, and all other Fridays through the Summer
Where: Barnsdall Art Park
You can actually get a late-Spring start on this Summer, tradition starting NOW. $25 scores you a four-glass flight from a rotating selection of worldly wines (plus a commemorative stemless wine glass!) in one of those LA spots-you-always-mean-to-visit-but-also-always-forget-about.
What: Tacolandia and the LA Street Food Fest
When: June 28th
Where: Tacolandia: El Pueblo De Los Angeles; LASFF: Rose Bowl
Two of the absolute-best eating events of the season are the same day, but if you plan ahead, you can actually still hit both. Get to Tacolandia just as it opens at 3pm, riffle through a bunch of loncheros curated by taco-man-about-town Bill Esparza, and then head North to the Rose Bowl, where you can shovel in everything from Asian dumplings to burgers to... more tacos!
What: Camp Outpost
When: July 5th
Where: Lake Piru, Los Padres National Forest
LA's resident "non-profit performing arts clubhouse and pioneering excursion provider" Echo Country Outpost is hosting an adult Summer camp an hour out of town. It's on a lake in the woods with pontoon boats, tons of booze, a big fish fry, games, movies, and bands. BYOTents.
What: Twilight at the Pier's launch show
When: July 10th
Where: Santa Monica Pier (and the surrounding beach)
Is there anything more awesomely-LA than setting up a BYOBlanket on the Santa Monica beach and pseudo-listening to sick, carefully-curated bands -- like this launch event's psych-laden lineup of Coachella vets Cults and the LA band James SuperCave, all for free? No. No there is absolutely not.
What: First annual LA Ribs Fest
When: July 13th
Where: Outdoors in Chinatown
The dudes who brought you the first LA fried chicken fest (which returns August 17th -- BONUS!) are adding ribs to their fest utility belt, with this inaugural event featuring yum from the Spice Table dude and the Corazon Y Miel guy, among many others.
What: Karma Kandyland
When: July 26th
Where: Secret Location
The details aren't 100% solidified yet (keep refreshing the website, here), but the yearly party from the somewhat non-profity Karma crew is at a private mansion in the hills, and is kind of a dreams-will-be-fulfilled night. The guest list includes models (!) and Playmates (!!), the booze is included, and there's always a big-time surprise musical guest.
What: Six Man
When: July 30th
Where: Manhattan Beach
Sure, you could go to this yearly volleyball tournament to watch chicks in gold bikinis hit balls, but you won't. You'll go there to drink (and maybe also watch chicks in gold bikinis hit balls), like thousands and thousands of other people. And it'll be amazing.
What: Terminator 2: Judgement Day free outdoor screening
When: August 7th
Where: Sunset Triangle
As you already know, there are a bazillion outdoor screenings this Summer. But there's gonna be something special about sitting outside in Silverlake, with a bunch of other people who are all going to cheer when Arnie motorcycle-jumps into the LA river.
What: Crab Cake
When: August 17th
Where: Beach Nation
For the second year, Top Chef winner/ink. guy Michael Voltaggio is hosting this all-you-can-eat crab fest with some famous friends, including Duff Goldman and Joel Madden. They'll all be cracking live crabs, plus doing peel-and-eat shrimps, hush puppies, c-cakes, and non-stop Bloodys.
What: LA Food and Wine
When: August 21st-24th
Where: Various Locations
The enormo, weekend-long food fest returns, with day-long tastings Downtown, lunches and dinners around the city, and a to-be-confirmed list of chefs that in the past has included ultra-heavy hitters like Iron Chef Morimoto and Wolfgang Puck.
What: OC Brew Ha Ha
When: September 6th
Where: Irvine Lake
This monstrous tasting and benefit for the Fallen Firefighters offers 170 craft beers, food trucks, and music from Reel Big Fish, so get tickets before the inevitable "Sell Out". Which is a Reel Big Fish song. Which is why that's funny.
What: Have beers on the beach at Paradise Cove
When: All Summer Long
Where: Paradise Cove
There aren't many places you can actually sit on the beach and have a beer legally in LA county, so if you haven't been to the perfectly hidden-away Paradise Cove (which's been used in countless TV shows and movies) and the cafe that you can get beers from to literally sit in the sand with -- do it. It's Summer in LA, and it's the best.
1. Barnsdall Art Park4804 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles
2. Rose Bowl1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena
3. Lake Piru4780 Piru Canyon Road, Lake Piru
4. Santa Monica Pier200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
5. Irvine Lake4621 Santiago Canyon Rd., Silverado
6. Paradise Cove28128 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
7. Sunset Triangle Plaza, Los Angeles
8. Beach Nation8289 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
9. Manhattan Beach1400 The Strand, Manhattan Beach
This park comes comprised of four parts: Barnsdall ARt Center, Barnsdall Junior Arts Center, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. This of course doesn't count the expanse of lawn that frequently hosts festivals and other cultural events.
A historic stadium in Pasadena that serves as the home field for the UCLA Bruins football team and plays host to the Rose Bowl annually.
Tucked away in a canyon, this lake offers a reprieve from the crowds of the city. Bring tents to set up on the large campground, a speed boat for a few trips around the lake itself of some good boots for hiking through Los Padres.
An amusement park, aquarium, and food purveyor all in one, and it's always open.
Head to this fishing spot, two poles in tow for catch and release bass as well as trout and catfish for taking home. Fees are low, license not required and boat rentals on deck? Sounds like the perfect chill Saturday to us.
This cove of literal paradise is a secret spot off of Malibu, and it's home to a ton of tanning bodies, relaxing hikers and beach extraordinaires, and water too cold to swim in -- but the views are spectacular.
This park and plaza in Silverlake boasts frequent outdoor movie screenings, famers markets, and everything else you could want for your Summertime LA outdoor needs.
This West Hollywood spot is a primo outdoor hangout with a chill vibe and sand under foot.