The Spark: Best Southern California Art Walks to Enjoy While High Hannah Meadows
So-Cal rocks its own personal style, and nowhere is that more apparent than the sunshine-soaked art walks through its biggest cities. Check out the best of San Diego and LA below.
Ahhh, the City of Angels. Creative minds flock here to express their innovative talents and show off their hard work to the masses. If you’re a local, you’ll want to arrive early for the laid-back vibes and a chance to hit every gallery before closing time—and don’t skip on a chance to see the Sokamba Performing Arts Company put on live performances throughout the walk. Nibble on a decadent California-based infused chocolate bar like a sweet Satori as you wander on a self-guided tour chock full of stimulating statues, refined paintings, and rhythmical dances. Cool your throat parched from the LA heat with the iced sugar-and-spice Gingersnap by Philz Coffee on 8th.
Date: Second Thursday, year-round
If you enjoy the pared-down sound of live music—whatever genre it may be—then head over to First Thursdays at San Pedro. You can hear music emanating throughout the streets, galleries, bars, and restaurants all through this art walk. Leave no stone (or note) unturned, and bring a vape full of sensory Orange Crush to magnify the diverse sounds floating around you—it’s the perfect time to open your ears and discover something new and exciting. Take a break at Behind the Scenes Costume for an amusing time trying on outfits of your favorite characters and holiday figures, and be sure check out their incredibly detailed 18th Century Collection mirroring Marie Antoinette’s opulent style.
Date: First Thursday, year-round
The Venice art walk is run solely by volunteers, so you know the passion is high and the art hits close to home. This particular walk prides itself on community and shares work by tried and true locals that capture the famous cool of California lifestyle. Grab a bite at Hama Sushi for a chance to view their featured artists, and order the Sashimi Sampler to try all their best cuts. While you walk around, plan to sip on a spot of lemonade infused with your own citrusy tincture to bring out the vibrant vibes of the Venice streets while dodging the heat.
Date: Third Thursday, quarterly
The Pasadena art walk is a once a year event that draws over 5,000 art-loving spectators. It’s an all-day event, so take your time at a favorite brunch spot before wandering through this creative scene. Pop into the Pasadena Museum of California Art to view some of California’s best works by lifelong Golden State artists—in particular, don’t miss LA native Kenny Sharf‘s trippy Kosmic Krylon Garage. The walk is an all-ages affair, so keep your medicine discreet by opting for White Rabbit THC Tablets and setting your sights on a number of spectacular visual displays.
Date: Once per year—October 14, 2017
San Diego’s largest art walk pulls in both local artists and creatives from across the nation. Home to the famous and extra–lively Gaslamp Quarter, it’s no wonder San Diego has also opened its arms to the equally energetic Southern California art community. You’ll want to stick to a classic California strain such as OG Kush for its euphoric effects and stimulating cerebral qualities as you walk along. Carve out some time for a sweet treat and ask for two scoops of creamy Blueberry Cheesecake ice cream at Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream to cool you down.
Date: Second Saturday, year-round
Surrounded by lush rose bushes and fresh air, the yearly Liberty Station Fine Art Festival is a highly anticipated and absolutely gorgeous nod to the Arts District’s talented community. Breathe in some Space Queen for that euphoric sativa glow as you soak in the sunshine and take in stunning pieces all over the Arts District map—don’t pass up tent #701, where you’ll find vibrant paintings by Antonio Proa. Ready your belly for the mouthwatering Le Jambignon savory cheese crepe by Fabrison’s (found in the street food area) before calling it a day.
Date: Once per year—August 12 & 13, 2017
Time: Saturday—10am–6pm; Sunday—10am–5pm
Next to the historical Hotel del Coronado where Marilyn Monroe filmed Some Like it Hot, you’ll find a dynamic art-forward community at Art-in-the-Park. Lazy Sundays never felt better than with a pre-roll of soothing Dutch Treat and a slow walk featuring stunning visual displays. Each artist featured in this walk is hand-selected by a five-person jury to ensure an awesome mix, so you know you’re seeing some of the best art San Diego has to offer.
Date: First and third Sundays, year-round