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Top 10 Ways to Beat the Heat in Los Angeles

Things to Do in Los Angeles When It's Too Hot


One thing that is relatively dependable in Los Angeles is that inland summer temperatures will be hot. Here are some great ways to escape the oppressive heat if it gets too much for you.

1. Go to the Beach

Main Beach in Manhattan Beach
Photo © 2009 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com
LA County has 81 miles of beaches from Malibu to Long Beach. Orange and Ventura Counties offer additional miles of sand and sea. It is generally 20 to 30 degrees cooler at the beach than in inland areas of L.A. Check out my guide to LA Beaches to see which one is right for you. If you're not a lay on the beach type of person, check out my guide to What to do at the Beach for some ideas of activities and attractions available and the best beaches to find each activity from bike rentals to kite surfing.

2. Visit a Museum

Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Photo © 2011 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com
With over 30 major museums and over 100 small museums and historical homes to visit, you can find someplace to get out of the sun for an hour or all day.

Explore which ones strike your fancy, from the more traditional art museums to the quirky Bunny Museum and Museum of Death in my guide to LA Museums, organized by museum type, location and themes.

3. Bus Tours

Starline Tour Bus
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, used with permission
If you want to cover a lot of ground while keeping cool, take an air conditioned bus tour. There are several companies and itineraries to choose from. Here is an overview of Los Angeles Bus, Van and Trolley Tours

4. Self-DriveTour

Point Vicente Lighthouse on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, CA
If you have a car and prefer to see things in your own time, try this one day driving tour of LA. As long as you have air conditioning in the car, you can stay cool and comfortable, and driving toward the water or the mountains will bring you to cooler climes.

5. Take a Boat Tour

Cruising out from Rainbow Harbor on the Aquarium of the Pacific Whale Watching Tour
© 2009 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
If you've seen most of the on shore attractions, try a boat tour, boat rental or fishing excursion. It's always significantly cooler out on the water. Boat tour options range from private gondola tours of inland canals to dinner dance cruises and harbor tours. See the full list of LA Boat Tours.

6. See a Movie in a Classic Movie Palace

Wurlitzer at El Capitan
Photo © 2005 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
Normally, you might not want to spend part of your vacation time inside a movie theater, but in Los Angeles, going to one of the classic Hollywood movie palaces like Disney's El Capitan can add another dimension to your film viewing experience.

7. The Shopping Cure: LA Shopping Malls

The Beverly Center
Photo © 2013 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com
Many of the shopping centers in Southern California are now built as outdoor malls, rather than the enclosed, air conditioned malls built in the 60s and 70s. The shops themselves are air conditioned, but you're outside between shops. There are a few indoor LA malls left where you can still escape the heat while you browse from shop to shop.

8. Water Parks

Knott's Soak City USA in Buena Park, CA
Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
Water parks are a great way to cool off if you're in the neighborhood. I have water parks lower on the list for two reasons. First, most of them are located outside the most common tourist areas in LA, so you have to drive a bit to get there. Second, they are located in some of the hottest areas, so the time you spend waiting in line, you may be in the 112 degree heat. Knott's Soak City in Buena Park is the most accessible and is quite convenient if you're visiting Knott's Berry Farm or Disneyland.

9. Frozen Treats: Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, Smoothies

Disney Soda Fountain
Photo © 2005 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com
Research shows that drinking cold water cools your body faster when you're overheated than drinking water at room temperature, so a frozen treat on a hot day can't be a bad thing.

10. Attend a TV Show Taping

Paramount Studios in Hollywood
Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com
Many shows take a hiatus in summer, but there is always something taping in LA. To escape the daytime heat, look for game shows or daytime talk shows taping. If it's really hot or rainy, they try to move the waiting line indoors or at least into the shade.

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