Southern California is known for having glorious weather that feels like summer almost every day of the year. But even though we have more sunny days than most other states, we still look forward to the leisurely June, July and August months where we can embrace the longer days and take more time to enjoy being outdoors.
Here’s an epic list of activities that can be enjoyed in Southern California this summer. There’s a lot of variety and a little something for everyone, so go out and seize the day once summer gets here and have a blast in SoCal – it’s a pretty spectacular place.
1. Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines
This 2-day music festival in the heavenly town of Idyllwild is a memorable summer event to add to your calendar. The setting is divine!
2. Water skiing at Lake Arrowhead
Even though Lake Arrowhead is a private lake, you can still get in on the water skiing action through Mackenzie Water Ski School and sign up for a group excursion for a day out on the water.
3. Friday Night Fireworks at Dodgers Stadium
Take a seat on the playing field and watch a stunning fireworks show on Friday nighs at Dodgers Stadium after every home game.
4. Take a swim at the Rock Pool in Malibu Creek State Park
Cool off on a hot summer day and take a refreshing dip in the same swimming hole that was made famous in the movie Planet of the Apes.
5. Beach Bonfire at Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles
With over 70 fire pits available at this beach, you should have no problem staking your claim on a great spot to gather around a fire and roast some marshmallows on a summer evening.
6. Hiking in Palomar Mountain State Park
There are lots of great trails to explore in Palomar Mountain, but the best summer hike that will get you out of the heat and under the shady trees is the Doane Valley Nature Trail. It's a refreshing woodsy hike with the pleasant sound of the Pauma Creek along the trail.
7. Horse Back Riding
Although horseback riding is a year-round activity, there's nothing like an early morning ride on a summer morning. There are lots of places in SoCal that offer horseback riding tours so find one near you and check out a secluded trail or even a beach trail with a view of the ocean.
8. Imperial Sand Dunes
Do some off-roading in a dune buggy at the largest mass of sand dunes in California.
9. Great Sand Sculpture Contest in Long Beach
We take our sand castles pretty seriously here in SoCal. With lots of contests around in the summer, there is definitely one to check out at a nearby beach as a participant or just to stop by and view. Pictured here is the contest in Long Beach that happens in August every year.
10. U-Pick Blueberries at Temecula Berry Company
Summer time is berry picking time. Grab some sunscreen and a big floppy hat and take the whole family for a fun day in the sun. And then go home and bake a big yummy blueberry pie.
11. The fountains at The Grove in Los Angeles
Take a moment to enjoy the musical fountains while noshing on a little gelato after a long day of shopping at this expansive outdoor mall in LA.
Then hop on this cute little trolley at The Grove and go to the original farmer's market in Los Angeles. The Original Farmer's Market is a landmark in the area dating back to the early 1930s.
12. San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
Treat your inner foodie to a splendid culinary event in America's Finest City.
13. Deep Creek Hot Springs in San Bernardino County
Take a little time out and relax in the hot springs as you enjoy the tranquil scenery. Here's a little tip - the crowds leave after it gets dark, so check it out when the sun goes down for a more secluded experience.
14. Balboa Island in Newport Beach
Take a stroll around Balboa Island. And don't forget to grab a frozen banana at this popular stand that's been a not-to-miss destination since 1945.
15. Old Pasadena Film Festival
Did you know there was a free month-long film festival in downtown Old Pasadena? Catch a flick in the open air and bring your own picnic to this epic summer film series held during the month of July.
Oh my, I think I’m ready for summer to get here right about now. I think I want to experience pretty much everything on this list. Any events or inside secrets that you would love to share with all of us to make our SoCal summer even more memorable?