March marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time (DST) in California. The idea that we must adjust our clocks one hour twice a year is outdated but it does bring one benefit: the return of sunny Los Angeles evenings.
When visitors think of L.A., they usually envision “fun in the sun.” Unfortunately, that’s not really the case in the winter months. The sun still comes up and makes an appearance most days—it’s one of those L.A. perks—but it’s just not around too long. Darkness covers the city by 4 PM at times. Throw in a storm during the day and it’s likely to be a gray day followed by a pitch-black afternoon and deathly night.
Everything changes once DST begins. Days begin to lengthen as we approach spring. The additional hour means the average sunset takes place at 7 P.M. or slightly later. Driving down the freeway in a sunlit evening is invigorating. And when you’re facing the unforgiving L.A. traffic, any boost is welcome.
After only a few days of the new time format, most Angelenos start to think of warmer temperatures, cookouts, outdoor concerts, and Dodger baseball. This is the Los Angeles we know and love. It never completely goes away in the winter, and we’re mindful and grateful of this fact, but it is still exciting to see the trademark sunny disposition return practically overnight as our phones automatically advance one hour while we sleep.
This is the time to enjoy everything Los Angeles naturally has to offer. Wake up early and find a hiking trail. Start while it is still dark so that you climb as the sun is rising. You are sure to find a picturesque view at the summit. Head out to the beach and take in the sound of the waves before summer temperatures make it tougher to relax. If you prefer not to drive (and who would blame you), take the cover off the grill and toss some steaks on it. Invite some friends over and make it a fun evening. However you prefer, be sure to take full advantage of the hours of natural light that have been missing the last four months.