Summer is here! Well, almost here, but it is never too early to plan for an amazing summer break. Whether it’s between semesters, a transfer, or you’re all done with school, making a list of the things you can do feels like a reward for all your hard work.
1. Hit the beach!
California is famously known for having beautiful beaches along the Golden Coast, so of course heading out to soak in the summer sun is a must. With many beaches nearby such as Newport and Huntington, the drive is easy to make. Plus there are great food options in the little shopping areas nearby. If a longer drive isn’t a problem, La Jolla Cove, Coronado, Santa Monica and Venice beach are also great options.
2. Ice skating in the summer
Maybe the beach isn’t the place to be and your heart longs for colder climate. In contrast to soaking in the sun, there’s a skating rink in downtown Anaheim. The Rinks Anaheim Ice offers public skating times daily and the Anaheim Ducks hold their practices there as well.
3. See a live taping of a show in LA
There are so many great shows that are filmed in LA and it’s not entirely difficult to get tickets, but it is required to request them in advance. Some shows that offer free tickets are “The Ellen Show”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” A simple online search of “live tapings in LA” will pop up with many opportunities for sitcoms and talk shows, but it is always best to look at the official website of the show as well.
4. Cruise down Pacific Coast Highway
If beaches sound appealing, but seeing it from afar would suffice, then this is a really great option. What’s great is you can start at any point of the popular highway and get a great drive out of it. Taking it from Long Beach to Dana Point is great for a short trip and there’s a beautiful trail in Dana Point that will get you close to the water without getting sand everywhere.
5. See all the upcoming blockbuster movies
There are quite a few big movies that will be released this summer and kicking off a great summer for films on May 22 is Disney’s “Tomorrowland.” Following that is a movie that hits close to home: “San Andreas”, starring Dwayne Johnson. June will bring sequels such as “Insidious: Chapter 3”, “Jurassic World”, and “Ted 2”. Ending summer vacation is July’s major line up: “Terminator: Genisys”, “Magic Mike XXL”, “Minions”, “Ant-Man”, “Pixels” and “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”. Time to get a movie membership card!
6. Binge-watch Netflix shows
Feel like staying in to watch the small screen instead? Well, this is a great time to catch up on those Netflix-only shows that have been such a great success. “Orange is the New Black” will be back on air in June, while Marvel’s “Daredevil” has a full season waiting just for you. Other shows that have people raving about them are “House of Cards” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
7. Enjoy live music
There are quite a few shows happening all over SoCal this summer such as Imagine Dragons and Mumford & Sons at The Forum on two separate occasions. One Direction at Qualcomm Stadium; Lady Antebellum, 5 Seconds of Summer, Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional all happening at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater (formerly known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheater). For shows with a multitude of artists check out The Art of Rap Festival or the Vans Warped Tour as well.
8. Anaheim Packing District
An OC resident favorite, this has been all the rave on social media since it opened last summer. There are so many fun food offerings as well as a farmer’s market on Sundays. The Packing House is open every day at 9 a.m. for juice and coffee, 10:30 a.m. for lunch and dinner and the bars stay open until midnight. This makes for a great place for friends to gather and try new things on each visit.
9. Take a hike!
Love the outdoors? Great hiking spots are all over Southern California. From hiking the Hollywood sign to exploring the Top of the World near Laguna Beach or even checking out San Diego’s potato chip rock, there are so many places to feel at one with nature. Just be sure you don’t lose your phone trying to get the perfect Instagram photo.
10. Go out to a ball game
Nothing says summer like peanuts and Cracker Jacks and hearing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” And what’s even better is that are three teams to root for in SoCal: Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels Angels of Anaheim and San Diego Padres. That makes for three times the amount of games within a reasonable driving distance. Even if your favorite team isn’t one of these, the chances are they will play them at some point in the season so it’s easy to check out their official MLB website for dates.
Hopefully if this is something you’re interested in, you’ve already got your badges for the sold out San Diego ComicCon. One of the post popular comic conventions in the U.S., attendees travel from all over the world just for this big event. Announcements of special guests, previews and panels are still in the works, so stay tuned to their official website.
12. Wine or Beer Tasting
Even superheroes need their adult beverage break. There are great wine tasting tours in Temecula and restaurants like the Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego that have a wide variety of new beers each month.
13. Museums, Aquariums and Zoos
When was the last time you got to enjoy a trip to one of these? We have so many to explore and most of them give student discounts as well. Check out the Aquarium of the Pacific, San Diego Zoo, or the Los Angeles County Museum of Art just to name a few.
14. Explore the many world famous theme parks
Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain and SeaWorld are all fun places to enjoy with friends or family. Universal Studios Hollywood is still in preparation for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which won’t open until sometime in 2016. However, the Disneyland Resort has big plans for this summer starting on May 22 with their 4th annual 24-Hour Day. The Diamond Celebration is for the park’s 60th anniversary on July 17, but the event kicks off with the 24-Day and will showcase new entertainment such as the Paint the Night Parade, Disneyland Forever Fireworks and World of Color.
Why not? It is well deserved and after all the amazing things you’ll get to do this summer, it is a great idea to kick back as much as possible before the fall semester starts. There are many great places to relax as well—book a hotel by the beach, near the theme parks you might visit, Downtown LA or celebrate 4th of July weekend in San Diego— just to name a few.
So this summer, enjoy it as much as possible. August will come too soon and you don’t want to think of all the great things you could have done!