The Top 10 Los Angeles Summer Bucket List

From E3 to Fleet Week, it's going to be a hot time in L.A.!

Lotus Festival at Echo Park Lake
Lotus Festival at Echo Park Lake | Instagram by @bitely

For generations of Angelenos, summer means afternoons by the pool, trips to the beach, concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Dodger Dogs and July 4th fireworks. Go beyond these perennial favorites with our Los Angeles summer bucket list.

E3 (June 12-14, 2018)

E3 is the world's premier event for computer, video and mobile games and related products. At E3, the video game industry's top talent pack the Los Angeles Convention Center, connecting tens of thousands of the best, brightest, and most innovative in the interactive entertainment industry. For three exciting days, leading-edge companies, groundbreaking new technologies and never-before-seen products will be showcased to video game fans from around the world.

BET Experience & Awards (June 21-24, 2018)

Duckwrth on the Main Stage at BET Experience
Duckwrth on the Main Stage | Photo courtesy of BET Experience

Now in its sixth year, the BET Experience (BETX) gathers thousands of fans for three days of music and entertainment at L.A. LIVE. BETX includes the BET Fan Fest, Celebrity Basketball, Celebrity Dodgeball, Genius Talks, Acoustically Speaking, Kicksperience, and the House of Fashion & Beauty. This year's Main Stage features Leikeli47, Tee Grizzley, Duckwrth, Jessie Reyez, YBN Nahmir, Molly Brazy, Lil Skies, Lil Baby, Derez Deshon, Bryant Myers, A. Chal and Mereba. BETX culminates with the BET Awards, broadcasting live from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Sunday, June 24.

Hollywood Fringe (June 7-24, 2018)

The annual Hollywood Fringe Festival is an open-access event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community. During Hollywood Fringe, theatres, parks, clubs, churches, restaurants and other unexpected places host hundreds of productions by local, national, and international arts companies and independent performers.

dineL.A. (July 13-27, 2018)

Patio at Culina, Modern Italian
Photo courtesy of Culina, Modern Italian

Presented by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, dineL.A. is a 15-day dining event that takes place twice a year and showcases Los Angeles as a premier dining destination while highlighting the diversity of culinary experiences L.A. has to offer. Enjoy special lunch and dinner menus at more than 300 restaurants, with no need for tickets or passes. Dine out at a participating restaurant, try a new dish or enjoy an old favorite!

Anime Expo (July 5-8, 2018)

Taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown L.A., Anime Expo (AX) brings together fans and industry from Japan, the U.S., and all over the world for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. AX features the best in Japanese entertainment, music, fashion, and video games. Anime Expo is organized by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire the world through Japanese animation and culture.

Lotus Festival (July 14-15, 2018)

Dragon Boat Race at the Lotus Festival
Dragon Boat Race at the Lotus Festival | Instagram by @stasia_reinhardt

The 38th annual Lotus Festival is taking place at Echo Park Lake on Saturday and Sunday, July 14-15. This year's festival welcomes the People's Republic of China for a weekend of free entertainment for the whole family, food court, Chinese Pavilion, silent auction, children's area, handmade artwork, gift bazaar, tea house & ceremony, and the famous Dragon Boat races.

Nisei Week (Aug. 11-19, 2018)

Nebuta float at the Nisei Week Grand Parade
Nebuta float at the Nisei Week Grand Parade | Instagram by @niseiweek

Taking place in historic Little Tokyo, the 78th Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival is one of the longest running cultural festivals of its kind in the country. Nisei Week showcases free Japanese cultural events and activities, including music and entertainment, food and fun games spanning two weekends. Highlights include the Grand Parade, World Gyoza Eating Championship, Taiko drummers, bonsai and calligraphy exhibits, martial arts demos, and Ondo street dancing.

ALL MY FRIENDS (Aug. 18-19, 2018)


The inaugural All My Friends festival is taking place at ROW DTLA on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18-19. Founded by Gary Richards (aka Destructo), All My Friends spans three stages of performances over the weekend. Headliners feature RL Grime, Gucci Mane, Jhene Aiko, M.I.A., Jamie xx and Armand Van Helden, plus dance and hip-hop performances from Anna Lunoe, Yo Gotti, Justin Martin, Barclay Crenshaw, Chris Lake, Moon Boots and many more. General Admission for the 18-and-over festival starts at $79. The 21+ VIP ticket is priced at $249 and includes two-day festival access, expedited entry, and VIP specialty cocktails, wine and beer, as well as private restrooms.


Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim at the International Surf Festival
Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim | Photo courtesy of International Surf Festival, Facebook

Now in its 56th year, the International Surf Festival promotes four South Bay Beach Cities: Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance. Hosted this year by the City of Redondo Beach, the festival features three signature events: the Judge Taplin Lifeguard Medley Relay, the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim, and the Charlie Saikley 6-Man Volleyball Tournament. Other highlights include a surfing contest, bodysurfing contest, beach run, paddleboard races, dory race, and youth events. The festival has previously hosted numerous international lifeguard teams, including teams from Victoria, Australia.

L.A. Fleet Week (Aug. 31 - Sept. 3, 2018)

Fireworks at Battleship IOWA during L.A. Fleet Week
Fireworks at Battleship IOWA | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Fleet Week, Facebook

Now in its third year, LA Fleet Week® is a celebration of U.S. armed forces at the nation’s #1 port, the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. The four-day festival will host active military ships along the L.A. Waterfront and feature public ship tours, military exhibits, aerial demos, live music and entertainment, food and fireworks, educational programs, and more.

L.A. Fleet Week is taking place at various locations along the L.A. Waterfront, including the Los Angeles Cruise Terminal, Battleship IOWA, and Downtown Harbor. Hosted by the Port of Los Angeles, event partners include the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.S. Coast Guard, Bob Hope USO, and Battleship IOWA.

Fleet Week is an annual patriotic tradition where active military ships recently deployed in overseas operations dock in a major U.S. city for one week. Popular Fleet Week destinations include San Diego, San Francisco and New York.