Best Time to Visit Los Angeles for Weather, Prices, and Crowds

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Palm trees and a city with large buildings in the distance
The best time to visit Los Angeles depends on what you're looking for in activities

Los Angeles tops many people's lists of places to see so, it's common knowledge that it's a popular vacation spot all year round, which can make figuring out the best time to visit Los Angeles a little tricky.

If avoiding crowds is your biggest concern, book your trip for winter (December-March). January-March has some of the lowest crowd levels since school is in session.

If you want nice weather and mild temperatures, spring (March-June) is usually a good time to visit. Temperatures rarely go outside of the 60-75 degree Fahrenheit range during springtime months.

For budget travelers, fall (September-December) is the best time to book a trip. There's a lower demand for flights and hotels, so you can usually find deals if you do a little digging before you book.

Figuring out when you should book your trip to LA might take a little research, but don't worry! Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to plan your trip to the City of Angels.

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Los Angeles Vacation Planning Questions

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While planning a vacation to Los Angeles, there are questions to consider
A field of pink flowers with mountains in the background
Spring is the best time to visit Los Angeles, as temperatures are milder

When is the best time to visit Los Angeles?

The best time to go to Los Angeles as a tourist is in the spring (March-June). Los Angeles is known for its sunny weather, but that can bring hot temperatures as well.

Between March and May, it's a little cooler and less humid. Temperatures are usually between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and can even dip to 50s degrees Fahrenheit occasionally. You won't have to worry about rain during this season and you'll still see plenty of LA's famous sunshine.

Los Angeles is a popular tourist destination all year round, but crowding won't be as bad in the spring. Since school is in session, not many families or college students can travel at this time.

You're also more likely to find flight and hotel options you can afford. Waiting until the last minute to book isn't recommended if you want to guarantee your reservations.

A fountain in a park with grass and trees with a city in the background
September to November is the cheapest time to travel to Los Angeles

When is the cheapest time to visit Los Angeles?

The best time to travel in Los Angeles if you're on a budget is the September-November period. This part of the fall (September-December) generally tends to be a low period for tourism, so you're more likely to find deals on flights and hotels.

Though temperatures in many parts of the US usually start cooling down around this time, they're still in LA's 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit range. You can plan a full 3-day itinerary without sacrificing any activities or missing attractions that the weather could impact.

Though it's not a secret that fall is the cheapest time to go to Los Angeles, you won't find a lot of tourists. People with school-going kids and college students can't travel during the fall since school is in session and others postpone their vacations until after the holidays. You'll mostly encounter LA locals or other Californians.

Markus Mainka/
A large airplane on the runway with a tower and mountains in the background
January is the cheapest month to fly to Los Angeles

When is the cheapest time to fly to Los Angeles?

January is the best month to visit Los Angeles if you're planning on flying. Airlines are offering the lowest airfares to attract business since the Christmas holiday traveling rush has slowed down by the first week of January.

Since you don't have to worry about cold winter (December-March) weather in Los Angeles, it's a great season to visit. It's usually around 68 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny at this time of year. The water might be a little cold for swimming, but you can still find plenty of things to do at LA's beaches. For example, take a Venice Beach food tour or take long walks on the promenade.

No matter when you want to go to Los Angeles, avoid last-minute bookings if you can. Prices for airfares are usually the cheapest about five months before you plan to arrive.

J Dennis/
The white "Hollywood" sign on a hill
December-March is the rainiest season in Los Angeles

When is the rainy season in Los Angeles?

Winter (December-March) is the area's rainiest season, but the December-February period generally sees a monthly average of four or five days of rainfall and usually in the form of light showers--pack an umbrella just in case!

The rain cools things down and so temperatures range anywhere between 49 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

An aerial view of a city with a body of water and buildings
Summer is the hottest, most crowded, and most expensive time to visit Los Angeles

When is the worst time to visit Los Angeles?

Los Angeles locals will tell you summer (June-September) is the worst time to visit the city. There are three main reasons--it's the hottest, most crowded, and most expensive time of year in LA.

A lot of families and students visit Los Angeles during the summer since schools and colleges are taking a break. The increased demand for rooms and flights means you're less likely to find deals to suit your pocket and most places get booked up well in advance.

If summer is the most convenient time for you to travel, consider booking tours that take you away from the inevitable crowds. A private helicopter ride is a great option for couples or friends.

August is LA's warmest month with temperatures routinely hitting 85 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the climate throughout the summer is usually still in the low 80s degrees Fahrenheit with no rain.

The best time to visit Los Angeles for whale watching is from January to April
January to April is the best time to travel to Los Angeles to see the whale migration

When is the best time for whale watching in Los Angeles?

The best time to travel to Los Angeles if you want to see the whale migration is between January and April. During the winter (December-March) and spring (March-June), gray whales start swimming from Arctic waters toward Mexico.

If you can't make it to Los Angeles to see the gray whales, you can try to see the blue whales between May and November. These whales tend to stay around California's coast during the summer (June-September) and fall (September-December).

However, it's recommended you pick "low seasons" for the best chance of seeing whales from the shore since crowds can dissuade them from getting close. That means you should visit in January-March if you want to see gray whales and October-November if you want to see blue whales.

A street with signs and buildings with pink stars on the sidewalk
Spring is the best season to visit LA with mild weather, sunshine, and fewer tourists

When is the best season to visit Los Angeles?

Spring (March-June) is the best season to visit LA. The weather is beautiful and mild. Most days are sunny and temperatures hover around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain is rare, and when it occurs, it's usually over quickly.

Crowding isn't terrible but popular spots like the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Walk of Fame will be busy all year round. However, in general, you'll notice more locals and fewer out-of-towners in spring.

If you book a few months in advance, you should be able to find good deals on hotels and flights since there's a lower demand. There's a lot of last-minute travel to LA during the spring and that's expensive, so plan ahead and have money left for sights and excursions.

A pier and beach sand with a body of water in the distance and a clear blue sky
Beaches in LA are popular tourist attractions and the water is warmest in late summer

When is the best time to visit Los Angeles beaches?

Venice and Manhattan are two of the most popular beaches to visit in Los Angeles. A trip to LA without visiting these beaches would detract from your experience. Surfing at Venice beach draws a large portion of the city's over 7 million tourists each year.

Summer (June-September) is the best time to go swimming in the ocean. The temperature is usually around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit, so you will welcome the coolness of the Pacific Ocean's water.

September, in particular, is a great month to go swimming. The water will have had more time to absorb heat from the sun, so you'll find the sea is around 66 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, rather than its usual off-putting 59-degree temperature.

Gabriele Maltinti/
A highway sign "Disneyland Drive" with a bridge in the background
Disneyland is a popular destination for locals and tourists during spring and fall

When is the best time to visit Disneyland?

Los Angeles has its fair share of theme parks in and around the city. However, going to Disneyland is considered one of the best and most popular day trips from LA for both locals and tourists.

Even though school is in session, be prepared for queuing regardless of the time of year. But at least it won't be in scorching weather as the mild temperatures range between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

If visiting the "happiest place on earth" is on your to-do list, there are two times during the year you should plan to visit. The first is in the spring (March-June) between March and May, and the second is in the fall (September-December) between September and October.

A hiking trail with trees and a view of the city in the distance
The weather in Los Angeles during spring is usually perfect for hiking

When is the best weather to visit Los Angeles?

Spring (March-June) is the best time to travel to LA if you want to enjoy the weather. With sunny days and temperatures usually around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the weather is close to perfect all season long. If you're interested in hiking or even just walking around taking in the sights, you'll be able to do so without getting too hot.

Surprisingly, Los Angeles isn't a very popular spring break destination despite its comfortable climate. A lot of college students prefer going to more tropical destinations and the water in LA can still be too uncomfortable for swimming.

Rain isn't very common during the spring. At most, you can expect around one to four rainy days per month, consisting of brief showers.

Philip Pilosian/
A large airplane taking off with the airport in the background
Flight tickets to Los Angeles should be purchased at least a month before departure

When is the best time to buy flights to Los Angeles?

When you consider the cost of gas and that drive time to Los Angeles especially from the east coast is multiple days, it's not surprising that the choice is to fly to the City of Angels. If you're looking for budget options, January is the best time to fly as it's the city's slowest season.

However, no matter when you decide to travel, you shouldn't wait until the last minute to book a flight to LA. It's a popular destination for leisure and business travelers, so there's a high demand for seats.

Purchase your ticket at least a month before your departure date. After that point, tickets start to go up in price. If the flight time to Los Angeles from your local airport is under two hours, consider driving if you can't plan your trip weeks in advance to take advantage of cheaper fares.

A large stone building with the sign "Universal Studios Hollywood" and palm trees
Universal Studios ticket prices change depending on the expected level of crowding

When is the best time to visit Universal Studios Los Angeles?

If you're interested in seeing Universal Studios, the best time to go to LA is during the fall (September-December) and late winter (December-March). These are the least crowded times in LA, so they're also the least crowded times in the park.

Universal Studios follows a "surge pricing" ticket model. That means their ticket prices change depending on how busy the park is expected to be. Since fall and winter are less busy, prices during these seasons tend to fall. The only exception to this rule is December which is busy all month long due to holiday break vacations and Christmas celebrations.

If you're a horror movie fan or you're traveling with teenagers, October is a good time to visit. The parks are open later in the evening for "Halloween Horror Nights," when the park has spooky attractions and shows for visitors who are a minimum of 13 years old.

A roller coaster on a beach with a green lifeguard tower
Los Angeles has an average of 300 days of sunshine per year

What is the climate of Los Angeles?

In technical terms, Los Angeles has a warm, temperate climate. That means summers are hot and dry while winters are mild.

With over 300 days of sunshine annually, LA locals love bragging about their year-round perfect weather. There are only 36 days in the year when there's enough rainfall to be able to measure it.

Despite all that sunshine, the temperatures in the city are usually pretty comfortable, often around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Even New Year's Eve in Los Angeles is rarely colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Los Angeles can get humid since it's so close to the Pacific Ocean. June is generally the month with the highest humidity index which averages around 60%. November, on the other hand, is the least humid month with an index of around 40%.

Weather, Prices, and Crowds in Los Angeles

A city with tall buildings in the background and a highway in front
Weather, prices, and crowds are things to consider when planning a vacation to LA

Winter in Los Angeles

Winter (December-March), from January until March, is a slower season for tourism. Since school is in session, fewer people are inclined to travel from out-of-state, which helps you plan a more budget-friendly trip.

There's a lot to do throughout the season with the bonus of not being bumper-to-bumper. The Rose Bowl is held in early January each year, marking one of the most important games in college football.

Movie buffs, on the other hand, often flock to LA for the Academy Awards, which are usually held between mid-February and mid-March. Though the award show is, obviously, an invitation-only event, stars from across the world come to Hollywood, making it a little more likely you'll see one.

Winter is relatively LA's worst weather season. Each month can have up to four days of rainfall and temperatures can fluctuate between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spring in Los Angeles

For many travelers, spring (March-June) is the best time of year to visit Los Angeles. It's the season with the best cost, crowd, and weather balance.

Los Angeles is a big city with almost four million residents, so it's going to be busy all year round. Crowd levels are easier to bear in the spring, since not as many people from other states visit then.

Lower demand means you're more likely to find hotel and airline deals. As long as you book at least a month before you plan to arrive, you should be able to make travel plans to align with your budget.

LA's spring weather is one of the reasons it's an ideal time to visit. Temperatures are usually in the low-mid 70s Fahrenheit and the weather is generally sunny.

Summer in Los Angeles

For a lot of people, summer (June-September) is the best time of year to go to Los Angeles. However, the days are very warm, usually around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but nights are comfortable at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

In summer there are long hours of daylight which means you can pack a lot into a day. It's also a great time to visit as the warm weather draws you to the nighttime activities that LA has to offer.

Summer can get crowded, though. Schools around the country are out, and internationally more people choose to travel during the summer. Taking a bus tour is one way to manage the inevitable crowding while you're taking in the sights.

Make sure your budget is flexible if you want to vacation in Los Angeles in the summer. There's a higher demand for hotels and flights, so you might have fewer options to choose from depending on when you book, and discounts are less common.

Fall in Los Angeles

Still deciding when to visit Los Angeles? You should consider traveling in the fall (September-December). Temperatures vary between 56 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and between 48 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Fall is one of the least crowded seasons in LA. You'll be able to find affordable flights and hotels as long as you book your reservations about a month in advance. You'll also have more luck booking experiences like the Warner Bros. Studio Tour without having to wait in long lines.

Keep in mind that tourist activity starts to pick up at the beginning of December and lasts through the month. If you want to experience an LA Christmas before the influx of tourists starts, try to book a trip for Thanksgiving weekend. The Hollywood Christmas Parade is held that Sunday and officially opens the holiday season for the city.

In Summary

Los Angeles is a city that has something to do all year long. Whether you're a movie buff or you're dying to go whale watching and try your hand at surfing, LA is the place for you.

Figuring out when you should book your dream trip can be tricky because it can change depending on your preferences. If you like outdoor activities, spring (March-June) or summer (June-September) are usually good times. On the other hand, if you want to avoid long lines, fall (September-December) is the season to go).

Hopefully, this article can help you narrow down your travel preferences. Now, all you have to do is start planning!

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Written by Gabrielle T

ggtraveler1213 FORMER WRITER Gabrielle loves all things travel and culture. She is originally from the USA, but she has lived in Italy for over a decade. She's always ready to pack her bags, grab her passport, and head out on an adventure!

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