The long, warm days of summer in LA call for a short list of cool things to do after work, on weekends.  Think of it as a summer staycation or if you’re from somewhere else, add these to you vacay agenda.

Here are our top 5 picks of places to see and be seen in and around LA from power hikes to pool parties.  


Watch a movie among Hollywood’s departed.    

It isn’t summer in L.A. until the first cemetery screening brings movie-lovers to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, toting folding chairs, picnic blankets, snacks and lots of booze. Watch classic cult favorites at the hallowed resting place of Hollywood greats like Rudolph Valentino and Bugsy Siegel. It’s an L.A. rite of passage, a quintessential summer experience and one of the best outdoor film venues in the city. Movies play through August 24.  


Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl. 

Take in live music at this gorgeous outdoor amphitheatre. In the summer, it’s home to the L.A. Phil, but this summer, you can hear everyone from Tchaikovsky to Death Cab for Cutie, Lionel Richie and Chaka Khan to Michael McDonald.  Best of all? You can bring wine to almost every performance. Check for tickets and info.  


Hike to the Hollywood Sign. 

Have you really been to LA if you haven’t done this yet?  There are three routes ranked from easy to difficult; the Mt. Hollywood Trail, the Brush Canyon Trail and the Cahuenga Peak Trail, all offering stunning views of the Hollywood sign as you trek the rolling hills of the Santa Monica Mountains.  


The western frontier of Griffith Park offers hikers the closest encounter with the sign —which, by the way,  is off limits to human hands — and is just below the Ridgeline at the 1708 summit of Mt. Lee. On the longest hike, you can  ascend above and behind the sign’s 45’ tall aluminum letters and on a clear day, see the blue pacific winking at you. The trails are open the same hours of Griffith Park, 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset.