12 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles in February: Fun LA Winter Attractions

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Los Angeles in February
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Our guide is here to spotlight all the coolest activities in Los Angeles in February. From the vibrant energy of the Pan African Film Festival to the breathtaking views from the Santa Monica Mountains, get ready for a perfect mix of culture, entertainment, and unforgettable experiences in Los Angeles!

February in Los Angeles, a gem in California, is like stepping into a scene from your favorite movie – it’s vibrant, it’s exciting, and it’s full of surprises. This is the month when LA really shows off, with streets buzzing from dawn till dusk. Trust me, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Los Angeles in February.

Imagine strolling under sunny skies while the rest of the country is bundled up. From film buffs to outdoor adventurers, LA in February has something for everyone. I’ve explored these streets, soaked up the unique vibes of this time of year, and let me tell you – it’s an experience you don’t want to miss!

Grab your sunglasses and join me as we dive into the heart of Los Angeles. We’re going to uncover the city’s hidden gems, from dazzling festivals to breathtaking hikes, all waiting for you in February’s warm embrace.

The top places to visit in Los Angeles in February

Unique Things to Do in LA in February

Are you ready to dive into the best activities in Los Angeles this February? Believe me, LA in February is an incredible time to visit. Keep reading to uncover the top activities and must-visit spots in this vibrant city.

Excited about experiencing the glamor of the Academy Awards season? Or perhaps you’re looking forward to the cultural richness of the Chinese New Year Festival? Whether you’re planning to explore the artistic wonders at the LA Art Show or enjoy the natural beauty of whale watching off the coast, Los Angeles in February offers a diverse array of unforgettable experiences. Here are the top picks for your Los Angeles adventure that you absolutely can’t miss!

1. Attend the Pan African Film Festival

When you think of Los Angeles in February activities, the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) should be at the top of your list. This isn’t just any film festival. It’s a vibrant celebration of African art, culture, and storytelling. Held annually, PAFF showcases a diverse range of African films, from heartwarming narratives to thought-provoking documentaries. In 2024, PAFF will be held from the 6th to the 19th of February.

As a film lover, I was blown away by the sheer talent and creativity on display. The festival not only screens films but also hosts art shows and live performances. It’s a cultural feast that opens your eyes to new perspectives and stories from across the African diaspora.

The atmosphere at PAFF is electric. You’re surrounded by artists, filmmakers, and enthusiasts, all united by a love for cinema. And the best part? You get to engage in discussions, attend workshops, and even meet the filmmakers. It’s an interactive experience that enriches your understanding of African culture.

My advice? Don’t miss the chance to be part of this extraordinary event. Whether you’re a movie lover or just looking for unique things to do in LA in February, the Pan African Film Festival is a must-visit at night. It’s not only entertaining but also incredibly inspiring.

Attend the Pan African Film Festival is one of the best things to do in Los Angeles in February.
Experience LA’s vibrant Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) from February 6th to 19th, celebrating African art and storytelling. | Image Source: https://www.paff.org/

2. Experience the Chinese New Year Festival

Imagine stepping into a world where every street corner bursts with color and life – that’s Chinatown during the Chinese New Year Festival! This festival is a kaleidoscope of culture, filled with dragon dances, traditional music, and an array of street food that will tantalize your taste buds. Los Angeles will celebrate the Year of the Dragon on February 17, 2024.

I remember wandering through the vibrant streets, mesmerized by the red lanterns and the rhythmic beat of drums. The energy here is contagious! You’ll find artisans showcasing their crafts, and the aroma of delicious food fills the air. It’s a feast for all senses.

The highlight for me was the spectacular parade. It’s a visual masterpiece with elaborate floats, lion dancers, and performers in traditional attire. And let’s not forget the fireworks! They light up the sky, marking the beginning of the new lunar year.

Held in the heart of LA’s Chinatown, this festival showcases the city’s rich cultural diversity. It’s one of the best things to do in Los Angeles in February, offering a unique experience that’s both exhilarating and heartwarming.

Los Angeles' Chinatown transforms into a colorful world during the Chinese New Year Festival.
Los Angeles’ Chinatown transforms into a colorful world during the Chinese New Year Festival.

3. Whale Watching off the Coast

February is a magical time for whale watching in Los Angeles. The waters off the coast become a playground for these majestic creatures. Trust me, seeing them in their natural habitat is an experience you’ll never forget!

I recommend heading to Marina del Rey, where you can hop on a whale-watching tour. The cool, clear February skies offer perfect viewing conditions. You might spot gray whales, humpbacks, or even orcas! The guides are knowledgeable, sharing fascinating facts about these gentle giants.

What makes February special? It’s the peak of the gray whale migration. These whales travel thousands of miles, and seeing them glide gracefully through the water is breathtaking. Bring your camera, because you’ll want to capture these moments.

Besides whales, keep an eye out for dolphins and sea lions. The ocean is teeming with life, and every trip is unique. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or just looking for a peaceful day on the water, whale watching is one of the coolest things to do in LA in February.

February in LA offers magical whale watching as these majestic creatures turn the coastal waters into their playground.
February in LA offers magical whale watching as these majestic creatures turn the coastal waters into their playground.

4. Explore the Camellia Festival at Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens in February is a hidden gem, especially during the Camellia Festival. This is when the gardens are in full bloom, showcasing the largest collection of camellias in North America. It’s a breathtaking sight!

Walking through the gardens, you’re surrounded by vibrant colors and delicate fragrances. The camellias, with their varied hues of pinks, reds, and whites, are simply stunning against the lush green backdrop. It’s a photographer’s paradise and a nature lover’s dream.

But there’s more than just flowers. The festival includes guided walks, camellia-themed crafts, and even tea ceremonies. It’s a celebration of both the beauty of nature and cultural traditions. I found the tea ceremonies particularly enchanting, offering a serene moment to enjoy the surroundings.

Located in La Cañada Flintridge, just a short drive from downtown LA, Descanso Gardens is a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle. The Camellia Festival is one of the best places to go in Los Angeles in February. It’s a unique experience that combines natural beauty with cultural richness. In 2024, you can enjoy the festival on February 17.

Descanso Gardens in February unveils a hidden gem—the Camellia Festival.
Descanso Gardens in February unveils a hidden gem—the Camellia Festival.

5. Join the Academy Awards Excitement

There’s nothing quite like the buzz of the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, especially in February. This is when Hollywood rolls out the red carpet, and the whole city catches Oscar fever. If you’re a movie fan, this is the place to be.

I was lucky enough to be in LA during the Oscars and the atmosphere is electric. You can feel the excitement in the air. While the ceremony itself is an invite-only event, there are plenty of ways to join in the fun. Check out the live viewing parties around the city or take a stroll near the Dolby Theatre to catch a glimpse of the red carpet setup.

What makes February special for this? It’s award season’s grand finale. The city is abuzz with events, parties, and screenings. You might even spot a celebrity or two!

For a truly memorable experience, I recommend taking a Hollywood tour. You’ll learn about the history of the Oscars and see iconic movie locations. It’s a unique way to connect with the cinematic heart of LA.

For anyone curious about what to do in LA in February, joining the Academy Awards excitement is a must-do for film enthusiasts. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that lets you get up close and personal with the glamor of Hollywood.

February in LA means the Academy Awards buzz—the city rolls out the red carpet, and Hollywood catches Oscar fever.
February in LA means the Academy Awards buzz—the city rolls out the red carpet, and Hollywood catches Oscar fever.

6. Enjoy the Golden Dragon Parade

If you’re in LA this February, the Golden Dragon Parade is a spectacle you can’t miss. It’s a unique blend of modern festivity and ancient tradition, setting it apart from the broader Chinese New Year celebrations.

This parade is like stepping into a living, breathing storybook. The highlight? The massive, intricately designed dragon that winds its way through the streets of Chinatown. It’s a symbol of strength and good luck, and seeing it in person is awe-inspiring.

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The parade features a variety of performances that showcase the diversity within Chinese culture. From martial arts demonstrations to traditional music, each act is a window into centuries-old traditions.

What I love about the Golden Dragon Parade in February is how it brings the community together. It’s a celebration that’s as much about togetherness as it is about spectacle. After the parade, the streets come alive with vendors selling crafts and foods that are a treat for the senses.

This event is a highlight of Los Angeles in February attractions. It offers a chance to celebrate, learn, and be part of something truly special. If you’re a local or just visiting, it’s an experience that captures the heart of LA’s multicultural spirit.

In LA this February, don't miss the Golden Dragon Parade—a unique fusion of modern festivity and ancient tradition.
In LA this February, don’t miss the Golden Dragon Parade—a unique fusion of modern festivity and ancient tradition.

7. Valentine’s Day Jazz Concerts

Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles is not just about romantic dinners. It’s also a time for some of the best jazz concerts of the year. As a music enthusiast, I find these concerts to be the perfect way to celebrate love and artistry.

Throughout the city, from cozy clubs to grand concert halls, jazz musicians take the stage, offering soulful and romantic performances. I recommend checking out spots like The Blue Whale or Vibrato Grill Jazz. These venues often feature special Valentine’s Day performances that are both intimate and electrifying.

What makes February ideal for jazz in LA? It’s the blend of cool evenings and the warm, inviting atmosphere of the venues. There’s something magical about listening to live jazz with someone special or even just enjoying the music and ambiance on your own.

This year, I had the pleasure of attending a concert at The Baked Potato. The experience was unforgettable – the music, the atmosphere, and the crowd were all in perfect harmony. It’s a must-do for anyone looking for a unique and memorable Valentine’s Day experience.

Attending a jazz concert is one of the most fun things to do in Los Angeles in February. It’s not just about the music. It’s about experiencing the city’s vibrant culture and the passion of its artists.

LA's Valentine's Day isn't just romantic dinners; it hosts some of the year's best jazz concerts.
LA’s Valentine’s Day isn’t just romantic dinners; it hosts some of the year’s best jazz concerts.

8. Hike in the Santa Monica Mountains

If you’re wondering where to go in Los Angeles in February, the Santa Monica Mountains offer an unforgettable escape. This time of year, the trails are simply perfect for hiking – not too hot, not too cold, just right for an outdoor adventure.

I recommend hiking up to Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the range. The views from the top are breathtaking, offering a panoramic vista of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding valleys. The trail is well-maintained and offers varying levels of difficulty, which makes it suitable for both beginners and seasoned hikers.

February brings a unique charm to these mountains. The winter rains rejuvenate the landscape, turning it into a lush, green paradise. Wildflowers begin to bloom, and the air is crisp and fresh. It’s a stark contrast to the bustling city life, providing a peaceful retreat into nature.

For those looking for a bit more adventure, there are numerous other trails, each with its own beauty.

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My advice? Don’t miss the chance to explore the Backbone Trail. It’s a longer hike but offers some of the most stunning scenery in the area.

Hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains is a top Los Angeles in February activity. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature and experience the serene side of LA.

February in LA calls for an unforgettable escape to the Santa Monica Mountains, offering perfect trails for hiking.
February in LA calls for an unforgettable escape to the Santa Monica Mountains, offering perfect trails for hiking.

9. Visit the LA Art Show

The LA Art Show is an event I always look forward to in February. It’s a dazzling display of contemporary art, historical works, and cutting-edge installations. For art lovers, it’s an unmissable event in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. In 2024, the art fair will be held from February 14 – 18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, this show brings together a diverse array of galleries, artists, and art enthusiasts from around the globe. Walking through the exhibition, you’re treated to a visual feast of paintings, sculptures, and digital art. It’s like stepping into a world where creativity knows no bounds.

What’s special about visiting in February? The show often features new artists and exhibits that start the year with a bang. It’s a chance to see fresh, innovative works before they make their mark on the art world.

During my last visit, I was particularly struck by the interactive installations. They’re not just art pieces – they’re experiences that invite you to engage and reflect. If you’re an art connoisseur or just curious about the contemporary art scene, the LA Art Show is a captivating journey through the creative minds of today’s artists.

Exploring this show is one of the best things to do in February in LA. It’s a celebration of artistic expression that captures the vibrant spirit of the city.

The LA Art Show in February is a dazzling fusion of contemporary, historical, and cutting-edge art installations.
The LA Art Show in February is a dazzling fusion of contemporary, historical, and cutting-edge art installations.

10. Take a Studio Tour

If you’re looking for unique things to do in February in Los Angeles, a studio tour is a must for anyone fascinated by the magic of filmmaking. This month, with the buzz of award season in the air, these tours feel even more special.

I recently took a tour of Warner Bros. Studio, and it was an eye-opener. You get to see where some of your favorite movies and TV shows are made. The backlots, sound stages, and even the prop departments are full of stories and history.

February is a great time for these tours. The weather is pleasant, which makes it comfortable to walk around the expansive studio grounds. Plus, with the Oscars around the corner, there’s an extra layer of excitement. You might even catch a glimpse of a set from a nominated film!

The guides are incredibly knowledgeable, offering insider insights into the filmmaking process. If you’re a movie buff or just curious about what goes on behind the scenes, a studio tour is an enlightening peek into Hollywood’s heart.

A studio tour in LA is a must-do, especially in February. It offers a unique blend of entertainment, education, and the chance to walk in the footsteps of movie legends.

Experience the magic of filmmaking with a studio tour.
Experience the magic of filmmaking with a studio tour—a unique February activity in Los Angeles.

11. Celebrate Black History Month

Celebrating Black History Month in Los Angeles is an enriching and profound experience. The city comes alive with events and activities that honor African American history and culture. It’s a time for learning, reflection, and celebration.

One event I always recommend is the African American Heritage Month celebration hosted by the City of Los Angeles. It features a range of activities, from music and dance performances to educational workshops and art exhibits. The diversity and richness of African American culture are on full display, offering a deeply moving experience.

What’s special about February? It’s a month dedicated to recognition and appreciation. In LA, with its diverse population, this takes on an even greater significance. The city’s museums, like the California African American Museum, often have special exhibits or events that are both enlightening and inspiring.

I recommend visiting these events and exhibits not just as a way to celebrate, but as an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the contributions and experiences of African Americans. It’s a chance to engage with the community and be part of a meaningful dialogue.

Participating in Black History Month events is among the best free things to do in Los Angeles in February. It’s a powerful way to connect with the city’s history and its vibrant, diverse community.

Black History Month in LA: A vibrant celebration honoring African American culture with events for learning and joy.
Black History Month in LA: A vibrant celebration honoring African American culture with events for learning and joy.

12. Visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Places to visit in Los Angeles in February definitely include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, better known as LACMA. February is a fantastic time to visit, as the cooler weather makes for a pleasant day exploring both indoor and outdoor exhibits.

LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, and its collections are as diverse as LA itself. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, there’s something to intrigue every art enthusiast. I was particularly captivated by the Modern Art collection – it’s a vivid representation of artistic evolution.

Why visit in February? The museum often launches new exhibitions this month, offering fresh and exciting perspectives. Plus, the Urban Light installation is a must-see. As the sun sets and the lights come on, it creates a magical atmosphere – perfect for those Instagram-worthy moments.

My advice? Take your time to wander through the different galleries. Each one tells a unique story, reflecting the diverse array of cultures that make up this city.

A visit to LACMA is one of the most enriching things to do in Los Angeles in February. It’s a place where art comes to life, offering a window into the past, present, and future.

Explore LACMA in February for a pleasant mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits in cooler weather.
Explore LACMA in February for a pleasant mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits in cooler weather.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Los Angeles in February:

Looking to further your knowledge of the coolest experiences in Los Angeles? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about the best activities in Los Angeles.

What is LA like in February?

Los Angeles in February is pleasantly mild. The city shakes off its brief winter chill and starts to warm up. You’ll find the streets less crowded than in summer, which makes it a great time to explore. The vibe is relaxed yet vibrant, especially with unique events like film festivals and cultural parades.

Is winter a good time to visit LA?

Definitely! Winter, especially February, is a fantastic time to visit LA. The weather is comfortable, and there are fewer tourists. You get to experience the city more like a local. Plus, February’s special events add an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

Los Angeles aerial view featuring snow-covered mountains.
Los Angeles aerial view featuring snow-covered mountains.

How hot is Los Angeles in February?

In February, LA is not hot, but comfortably warm. Daytime temperatures average around 60-68°F (15-20°C). It’s perfect for outdoor activities without the intense heat of LA summers.

Can you swim in LA beaches in February?

Swimming in February in LA can be a bit chilly, as the water temperatures are on the cooler side. However, if you don’t mind the cold, it’s definitely possible. I recommend wearing a wetsuit for a more comfortable swim.

What to wear in Los Angeles in February?

Layering is key. Bring light jackets or sweaters for cooler evenings. During the day, comfortable t-shirts and jeans work well. Don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen – LA gets plenty of sunshine even in February. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring the city.

The top things to do in Los Angeles in February for all types of travelers
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