The City of Angels is one of a kind, beholding some of the most iconic and famous landmarks in California. It is rich in history but you don’t have to be to experience its beauty. This is the ultimate guide of free activities you can do to get fully immersed in L.A. culture without breaking the bank.
If you are a museum buff, there are several famous museums in L.A. with no entry fee.
The Getty Center encompasses a vast collection of European art as well as an outdoor modern art collection that is scattered throughout the garden of the museum. You can also get a glimpse of one of the clearest views of the Pacific Ocean here.
On the second Tuesday of every month, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is free to all visitors who want to witness the largest art museum in the Western U.S,. presenting over 150,000 works. Additionally, the famous urban lights at LACMA are a staple for photos that are always free to interact with.
While the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is not explicitly a museum of art, it is a museum of some of the most intricate and bold mausoleums and headstones in the history of Hollywood. Placed in the heart of LA, this cemetery houses Golden Age legends such as Judy Garland, Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone, Douglas Fairbanks and countless others.
With Southern California having such a vast and diverse landscape, there are a multitude of hikes mapping out the city of Los Angeles.
Runyon Canyon is 160 acres of land in the Santa Monica Mountains. The hike offers levels of intensity that compliments all hikers with level one being a casual incline trail, level two utilizing built in stairs on an incline, and level three aka “the goon” being a bit more vigorous and steep. All of which have a stellar view waiting to greet you at the top.
What is a more exemplary symbol of Los Angeles than the Hollywood sign? You can see it up close and personal if you take on the trek of the Mt Hollywood Trail. The entirety of the hike is about four miles round trip and is accommodating to avid hikers, beginners, and children.
For added value on a hike, if you take the Escondido Falls hiking trail in Malibu you will come across multiple waterfalls. The four mile trail starts on a flat path that travels through pastures of flowers and mini creeks. There is a bit of incline but overall a moderate hike that has an upper and lower level waterfall for a break.
There are no outdoor strips like the ones that live in Los Angeles. These streets have made appearances in BlockBuster movies for centuries and have been walked by the greats of L.A. Not to mention the shopping opportunities they provide.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard is the hidden gem of Venice. It is a mile long strip lined with small business, name brand shops, cafes, and mini art galleries. If you resonate with a beachy bohemian vibe, this is the place for you to grab a coffee and browse. Live music is typical for the ambiance to be complete.
A trip to Los Angeles would not be complete without a visit to Hollywood Boulevard. This street is most notable for its Hollywood Walk of Fame, more than 2,700 stars embedded in the sidewalk honoring Hollywood entertainers and personalities. If you are to lift your head from the stars you may also see the TCL Chinese Theatre which is the home of many movie premiers and the largest IMAX theater in the world. In the concrete leading up to the theater is an array of cemented hand and footprints dating back to the 1920′s including Shirley Temple, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson, and Tim Burton.
If you thoroughly enjoy thrift shopping, Melrose is a must visit. The district is painted in colors as murals and graffiti art can be seen on just about every other building on the street, great for a photo op. Without spending a dime, the famous thrift stores such as American Superior Vintage, Wasteland, and Jet Rag are fun to browse and see the recycled LA fashion.
Take a trip to the 90210 and stroll down Rodeo Drive to see what is known to be one of the most expensive streets in the world. It is absolutely not necessary to buy anything on this street to feel like a million bucks. Architrually, this street has elegant historical buildings, all different from each other, displaying designer brands such as Gucci, Versace, and Cartier.
Los Angeles Landmarks
The essence of Los Angeles can be felt just by driving or walking through a landmark destination. You can depend on these next few suggestions to be on a Los Angeles postcard as the city would not be the same without them.
The Griffith Observatory located on the slope of a mountain in Griffith Park offers the opportunity for you to see a view of the whole city below and above, in the stars. It is completely free to go around the observatory as well as enter it. Aside from being an aesthetically pleasing building, you can look through telescopes, enjoy the exhibits, and experience its live planetarium shows.
One of the most famous piers to exist is the Santa Monica Pier. The pier was created in 1909 making it the first concrete pier on the West Coast. You can take a long walk down the pier with the ability to take in a view of the Pacific Coast Highway one way and Catalina Island the other way. To add the cherry on top, Pacific Park resides on the pier offering various rides and amusement park fun in the middle of the ocean.
If you are looking for a nostalgic drive to enjoy with some music playing in the car, head down the Sunset Strip. Located in West Hollywood, the 1.6 mile stretch is home to the biggest movie and television billboards constellate the buildings, anything on a billboard on Sunset is a big deal. This strip’s history truly lies in the famous rock and nightclubs that were the rage of the 80s and 90s such as the Viper Room, Whiskey a Go Go, and the Rainbow Bar and Grill.
There is so much more to be seen in the city of Los Angeles but this financial friendly guide can give you a headstart on your California adventure rich in history and memories, not in money.