The art season in Southern California is every season. There’s always something going on in sunny SoCal, even for the artists and other creative individuals. Since I am also a local artist, I thought it would be beneficial to create a list of all the different monthly art walks in Southern California.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “Art Walks” it can mean anything from public tours through local art galleries, to a handful of artists display their artwork under EZ-Ups. Some even have food trucks street performers, and musicians, along the way! Other art walks like to keep it simple and focused on the artists.
Recurring Art Walks in Southern California
Even if you are not an artist and just looking to get out of the house and see some beautiful art. Each art walk is FREE admission and open to the public. If you’re a local artist and want to display your art, I have included the artist fee to be able to do so.
I have separated each Art Walk by location including: Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire, and San Diego surrounding areas. Below is my list of all the recurring monthly art walks in Southern California I could find.
(Please note all events, dates, and times are subject to change.)
Los Angeles Art Walks
First to our list of art walks in SoCal we have ones happening in Los Angeles County. From South Bay to Long Beach, and everything in between, there’s no shortage of Los Angeles art walks.
1. Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk
The Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk is a nonprofit organization that organizes a public community gathering in local galleries, art spaces, and cultural institutions. Centered on the visual arts and culture, the Art Walk takes place on the second Thursday of each month in Downtown Los Angeles, and is home to more than 30 participating art galleries and professional artist studios. Their organization also conducts tours of galleries and the local murals and street art, and provides programs that offer support and economic opportunities to artists, artisans, and microbusinesses.
2. San Pedro 1st Thursday Artwalk
The first Thursday of each month is open studio night in South Bay, San Pedro. When many of the Downtown galleries, studios, and shops open their doors into the evening for receptions and special events, complemented by live music, food trucks and our fantastic array of restaurants. You can leave your car here and ride the FREE red trolley to and around Downtown to make sure you see all the sites.
3. Long Beach Art Walk
Long Beach Art Walk | Image Source: Time Out Los Angeles
Come to the East Village Arts District this Saturday and walk the route that expands 6 blocks with 9 Galleries, 21 Murals, and 28 businesses with art!
5. NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night
North East Los Angeles (NELA) art consists of about 40 galleries and studios in Northeast Los Angeles, which open their doors to visitors on the second Saturday of every month. NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night has been doing down for more than 10 years and is a great way to see the comprehensive art and culture happening in Northeast L.A
6. Leimert Park Artwalk
7. Downtown Pomona Artwalk and Market Night
Downtown Pomona Artwalk | Image Source: Downtown Pomona
Located in the Pomona Arts Colony, every month on the 2nd Saturday the Art Walk brings big crowds to the streets. Over a dozen galleries host artist receptions for their latest exhibits. Many shops, studios and restaurants open late. There is no better way to get a feel for the lively community that hundreds of artists have built here. Experience the diverse array of top quality art work, ceramics, fiber, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography and more
8. Claremont Art Walk
On the border of Inland Empire and Los Angeles County there is the Claremont Art Walk. Showcasing art exhibitions throughout the Claremont Village on the first Saturday of the month. Enjoy shopping and dining while visiting Art Galleries in and nearby the Claremont Village.
Where: Claremont Village 112 Harvard Ave. Claremont, CA
When: First Saturdays of every month
Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Orange County Art Walks
Let’s not forget Art Walks in Orange County. Home of some of the most beautiful scenic art walks in Southern California. Whether you’re a local or visiting out of state, you won’t regret checking out the OC art scene.
9. Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk
Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk | Image Source: OC Art Blog
Since 1999, the “First Saturday” Artwalk in Downtown Santa Ana has been an epicenter of creativity, expression and inspiration for artists, art enthusiasts and those who simply want to engage in a vibrant, living city filled with culture. The event is the single best night of the month for downtown artists, galleries and restaurants alike because of the 3,500+ monthly attendees visiting around 20 galleries/museums, arts and artisan street vendors, live art performances and special events
10. Pier Plaza Art Afair
The Pier Plaza Art Afaire events are an arts and crafts event showcasing handmade original artwork every Friday and select weekends throughout the year at Pier Plaza in Huntington Beach, California. The beautiful Pacific Ocean is a great backdrop for showcasing original artwork and handmade crafts. Vendors from the local community as well as from all over the country can be found at this art walk. The Pier Art-A-Faire Fridays and Weekends draw a diverse crowd of local and out-of-town visitors.
Where: 1 Main St., Huntington Beach, 92648
When: Every Friday & Select Weekends throughout the year
Time: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Fridays)
10:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Weekends)
Artist Fee: Fridays: $40 (+ one time $10 fee to apply)
Weekends (Saturday and Sunday): $120
11. First Thursdays Art Walk Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach Art Walk | Image Source: Yelp
Established in 1998, First Thursdays Art Walk is a festive cultural evening. Free shuttle service runs throughout the evening linking member gallery locations. Over 40 galleries participate in the evening, offering artist receptions, demonstrations and live music. Free admission to the Laguna Art Museum.
12. Downtown Fullerton Art Walk
The popular Downtown Fullerton Art Walk brings hundreds of art enthusiasts to the streets of downtown Fullerton, where various venues host art exhibits, music acts, and performance art. There are over thirty venues offering free art activities and exhibition openings within walking distance of each other. You can find a map at any venue for a self-guided tour. Free refreshments are also provided throughout the evening at many of the stops.
Inland Empire Art Walks
Even if you’re located more East of Southern California in the Inland Empire, there’s a few well-worthy art walks to check out. Since, I reside in Riverside you can come say hi and check out my art booth at the Riverside Artswalk.
13. Riverside Artswalk
Chelzart at the Riverside Artswalk
The Riverside Artswalk is a monthly community event that celebrates the diversity of arts and culture in Riverside and the Inland Empire. Visit over 22 downtown locations, including museums, galleries and studios, presenting an eclectic mix of visual and performing arts. Either before or after, enjoy the many entertainment, dining and shopping experiences that downtown Riverside has to offer.
Artist Fee: $15
14. Backstreet Art District
Village Fest Palm Springs | Image Source: The Journalist
Stroll through a dozen artist-owned galleries and working studios featuring exciting collections. Original contemporary art. Nationally and internationally recognized artists. Backstreet Art District includes paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, ceramics, and performing arts. Experience the thrill of interacting with working artists.
Where: 2600 S. Cherokee Way Palm Springs, CA 92264
When: First Wednesdays of every month
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
15. Palm Springs VillageFest
Started more than 20 years ago, Villagefest is sure to tantalize you with a new experience each time. Villagefest is consistently voted the best event in the area, attracting thousands of visitors each week. Each block offers great street entertainment in the heart of beautiful downtown Palm Springs. Browse more than 200 booths offering beautiful art, handcrafted items and unique food.
Where: 264 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262 (Main Street Palm Springs)
When: Every Thursday of the month
Time: October through May 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
June through September 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Artist Fee: $34
San Diego Art Walks
The last region of the top art walks in Southern California is San Diego County. San Diego is a beautiful area, add art to the mix and you have yourself a creative night out.
16. Oceanside Art Walk
Celebrate the thriving arts and culture scene in the heart of downtown Oceanside. The First Friday: Oceanside Art Walk will showcase live performances, music, poetry, art education, and culinary and pop-up art galleries showcased in local businesses and public spaces. Admission is free and open to the public.
Where: SpringHill Suites Marriott at 110 N Myers St. Downtown Oceanside
When: First Friday of every month
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Artist Fee: $25
17. Friday Night Liberty
Friday Night Liberty in San Diego | Image Source: KPBS Arts
Meet working artists, enjoy dance, theatre and music performances, visit museums and galleries and explore the growing District. Visitors can start their stroll in the Dick Laub NTC Command Center and pick up a monthly program and map guide.
Where: 2640 Historic Decatur Rd. San Diego, California 92106
When: First Friday of every month
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Art Walks in Southern California Rundown
That concludes my list of top art walks in Southern California. Keep in mind the art walks that were listed are recurring art walks happening monthly or weekly. If you wanna know when some bigger festival-like art walks are happening, stay tuned for an annual and quarterly art walks in Southern California list.
For artists who are inspired and ready to have their own artist booth but don’t know where to begin, I got you covered! Check out my Art Walk Display: What you Should Have for your Booth post to get you started.
One of the many things I love about California is that the art scene is always alive. There’s always something creative going on. Plus, it’s always good to connect with other local artists. Who knows what will inspire you at your next art walk?!