Best Places to Beat the Heat in Los Angeles

Paddleboarders by the Malibu Pier

When it’s hot in the city, Los Angeles offers plenty of places to chill out. Between its gorgeous coastline, sun-soaked pool decks and fun water parks, we’ve rounded up the best places to cool down when temperatures rise. Don’t forget the sunscreen, shades and a hat.

By Marina Kay

Hotel Pool Passes

L.A. is known for its fantastic hotels, and you don’t even have to be a guest to enjoy their splashy amenities. Online booking platform ResortPass allows you to pool-hop from the Wet Decks at both the W Hollywood and W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills to the JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot. From $10.

Offering its own day pass is Hotel Shangri-La, located just steps from Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. Sit by the pool with a side of tacos and margaritas overlooking city and ocean views. Call to reserve your lounger—$25 rental with a $25 food and beverage minimum; cabana rental is $100 with a $500 food and beverage minimum. 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310.394.2791.

The Sunset Strip’s Sunset Tower Hotel welcomes nonguests to its pool (with a spectacular city view) on a first-come, first served basis for $75. 8358 Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323.654.7100.

In Hollywood’s Cahuenga Corridor, Dream Hollywood’s rooftop pool at the Highlight Room opens to the public on Sundays from 2-7 p.m. for a (strictly 21-plus) pool party. You don’t need a reservation, but pool-deck tables start at $2,500, and cabanas start at $4,000. 6417 Selma Ave., L.A., 323.844.6417.

Miles of Beaches

With 70 miles of coastline and some of the widest beaches in the world, L.A. offers plenty of spaces to stake your spot on the sand. The action starts at Venice Beach, famous for its boardwalk, street performers and Muscle Beach.

Farther north, up the Pacific Coast Highway, is Malibu, whose Carbon Beach is quieter, but no less adventurous. Walk along the shore, take a surfing lesson, or rent a paddleboard before watching the sun go down at Malibu Farm, a café and restaurant perched at both ends of Malibu Pier. 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, 310.456.1112.

Annenberg Community Beach House

Just off popular Santa Monica State Beach, you’ll find the Annenberg Community Beach House, complete with a playground, splash pad, beach courts, a pool and game room—no membership fee required. There are even personal canopies, umbrellas, and tables and chairs in the courtyard, should you be planning a beach party! 415 Pacific Coast Hwy., Santa Monica, 310.458.4904,

Parks and Fountain Fun

Urban pastures might be devoid of sand, but not of water. Kids will love dodging and ducking the interactive jets at Grand Park’s splash pad in downtown L.A. Free. Entrances at 200 N. Grand Ave., 221 N. Hill St., 221 N. Broadway and 227 N. Spring St., downtown, 213.972.8080.

To get out on the water yourself, rent a swan boat for up to five people (adults $11, children under 18 $6) and pedal around Echo Park Lake, home to red-eared slider turtles, trout, bass and ibises. With plenty of palms for shade and a boathouse fitted with a café serving healthful fare, the park is a popular yet peaceful place to picnic. 751 Echo Park Ave., L.A., 213.444.9445.

Water Parks

Did you know that California’s largest water park is Raging Waters Los Angeles? Its 60-acre maze of pools, slides and rides includes Ragin’ Racer, Thunder Rapids, Wave Cove wave pool and Aqua Rocket—the state’s only hydromagnetic water coaster. From $32. 111 Raging Waters Drive, San Dimas, 909.802.2200.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor—adjacent to Six Flags Magic Mountain in the Santa Clarita Valley—offers over a dozen water rides, such as the 65- foot-tall Taboo Tower, which features the 300-foot Daredevil’s Plunge, and the Forgotten Sea Wave Pool, generator of ocean-sized waves! General admission from $35.99. 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, 661.255.4100.

For a milder experience, head to Universal Studios Hollywood—its Super Silly Fun Land, inspired by Despicable Me’s minions, simulates a seaside carnival with 80 different water-play features. Included in the general admission price, from $109. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 800.864.8377.

And down the coast in Carlsbad, Legoland has just unveiled its new Lego City Deep Sea Adventure Submarine Ride. Set in a 300,000-gallon tank, the ride finds eight real submarines (designed after the brand’s Deep Sea Adventure line of toys) submerging into an ocean habitat with live sharks and stingrays, Lego scuba divers and sunken treasures. The ride is ideal for kids 2-12. Included in the Legoland California ticket price, from $89. Upgrade your ticket to include admission to Chima Water Park for an additional $30. 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, 760.918.5346.

Photo courtesy Discover Los Angeles.

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