Ten Things You Absolutely Must Do in L.A. This Summer

InterContinental DTLA Spire 73 fire pits
Spire 73 | Photo: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, Facebook

This summer, try something extra special in Los Angeles. Whether you’re hankering for a Paul McCartney concert at Dodger Stadium, an alfresco party in Chinatown, or a late-night cocktail on America’s highest rooftop bar, we’ve got you covered. Read on for ten blockbuster summer attractions.

1. Watch Tarantino’s "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" – in Hollywood!

Legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s latest offering opened on July 26. Set in 1960s L.A. and starring Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Dakota Fanning, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is one of the most hotly-anticipated movies of the summer. See it at Arclight Hollywood (the Cinerama Dome makes a cameo appearance), then hop over to another location from the film – Musso & Frank Grill – for a classic Martini or Ginger Gold Rush (bourbon, ginger liqueur, lemon juice).

2. Check out "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle" and the new Jurassic World ride at Universal Studios Hollywood

Live out your Harry Potter fantasies at the Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle show, which debuted at Universal Studios Hollywood in April. Dementors™, Death Eaters™, and even the unfathomably evil Lord Voldemort™ all make an appearance in this spectacle to end all spectacles. Universal Studios Hollywood offers a slew of iconic attractions, including King Kong 360 3D, The Simpsons Ride, and Fast & Furious – Supercharged. The theme park's newest attraction, Jurassic World™ – The Ride is now open and it's more real and more intense than ever before!

InterContinental DTLA Spire 73 fire pits
Spire 73 | Photo: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, Facebook

3. Watch the sunset from the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere

Summer is here, and it’s time to sip cocktails at Spire 73, located on the 73rd floor of the InterContinental Hotel Los Angeles Downtown. This upscale rooftop terrace boasts 360-degree city views and the drinks are pretty special, too. Grab a window seat, order a Dorian Gray (gin, lime, pineapple, tarragon, passion fruit, rhubarb bitters) and Tableside S’mores, and watch the sun as it sets over L.A. It’s a must-do summer experience.

Note: Entry Fee* is $10 per person (Daily) and $20 on Friday and Saturday after 8pm.

*Does not apply to hotel guests. Waived for table reservations with bottle service (Food & Beverage minimum required). Reservations at OpenTable.

Proper Hotel DTLA Pool Rendering
Photo: Proper Hotel DTLA
The White Room | Photo: Arts District Firehouse Hotel
The White Room | Photo: Arts District Firehouse Hotel

4. Check into Downtown L.A.’s coolest new digs

Proper Hotel Downtown L.A. is set to open this summer with 148 guest rooms, two presidential suites, and – this is crucial – a rooftop bar and pool. Quaff cocktails poolside and drink in the views of Downtown L.A. Then swing over to the Arts District to check out a brand-new property, the nine-room Firehouse Hotel. The White Room is a 555 square-foot suite that's the perfect summer stay. Lounge on the wraparound couch as light pours in from two sets of enormous windows.

Paul McCartney "Freshen Up" Tour at Dodger Stadium
Paul McCartney "Freshen Up" Tour at Dodger Stadium

5. Rock out with Paul McCartney at Dodger Stadium

Sing along with Sir Paul McCartney at world-famous Dodger Stadium. He’ll be onstage for almost three hours on July 13 taking you back through time with all your favorite Beatles tunes. Dodger Stadium is the ideal setting for an outdoor concert, with views of Downtown L.A. on one side, and the San Gabriel mountains on the other. There all lots of good food options, too. Grab a quinoa salad at The Healthy Cart, or treat yourself to a beer and a Portobello Mushroom Burger at Buds & Burgers.

6. Test your limits with West Coast Racers at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Dubbed the "Thrill Capital of the World," Six Flags Magic Mountain is well known for classic thrill rides like Superman: Ride of Steel, The Joker’s Jinx and Mind Eraser. But a new race car-themed rollercoaster, West Coast Racers promises to raise adrenaline levels this summer. Reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour, this unique side-by-side ride is an L.A. experience not to be missed.

Providence tableside shrimp
Photo: Providence, Facebook

7. Treat your loved one to the meal-of-a-lifetime during dineL.A.

Discover some of the city’s most romantic restaurants – or return to an old favorite – with the summer edition of dineL.A. from July 12-26. Enjoy the new Tasting Menus and have the best date night ever at fancy restaurants like Providence and Spago.

8.  Party under the stars at Chinatown Summer Nights

Get involved in some of the biggest – and best – street parties of the season at Chinatown Summer Nights. On June 8, July 13, and August 10, Chinatown will be packed with party people enjoying gourmet food trucks, craft beers, KCRW DJs, and local bands – courtesy of the LA Weekly Live Music Stage. There are lots of other fun activities, too: including cocktail demos, arts and crafts workshops, and a vintage clothing and jewelry market.

Venice Canal Historic District
Venice Canal Historic District  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

9. Swish along Venice Beach on a Metro Bike

Feel the ocean breeze in your hair this summer as you take full advantage of the Metro Bike Share on Venice Beach. 24-hour access costs just $5, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the local hotspots: The Boardwalk, Muscle Beach, and the Venice Canals. While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to visit the newly-opened Yours Truly. Chef Vartan Abgaryan (previously at 71Above) offers Californian eclectic dishes like Crispy Octopus with Strawberry Harissa, Walnut, Dukkah, and Sprouts.

Photo: Annenberg Community Beach House, Facebook
Photo: Annenberg Community Beach House, Facebook

10.  Cool off at a historic pool in Santa Monica

When the summer temperatures soar, cool off by plunging into a marble-decked pool overlooking the ocean. The Annenberg Community Beach House was originally part of a 110-room mansion built by William Randolph Hearst for movie star, Marion Davis. These days, the Santa Monica facility features tennis courts, beach volleyball, a children’s playground, and a gigantic, sea-facing pool. Splash around for an hour or two, then rent a boogie board at the onsite café, and hit the beach.