We know we’re biased, but we are completely and totally in love with LA. It is such a giant, diverse city, there’s always something interesting to see, do, or experience. However, with so much going on in one place, experiencing Los Angeles can get super expensive super quickly, especially during the summer. For those of you who are (like most of us) ballin’ on a budget this summer, we put together a list of the best ways to take full advantage of everything LA has to offer – without breaking the bank.
W E S T S I D E
Spend the day in Venice Beach
There is a lot to do in Venice for free, and it's all within walking distance. This summer, plan to spend the day walking along the Venice boardwalk, where you can check out local art and graffiti while perusing the many stands and shops that are set up along the boardwalk. Watch 12 year olds be way more talented than you at the Venice skate park, and marvel and the massive muscles at Venice's Muscle Beach. End your day by heading a bit further north to the beautiful Venice canals, which are magical at sunset.
Enjoy the gardens at the Getty Center
Located atop a hill off the 405, the Getty Center offers awesome views of the city, and a beautiful garden to explore. Plus, they will be hosting free concerts on select evenings this summer. Admission to the Getty Center is totally free, but fair warning, parking is $15 but free after 5p on Saturdays!
D T L A
Get cultured at one of DTLA's many museums
From LACMA to the Broad to the Natural History Museum, Los Angeles definitely isn't short on awesome and diverse museums to explore. Luckily, all of the aforementioned locales, and other museums like the California Science Center and MOCA, offer patrons free admission at least once a month.
Explore historic Olvera Street
This Mexican market, known as the "birthplace of Los Angeles," is full of color, culture, and delicious Mexican food. It's nestled in downtown right by Grand Central Station, and looks like it is straight out of 1930, which is when it was established. In addition to tons of handcrafted items like pottery and leather goods, a trip to Olvera street offers live music and dance.
W E H O
Walk along Melrose Avenue
This one's for the trendy betch in all of us. Melrose is home to tons of art and murals, and of course, the pink wall. In between cuing up future Instas, grab a bite or a cup of coffee at one of the many delicious restaurants and bars that line this street, or check out the eclectic shops that also find their homes there.
Go to a reading at Book Soup
Located right on the Sunset Strip, Book Soup is situated near some of the most famous spots in WEHO. So, you can spend an afternoon admiring iconic spots on the strip, and then stop into Book Soup for one of their free readings or book signings – which happen almost daily, BTW. You can check out their event calendar here.
H O L L Y W O O D
Get a bird's eye view from the Griffith Observatory
For zero dollars you can go full-blown La La Land, exploring Griffith Observatory and admiring the breathtaking views of Los Angeles that it offers. Pro tip: go at night or sunset rather than during the day for a jaw dropping view of the stars and the lit up LA skyline.
It's dog friendly, celebrity friendly, and, free yoga is offered in parts of the park every day of the week. Plus, Runyon also offers an iconic view of Los Angeles that you (and your #followers) will love.
S O U T H B A Y
Picnic at the Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro
Don't know what the Korean Bell of Friendship is? No problem. It's a giant and intricately decorated bell given to the United States as a sign of ~friendship~ from the Korean people in the 1970's. The Korean Bell of Friendship sits on a grassy park atop a hill overlooking the Los Angeles Harbor, Catalina Island, and parts of the South Bay. Super pretty, super free, super perfect for a picnic.
See the tide pools in Palos Verdes
Some of the best tide pools in the South Bay can be found in Palos Verdes' Abalone Cove. The hike down is a little steep but definitely worth the starfish, octopi, and tiny sea anemones that are waiting at the bottom!