Summers in LA just wouldn’t be the same without alfresco melodies under the stars at the Bowl, a huge natural amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills. Its annual season – which usually runs from June to September – includes symphonies, jazz bands and iconic acts such as Blondie, Bryan Ferry and Angélique Kidjo. Bring a sweater or blanket as it gets cool at night.
Thankfully, big projection screens ensure that even folks in the ‘nosebleed’ sections (from around $18) enjoy close-ups of the performers. Come early to claim a table in the park-like grounds for a preshow picnic (some picnic areas open up to four hours before show time and alcohol is permitted). There are numerous food stands on-site if you don’t want to lug your own grub.
The bowl is the summer home of the LA Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Open rehearsals are held on some Tuesdays and Thursdays during the season (always call ahead to confirm).
Parking is free during the day, but expensive and limited on performance nights. Save yourself the headache and take a shuttle, such as the one running from Hollywood & Highland, which costs $6 per person round trip (or walk to and from there in about 15 minutes).