Destination: California: Los Angeles
The nearly year-round sunny climate is the heart of L.A.’s charisma, sustaining its casual-fashion fixation, freewheeling spirit, bright-pink bougainvilleas and towering palms—which happen to be on the endangered list, victims of old age and fungal disease; they may be replaced with native shade-producing trees. It does rain occasionally (mostly in February). When the marine layer rolls in at night, temperatures drop enough to almost always require some sort of jacket (or a light coat in winter). And heat waves in August and September can be stultifying. Still, one of the city’s cultural high points occurs only in summer—the open-air classical and pop concerts at the historic Hollywood Bowl, where picnicking in box seats is a competitive sport. Many posh restaurants pack picnic meals for it, as does the Bowl itself (323-850-2000; www.hollywoodbowl.org). Spring brings forth a different kind of pleasure—house and garden tours, most of which double as charity fund-raisers. Some of the best include the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour (888-842-2442; www.opendaysprogram.org); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art & Architecture Tour (323-857-6287); the Robinson Gardens’ “… into the garden” Benefit Tour, including lunch at the six-acre Virginia Robinson estate in Beverly Hills (310-276-5367; www.robinson-gardens.com); and the Venice Art Walk’s Art & Architecture Tours and Artists’ Studio Tours (310-392-9255; www.venicefamilyclinic.org).
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