Offering California sunshine year-round, Los Angeles is the place to be for Hollywood glitz and glam and that endless summer feeling. Beyond the wealth of the city, experience the culture within the diverse neighborhoods and how true Californians live.
Start planning that dream LA trip now with our month-by-month guide, breaking down the best time to visit Los Angeles to snag the best deal, beat the crowds, or join once-in-a-lifetime events through each season.
The weather, month by month:
Before we begin and look at each month, let’s first explore the weather averages. There is no bad time to visit when it comes to weather, the climate is mild all year round and there is little rainfall.
|Month||Average High °C||Average High °F||Average Rainfall Inches|
Glam Season: January – March
Living up to its Hollywood name, January to March is when Los Angeles hosts many of the large music, film and TV events, drawing the A-list elite to town. The Emmys, Golden Globes, and The Oscars are just some of the ultimate events during these months and are the prime locations for celebrity spotting.
The winter months bring more rainfall to Los Angeles, but once the rain clears it gives clear views to the mountains and hillsides. Despite the weather, it doesn’t stop the crowds from packing out bars and restaurants so it’s still a lively time of year for the city. Aside from the entertainment industry events, The Rose Bowl attracts sports fans from all over the world, and Lunar New Year brings further cultural celebrations to the city.
There is no low-moment during the winter season in LA, and if you’re in town during these months you also might want to consider some whale watching, as grey whales cruise past LA during their Alaska to Baja migration.
Quiet Season: April – May
Post-awards, the months of April – May bring fewer visitors to the city as they leave after attending all the glamorous events and the rainy season continues. This is when visitors flock to see Los Angeles culture and heritage, checking out the Getty Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the LA Marathon.
The months of spring also see foodies coming to the city to check out LA’s vast food scene, with cuisine from traditional neon-signed burger joints, to Mexican restaurants, Korean snacks, and food from all over the world.
As the weather gets warmer from mid-May, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery hosts a large selection of popular outdoor movie screenings on its Fairview Lawn. The Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year so if you’re not a fan of crowds, it’s best to avoid visiting during those dates.
High Season: June – August
The summer season is the busiest of them all, as kids kick out from school and students finish university for the long summer, this is when both tourists and US citizens head to LA. June to August will see Los Angeles’s famous beaches packed, long queues at theme parks, and lots of outdoor moving screenings, festivals and live sports events.
During the summer, accommodation prices are higher, due to the liveliness of the city and the very low chance of rain which sees the California weather at its peak with long sunny days and high temperatures. The 4th of July is another peak-travel period as US citizens celebrate independence day, so it’s best to avoid this weekend for crowds and cost.
The late summer of mid-August sees the warmest time for a dip in the usually chilly Pacific Ocean, with beachgoers soaking up the last of the rays before they return to their normal lives in the Fall. Crowds stay busy until Labor Day weekend, as LA starts to wind down from the summer season as tourists and Californians finish up their fun-filled summer.
Shoulder Season: September – December
Fall in Los Angeles is the prime season to head to the city, as crowds thin out, temperatures remain warm, and rainfall stays low (in particular during September). Street festivals take dominance in September as LA clings to the last bit of late summer, with ample opportunity to take in some of the LA cultures on offer.
September to December is also an ideal time to explore the outdoor events available, such as hiking Runyon Canyon, visiting Huntington Botanical Gardens, or traveling further afield out to Big Bear Lake.
Key celebration days are held during the fall and will see the city decorated in Halloween attire in October, Thanksgiving wreaths in November, and then Christmas lights in December. If you’re not afraid of some rain showers, this would be the optimum season to visit LA and experience a great California vacation.
The best time to visit Los Angeles
With so many events, attractions and things to do throughout the year in Los Angeles, the time to visit will be based on what you want to experience. Here’s a summary of the best times to visit LA based on what the city has to offer you:
- For celebrity spotting: January – March & June – August
- For sightseeing/celebration events: April – May & September – December
- For beating the crowds: April – May
- For laying on the beach: June – August
There’s no ‘bad’ time to visit LA, but if you’re someone who’s not bothered about celebrities or laying on a beach and just want to explore the city, then either Spring (April – May) or Fall season (September – December) is your best choice. You’ll likely have a chance of good weather, there’s still lots to do, and you’ll see the city change as it celebrates different national holidays.
LA remains warm year round so visiting in September – December makes it a perfect shoulder season destination. By traveling during these months, you’ll be able to explore both outdoors and indoors, and will still be able to attend some key events in the city’s calendar.
Crowds will have simmered down during the Fall, so it’s also the best time for visiting theme park attractions such as Disney California or Six Flags Magic Mountain. Accommodation costs are reasonable to low during this period, price varies depending on which neighborhood its located in.
Note: even if you visit during a rainy season and won’t use a hotel pool, you’ll still be required to pay a per-day resort fee for a hotel with a pool, so bear this in mind if you’re not going to sit poolside during your stay.