When the thermostat cracks 105F in September, I’m out. Literally. I have to get out of the house and find somewhere climate controlled. And while LA street wisdom says, “Go to Target,” perhaps we can be a bit more creative in our attempts to avoid the sweltering sun. Here are a few great local escapes from the outdoor furnace this season in Miracle Mile.
Pan Pacific Park Pool
This relatively hidden public gem is located on Gardner, north of 3rd st. and just east of the greater Pan Pacific Park expanse. The pool is only $1 for children up to 17 (though under 7 kids need to be supervised) and $4 for adults. Since the pool is unheated, swim season is relatively limited. Current posted open dates are only May 28th through September 5th. However, there is precedent for the city to keep the pool open longer during a heatwave, which it did back in 2015. So, keep an eye out for a pool extension this blazing season.
The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
There’s no better time to be nostalgic about the last Ice Age than during an LA heatwave. The George C. Page museum, smack dab in the middle of the Tar Pits park, is a shrine to LA-indigenous Ice Age creatures great and small; including mammoths, saber-toothed cats and Harlan’s gigantic Ground Sloths.
The Page Museum is open from 9:30AM – 5:00PM daily, though it’s closed on the first Tuesday of every month. Its live stage show, Ice Age Encounters, runs at 10:30AM and 11:30 on Thursdays & Fridays, and 11:30AM and 1:30PM on Saturdays and Sundays.
As a bonus, LA County residents get free admission from 3-5PM Monday-Friday.
The surrounding LA Brea Tar Pits park is also full of factoids about Ice Age creatures with some nice sprawling grass lawns and hillsides, but shady areas are limited. Shelter and AC can also be found across the park at LACMA and the Peterson Automotive Museum across Wilshire Blvd.
AMC The Grove 14
Few places are more chill on a hot day than a modern movie theater with a revamped post-pandemic-compliant HVAC. Sit back with an ice-cold slushy and absorb the frigid atmosphere. For bonus points, find a movie with an especially long run time (like Elvis at 2 hours 39 min).
Of course, once you’re at the Grove, there’s no shortage of chilly department stores to visit. If air conditioning was gold, malls would be America’s Fort Knox. There’s something about going to a huge warehouse-style department store with 50 foot-high ceilings and knowing that its super chill all the way up to the rafters. The Grove, one of LA’s signature malls, has its own abundance of frigid department stores. So, while you’re waiting for your movie to start, wander around Nordstrom or the Barnes & Noble and think of winter.
Erewhon (Beverly Blvd.)
Erewhon is more of an Instagram Foodie Experience than a grocery store. According to the New York Times, Erewhon even became a key LA social hub during the pandemic. Post-pandemic, it’s still a hub for star-gazing, influencer selfies and overpriced smoothies. So, go grab a sugar-free passion fruit-infused chia pudding and enjoy the cool breeze while trying not to rack up a humongous food bill.
Remember to stay hydrated on those 100+ degree days, don’t absorb too much direct sunlight and if all else fails — go to Target.