The 3 Best Things to do in Los Angeles For Free

The City of Angels is undoubtedly an enormous and potentially exhausting place to explore, covering almost 500 square miles and containing a multitude of experiences, regardless of your travel tastes and ambitions. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the USA, Los Angeles boasts some of the finest and most diverse cuisine, a great deal of cultural heritage and history with some of the best museums and art repositories to be found anywhere in the country. There is truly something for everyone; you can find out how your favorite TV shows and movies are made with behind the scenes tours of famous studios, rub shoulders with the eclectic and often eccentric locals in Venice Beach, get bronzed and hit the waves on Santa Monica’s State Beach or simply get out of the hustle and bustle of this sprawling metropolis and go for a hike in a stunning National Forest. 

Image by: Henning Witzel The 3 Best Things to do in Los Angeles For Free

The best way to enjoy all that LA has to offer – or at least everything that is important to you – is to plan ahead. Whether you are keen to keep your budget in check and not spend over the odds on inflated tourist dollars or you are passing through on your RV road trip and want to find some of the most exciting but frugal experiences that Los Angeles offers, then this article should help. In this piece, we’re taking a look at some of the most interesting things you can do with your time that won’t cost you a dime (unless you want them to). 

Image by: Sterling Davis The 3 Best Things to do in Los Angeles For Free

Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory

Griffith park is all about the stunning vistas, and that tends to be the draw for the vast majority of tourists to this famously beautiful spot. Set in over 4210 acres of well maintained National Park, Griffith Park is home to all sorts of local flora and other critters which you can try to spot on over 50 miles of hiking trails. The most famous route takes you up to the iconic Hollywood sign from where you can take in the panorama of the cityscape below. 

If you want to spend a few dollars, you can also take in some of the other attractions in the park, such as some stunning and fascinating displays in the planetarium, observatory, museums, sporting activities and other exhibits such as the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanic Gardens. 

Image by: C. Valdez / The 3 Best Things to do in Los Angeles For Free

There’s so much to see and do at Griffith Park, and you can get the best out of it without having to spend a dime. It’s the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city below and get closer to nature for a day.

Bonus tip: If you’re trying to vacation on a budget or be more mobile when visiting Southern California, renting an RV in Los Angeles would definitely help you save money on accommodation whilst giving you that extra freedom to explore at your own pace. An RV road trip through California is a wonderful way to see the sights whilst taking care of your wallet and a great way to spend quality time with the family too.”

The Getty Center

Image by: Adrian Newell / The 3 Best Things to do in Los Angeles For Free

Nestled in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains, the unusual design of the world-famous Getty Center was the work of the renowned architect, Richard Meir. It houses some of the most impressive works of art on display anywhere in the world, and the diverse collections include everything from early renaissance paintings, through 20th Century American photography to Baroque sculptures alongside many other ever-changing displays and exhibitions. The Getty Center also boasts a pretty cool entrance; once parked up, you take a tram to the center itself where entry is completely free. Of course, you can upgrade your experience if you wish with tour guides aplenty ready to take you into all the nooks and crannies of the gallery and help you get the most out of this fascinating labyrinth. The center gardens claim to have over 500 different species of plants and feature some stunning views back into the city and the surrounding areas.

Santa Monica Beach and Santa Monica Pier

The 3 Best Things to do in Los Angeles For Free

As you wander along the three miles of Santa Monica shoreline, you’ll get the feeling you’ve been there before, especially if you were a fan of the hit ‘80s TV show, Baywatch, as this was where a lot of it was filmed. Full of fabulous places to eat, shop, and explore, this is the perfect people-watching spot. Beautiful to walk through but equally accessible by bicycle, Santa Monica is quite famous for it’s winding, twenty-two-mile cycle path called The Strand, which will take you on a gentle tour of everything from State Beach through the crazy world of Venice to Redondo Beach. 

Of course, the iconic pier is a must-visit location and includes some pretty spectacular views from the Ferris wheel. There’s just so much going on in Santa Monica, from street performers to street food and all the sights, sounds, and smells that accompany this carnival atmosphere. While you can always spend a small fortune on food in a place like this, the majority of popular sights are all there for you to wander around and explore, taking in the exciting vibe without spending very much at all, as entry to the pier is completely free.

These are just a few of the many things you can do in Los Angeles that don’t have to cost the Earth. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Hollywood walk of fame, take a stroll down Sunset Boulevard, relax on Malibu’s exclusive Zuma Beach or perhaps simply get away from it all in the Runyon Canyon Park where you can hike amongst the palm trees without ever feeling that you’re just a stone’s throw from the busy metropolis that is Los Angeles. All of these things are completely free too. Planning an exciting getaway on a budget is all about good preparation. The best things in life really are free, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to explore all the wonderful sights, sounds, and beautiful vistas that Los Angeles has to offer.


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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