Summertime in California is the place to be. Sunshine on the beach in the daytime, cool summer parties during the warm nights, its just perfect. Take advantage of everything the Golden State has to offer with the ultimate summer bucket list!
Who doesn’t love a Disney vacation during the hottest part of the year? Cool off with the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, dole whips, or a delicious mint julep. Disneyland has tons of rides and attractions to fill your day, plus, during the summer there are special themed events until the fall. Last year, they celebrated Summer of Heroes for the release of Guardians of the Galaxy. This year, the focus is on the grand opening of Star Wars’ Galaxy’s Edge! It will be an interactive land with the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride where guests can fly the classic space ship, Savi’s Workshop where you can build your own lightsaber, and Oga’s Cantina where you can sit down and sip on Star Wars themed cocktails and other drinks to escape the California summer heat. Space will be limited due to its popularity, so reserve your spot online right away.
If you are looking to get away from the crowds that will likely be surrounding this new land, you can always spend your time in the Disney park on classic rides like The Haunted Mansion, The Matterhorn, or Thunder Mountain Railroad. And, if you are looking to get some more steps in for the day, you can walk through Cinderella’s Castle or take a stroll through the shops on Main Street. There are plenty of delectable snack options throughout the park so you can grab some jambalaya from New Orleans Square, or a Mickey Mouse Candy Apple at the shops on Main Street.
As an added bonus, park hopper tickets can be purchased if you also want to explore Disney California Adventure Park too! They have Paradise Pier where you can play carnival games, Cars Land where you can ride Radiator Springs Racers, or Toy Story’s Midway Mania where you and a partner play against each other to shoot as many targets as you can! California Adventure is also the only place where you can get alcoholic beverages, which includes the Karl Strauss craft beer cart and cocktails at the famous Cove Bar that overlooks the water on Paradise Pier. Any way you spend your time at the California Disney Parks is time will spent, and it is definitely an experience you don’t want to miss!
LA County Fair
This event has a little bit of everything, so matter what you’re looking for, it’s got it all! Rides, unique food, craft beer and wine, and shows galore. This event is held from August to mid-September each year at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. The event center is outdoors so you can soak up the sun while you are walking through the vendors displays, or watching a performance. They have hypnotists, circus performers, and lots of live music. Last year, the lineup for bands included Kool and the Gang, The Beach Boys, Bad Company, and a comedy show by Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias. With names like these, they are sure to put on a great show.
The LA Fair has plenty of food options for any budget and they are trying to keep prices low with a $6.60 priced item available at every vendor. That includes fries, corn dogs, and burgers! Plus, if you are looking to try something wild, you can try their frozen flavored popcorn, like the fruit loop flavor that is frozen with liquid nitrogen so that when you breath, you look like you’re spitting fire. There is a craft beer hub that sells a large selection of local craft beers on tap, along with multiple small vendors offering a few select taps around the venue.
The ticket prices range from $14 to $20 depending on if you choose to go on a weekday, or on a busier weekend, but children under 5 are always free. They also have special days to get discounted pricing, like the food drive Thursdays where you can gain free admission if you bring in five canned goods to donate. No matter what you do to get in, this fair will be worth your time and you will want to make this a yearly adventure.
For those of you that grew up on pop punk, punk, or hardcore music, you will have known about this one for a while. Warped Tour is the largest national tour for the summer that lasts from June to August. This event tour cross-country and there are multiple stages that host rotating bands throughout the day. However, as some of you may know, the founder – Kevin Lineman – has chosen to discontinue this festival indefinitely. But, don’t fret yet, because the biggest event that they have put on to date is in the works. Seeing as this is the 25th anniversary of the tour, there will be a two day festival in Mountain View to celebrate. Instead of whole cross-country tour, these two days will be the grand send off.
The dates for this festival are July 20th and 21st, and the tickets are around $150 for both days. The lineup has around 30 bands listed to play either Saturday or Sunday, and this includes bands like Meg & Dia, The Story So Far, The All-American Rejects, and Circa Survive. This event will also have food vendors, craft beer and cocktails, and water fill up stations to help keep you hydrated. This event is sure to be a must-see, and after this summer, you won’t be able to go again. So, get your tickets now, and have a one of a kind event that is sure to be a major check mark on your summer bucket list!
If you want to hit another theme park, but not of the Disney variety, then Universal Studios is right for you. With The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Revenge of the Mummy ride, and the Jurassic Park ride, you and your friends will all find something that you like. Located in Universal City, it is always sunny weather that is perfect for an amusement park. You can spend the day going on rides, walking around Hogwarts and drinking butter beer, or seeing the King Kong 360 3-D experience to explore Skull Island. Whatever you feel like doing, Universal Studios has something for everyone.
The tickets prices have gone up since the opening of the Harry Potter attractions, due to the popularity. However, the almost $150 tickets are often discounted for students. Most California students in the university system can access discounted tickets when purchased through the school. So, check out your school’s website and see if there are any special offers available, and you might be able to save some extra cash for a souvenir!