What Californians Love About Summer

California isn’t known for its distinct seasons, but if it were, summer wouldn’t be a top pick.

The warming weather is leading to megafires and worsening drought. Often, it is just way too hot.

But Californians adapt and find joy in the summer season. (Or we’re just clinging to our memories of less calamitous summers.)

For the past few weeks, you’ve been writing to me about your favorite parts of the season, including the bounty at farmers’ markets, outdoor movies and long evenings picnicking with friends.

Here’s some of what you shared:

“Living in Los Angeles with our around-the-year beautiful weather, it can always feel like summer. But, for me, summer hasn’t officially started until the Hollywood Bowl opens.

Built into the Hollywood Hills, the natural amphitheater has incredible acoustics and is one of my favorite places on Earth. If someone offers me Hollywood Bowl tickets, I don’t even ask what the show is! Just being at the Hollywood Bowl is a magical way to spend a summer night.” — Debbie Peiser, Venice

“When summer comes, it means California’s rich bounty of food shines at its best. The farmers’ markets open (if not open year-round). It may just be me, but there seems to be an air of optimism and gratitude at these markets: farmers and vendors smiling and proud of their bounties, and children learning about the joy of food with their parents or classmates.

Summer is a time for great food and entertaining outside. It’s the time of year we entertain most at home, when the warm evenings cool off slowly. The coastal breeze coming in just after dark is a great, natural alarm bell that usually sends our guests home.” — Frank Petkovich, St. Helena

“My favorite part of the season is when it ends and ‘locals’ summer’ starts. Kids go back to school, the tourists go home, the water cools off, but the sun still shines and it’s just us and our neighbors at our local beach.” — Dylan Marie Connor, Encinitas

“I used to live 20 minutes inland from Huntington Beach just six years ago. It’s astounding how much hotter it is inland (at least 10 degrees), even a little jaunt away from the beach. Now I’m five minutes from the beach, and I cannot put into words what the ocean breeze does for my sanity and soul. This crisp ocean breeze saunters right through my backyard every summer day at about 4 p.m.” — Jen Lane, Huntington Beach

Today’s tip comes from Steven Karp, who recommends the Ventura Botanical Gardens: “The gardens are carved into the hillside with spectacular views of the ocean. So peaceful, and dogs are allowed twice a week.”

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected]. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.

The University of California San Diego sits directly atop Black’s Beach, a surfing beach in La Jolla and one of the best in the nation.

So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the university’s surf team has earned seven team national titles, or that it offers a class where students can shape their own surfboards.

Now, the university is offering surf scholarships, Stab Magazine reports.

Makena Burke, a pre-med student and a surfer from Ventura, recently received $5,000 to help fund her U.C. San Diego education on the condition that she competes for the school’s surf team.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Palindromic title (five letters).

Briana Scalia and Isabella Grullón Paz contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].

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