Best time to visit LA
In the words of Hollywood legend, Denzel Washington, in Los Angeles everyone is a star - and who doesn’t want to sparkle? The place where you can have a trendy city break and feel like you’re on a leisurely holiday at the same time, Los Angeles is a sunny, glamorous haven for taco enthusiasts, celebrity spotters and beach lovers. It’s like Katy Perry says - nothing really does come close to the Golden Coast.
Studded with stars, flowing with green juice and drenched in dreamers, LA - or the City of Angels - has always been an idyllic holiday destination for many. However, with all of its glitz and glamour and unique allure come tourists - and lots of them. With over 70 glorious miles of stunning coastline, busier seashores like Venice Beach and Santa Monica get hit by a wave of holiday-makers regularly. If you’re keen to spot a celebrity or want to experience the exclusivity of Los Angeles without a crowd, then it's important to do a little research before planning your trip.
Want our recommendation? It’s often thought that the peachiest time to visit the palm tree-studded streets of LA is from March through to May. Pleasant temperatures, less city smog and fewer crowds make for a more relaxing break rather than the thronging summer months. The spring months offer clear skies and plenty of opportunity for undisturbed sightseeing. Saying that the sun shines almost 300 days a year and the average LA temperature boasts a toasty 24°c.
Though any day is a good day in LA, our team of experts here at good trip have pulled together some useful pointers on when the best time of year is to visit depending on your interests, the different seasons and the climate. Whether you want a beach break or a front-row seat for awards season, we’ve got you covered. Lights, camera, action…
Awards season: January to March
Get starstruck by the city
Ever wondered what season LA has that nowhere else does? Think floor-length gowns, flashing lights and emotional speeches. You guessed it: awards season. Adding a little fame to the festive winter months following Christmas, awards season falls from January to March - from the Oscars to the Emmys, there are countless celebrity events to revel in.
Get lost in Los Angeles and look out for your favourite celebrities, who tend to be out and about during this time of year. Head down to the Farmers Market on Fairfax for a good chance of spotting some stars, or hit up some of the newest and swankiest restaurants in the game and keep a lookout.
Things to do during awards season…
- Always wanted to see a whale? This is your chance. A true star of the sea world, grey whales fittingly make an appearance during awards season and cruise leisurely by the coastlines of California from January to February. Visit Baja California and witness newly born grey whale calves swim serenely
- Consider yourself a sports fan? The Rose Bowl is sure to get your heart racing. Prepare to be bowled over by The Rose Parade, held along the Colorado Boulevard in LA on New Year’s Day. Overflowing with marching bands, horses and flower-covered floats, and followed by the Rose Bowl Game, this celebration of sport is amazing for those who want to see a real American college football match
Shoulder Season: September to January
Have fun and get festive
Fancy a festive retreat? Like many parts of America, ‘fall’ is a popular time to visit Los Angeles. The heavy throngs of the summer crowds start to thin, and the weather stays warm and sunny - the shoulder season is a great time to get crushing on California.
With an abundance of festivals to get involved with and many a street party to experience, LA is filled with a wide variety of beautiful outdoor destinations to enjoy - from the Huntington Botanical Gardens to the vibrant scenes of Venice Beach, there’s a whole host of activities to enjoy during this time.
Things to do during shoulder season…
- All about Abbot Kinney? Dubbed by many as one of the trendiest spots in LA, Abbot Kinney Boulevard is always teaming with cool eateries and Instagrammable stores - making the Abbot Kinney Festival one not to miss. The festival takes place on the last Sunday of September and has been a tradition for an impressive 35 years. Enjoy watching the mile-long street get overtaken by artisan food and pop-up boutiques
- Here for Halloween? If you’re a fan of the spooky season and enjoy dabbling in dress-up, then the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival is a no brainer. Head to Santa Monica Boulevard, embrace the over-the-top display of costumes and see the Halloween festival for the spectacle it really is
Low Season: March to May
Get cultured and chow down
Don’t mind a little drizzle? Though the low season is considered LA’s ‘rainy season’, we’re not talking monsoons - more like some damp days from time to time. Sure, you may have some wet Wednesdays and the odd moody Monday, but rainy weather means fewer crowds and more opportunities for you to really get to know LA like a local.
During this quieter time, tourists have the chance to really get under the skin of LA and explore some of its most popular spots. From sampling the array of classic American diners and catching a comedy show to trying the super creative cocktails at renowned Californian haunt, Catch LA, there’s a never-ending list of things to try!
Things to do during low season…
- Want to get your cultural fix at the Getty Center? Visit this all-rounder museum during low season and marvel at its top-notch art collection - including everything from impressionist brushstrokes to medieval triptychs. Situated above the city, take in the picture-perfect views of LA and stare out to the ocean, before enjoying a stroll through the ever-changing gardens of the Getty
- Want a taste of LA? If there’s one thing you should know about LA, it’s that its culinary scene really packs a punch. From unrivalled Mexican joints and Korean treats, California is famous for housing some of the best tacos in the game. Head to Guisados for some next-level Mexican - we recommend the chiles torreados if you like it hot…
High Season: May to September
Soak up the sun and play some jazz
Did someone say that schools are out for summer? The high season is all about getting your cups out and living off iced coffees as well as taking in the glorious sunshine - after all, they do say that the sky’s bluer in Malibu. Pack your swimwear if you’re a beach lover or a pair of comfy trainers if you're a fan of the outdoors, this is a great time to visit LA.
Though the hotel prices are a lot higher during this time, the perfect weather close to makes up for it. Pick up your surfboard, slap on the suncream and enjoy the many outdoor activities that LA has to offer.
Things to do during high season…
- Keen to get jazzy? If you’re into smooth sounds and like being near the sea, then look no further than the Long Beach Jazz Festival. Southern California's longest-running jazz event is heralded as a must for music lovers. Enjoy a 3-day music festival set on the gorgeous Californian coast and listen to everything from contemporary jazz to soul and blues
- Want to see some smart art? Saunter on over to the Pasadena Chalk Street Painting festival and get your fix of street art. The festival features over 600 extremely skilled chalk artists who come together from all corners of the world to create. This free day out is a great way to see the many different walks of life LA has to offer
Whatever the season, LA - the land of salty hair and sun-kissed skin - is pretty hard to resist. Once you’ve decided exactly what you want from your trip, we can assure you that you’ll be California dreamin’ before long…
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