Inside LA - The Los Angeles Lowdown

10 Best Things To Do In LA In May

Best things to do in LA in May
Walt Disney Concert Hall (#6)

With the advent of May comes the official beginning of Summer. This is a great time to be in Los Angeles as the days get warmer and longer, but with a cool marine layer coming off the Pacific creating the famous ‘May Grey’, it’s almost the perfect temperature. This month we’ve got a beach festival, the venerable LA County Fair and the original scary movie with live accompaniment from no less that the LA Phil. And that’s before we’ve even mentioned Cinco de Mayo. These are the 10 best things to do in LA in May. We think you’ll agree, in terms of Los Angeles events, it IS hot this month.


Really the first of the summertime beach city festivals, Beachlife comes to Redondo Beach for the first weekend of May. Gwen Stefani, the Black Keys and the Black Crowes are headlining the three-day fest, with support from Airborne Toxic Event, Tegan & Sara and Sugar Ray, amongst many others. Don’t forget to slap the sunscreen on. If you don’t, you’ll regret it!

More information here.


Okay, okay, so they don’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) in Mexico. Who cares? For the Mexican immigrant community – and anyone here that appreciates Mexican culture and tequila – it’s an important day / weekend. It’s one of those where if you remember it, it probably wasn’t that special. How to celebrate? Just go to your local Mexican restaurant (and here in Los Angeles there’s always a local one). Order a margerita and knowingly murmur “Cinco de Mayo!”.

For the ultimate LA experience how about heading to the Convention Centre in DTLA for the Original Lowrider Super Cinco Festival. More information here.


The LA County Fair has been going since 1921. Obviously back in those days it was quite different, connected as it was to the area’s farming community. Today it retains an element of that rural, pastoral, past, with farm animals and wood-block chopping, as well as having the latest fun-fair rides and lots of food trucks and stalls.

More information here.


CicLAvia was inspired by the first Ciclavia’s in Bogota, Columbia. The word means bike path or way in Spanish. Every month there’s an event here, where streets are closed to automobiles and bikes and pedestrians rule the streets. This event is a more pedestrian-focused one in South LA and features 1-2 miles of self-guided walking tours, scavenger hunts, street games, local business engagements and art and cultural activities.

More information here.


There are undoubtedly a lot of residents of Beverly Hills who do collect art, to one extent or another, so this might be quite a good Art Show to visit. If you’re looking for an excuse to visit the famous burg, I’ve just given it to you. Four garden blocks along Wilshire Boulevard are given over as exhibition space for the 325 artists who are included this year. There’s a wine and beer garden, children’s activities and gourmet food trucks.

More information here.


See Hitchcock’s famous classic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, with live accompaniment by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The Bernard Hermann score is rightly regarded as one of the best of all time and creates fear even when there isn’t anything scary happening on screen, it’s so unsettling. The Disney Concert Hall is so acoustically special (it sounds the same, whether full or empty). that it’s often used for recording film scores. “Mother! Mother! There’s blood.”

More information here.


What was the Hollywood Blacklist? Memories are starting to fade about this shameful episode in U.S. and Hollywood history. In the early 1950’s, a junior Congressman used fear of Communism to try to turbo-charge his career, accusing the Government – and later the major film studios in LA – of being infiltrated by card-carrying members of the party. Afraid of the negative publicity many big stars, such as Humphrey Bogart, were pressured to name names – writers, directors and actors chiefly – that they believed were communist. No evidence was necessary, being identified was enough. Lives and careers were destroyed, before the tide turned in the 1960’s. Visit this exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center to learn about what happened, and the implications for our future.

More information here.


It’s hard to imagine, but once upon a time no one outside Southern California had ever heard of Hollywood. It was just a small farming town, near a bustling, but still barely medium-sized, city that wasn’t that famous either. Then the movies came to town and that all changed. Join us as we take you back in time to Golden Age Hollywood and you sip cocktails like a silent-movie star. We can visit roof-top bars above the neon-lit streets, before ducking into some hidden speakeasies and modern film star hangouts. It’s the adventure of a night-time and always the best thing to do in LA In May.

More information here.

One minute video about the Hollywood Speakeasy Bar Tour


Electronic dance music festival Desert Hearts is decamping from the Inland Empire to Exposition Park, with sets from Skream, Dusky, TIGA, Claude VonStroke and many others next to the Coliseum.

More information here.


LACMA is definitely one of the best museums I’ve ever been to, with a truly world-class collection. The Jazz concerts here have also featured legit legends over their three-decade run, it’s one of LA’s best free live music offerings. Seating is available in the museum’s plaza on a first-come, first-served basis (behind Urban Light), though you’re welcome to picnic on the grass (alcoholic drinks are allowed :-).

More information here.

Saturday Sounds at LACMA

If you have any feedback on The 10 Best Things to Do in LA in May please email us or reach out on social media, we’d love to hear from you.

– By Damien Blackshaw (Twitter)

Posted in