Cheap Thing to do in Los Angeles California
Southern California is a region known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and diverse cultural offerings. While it can have a reputation for being expensive, there are plenty of budget-friendly activities and attractions that allow visitors and residents to experience the best of SoCal without straining their wallets. In this guide, we will highlight a variety of cheap things to do in Southern California that will help you make the most of your time in this dynamic and beautiful part of the Golden State without breaking the bank.
Visit the Beaches: Los Angeles has a wide range of beautiful beaches, and many of them are free to access. Enjoy a day of sunbathing, swimming, or simply relaxing on beaches like Santa Monica Beach, Venice Beach, and Zuma Beach. If you are visiting by car, make sure to use government-funded parking lots, they usually have great parking deals such as getting the first 90 minutes free or a charge of $2 an hour.
Explore Griffith Observatory: Griffith Observatory offers stunning city and star views. While the planetarium shows have a small fee, admission to the observatory itself is free. Parking is not free with a charge of $4 an hour, however, if there are no shows at the Greek Theatre which is close by, you will be able to park there for free.
And when your are done checking out the Griffith Observatory, you can also hike the trails around the Griffith Observatory and enjoy the great outdoors and beautiful vistas of Los Angeles.
Visit The Getty Center: The Getty Center is a world-class museum with impressive art collections. The museum also offers stunning architecture and gardens to explore. While parking has a fee, admission to the museum itself is free. You can avoid the parking fee if you either take a ride-sharing service or travel by bicycle, bike racks will be available on entry. However, if you do decide to park, the parking fee decreases as time passes throughout the day with a 3 p.m. entry be priced at $15.
Wander Venice Beach Boardwalk: Take a stroll along the Venice Beach Boardwalk to experience the vibrant and eclectic culture of Venice Beach. You can enjoy street performers, art vendors, and people-watching. Although it is free to walk around, parking is not so generous here with it ranging from $10-20 for the whole day. However, as an experience all on its own, you are saving for a whole day's worth of exploring.
Visit The Broad Museum: The Broad is a contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles. While you may need to reserve tickets in advance, admission to the museum is free, and it features an impressive collection of modern art. Parking, however, ranges from $15-$25, if you don't mind walking you can save $10-20. Bicycle parking is also an option with free designated bike racks for visitors.
Explore Olvera Street: Olvera Street is a historic district in downtown LA, often referred to as the birthplace of Los Angeles. Stroll through this area to explore Mexican shops, restaurants, and cultural exhibits. Food stalls here are also decently priced with most meal combos priced under $10. To get no-hassle parking, Olvera Street charges $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends.
Enjoy Street Food: Los Angeles is famous for its diverse street food scene. Try tacos from a food truck or grab a hot dog from a local stand. For starters, you can check out AVENUE 26 Night market for great Mexican street cuisine at decent prices. They are open during the evening hours of Friday through Sunday.
Visit Descanso Gardens: Descanso Gardens is a beautiful botanical garden located in La Cañada Flintridge. It offers a serene and picturesque escape from the city. While adult admission is $15 per person, you can opt-out for a Free Tuesday admission which occurs on the third Tuesday of every month, just make sure to get them ahead of time on their website. And as a side note, parking is free by the way.
Free Outdoor Movies and Concerts: During the summer months, many parks in Los Angeles host free outdoor movie screenings and concerts. Jamaica Bay Inn in Marina Del Rey has Sunday beachfront lawn free movie night, check them out if your interested. Check local event listings for details.
Explore the Arts District: In the 1970s, artists braved unlivable conditions and began to occupy the area's dilapidated buildings, by being priced out in areas such as Venice and Hollywood. As a result, they started to meld the district into a place of wonder filled with art galleries. The Arts District in downtown LA is known for its street art, galleries, and creative vibe. Take a self-guided tour of the colorful murals and artwork. However, don't expect paid experiences to be cheap. Free parking is possible but still expect to pay upwards of $10 for the paid version.
Visit Chinatown: Explore the vibrant culture and cuisine of Chinatown in Los Angeles. You can sample affordable and delicious Chinese food, and enjoy the ambiance of the area. With small competing shops all around the town, you will likely find competitive deals for many different items, practicing your bargaining skills is a must here. Expect to pay $5-$10 for parking for the whole day.
Visit Smorgasburg Los Angeles: Smorgasburg operates the largest open-air food markets in the country, with locations in New York, Los Angeles, Jersey City, Sao Paulo, and most recently Miami and Toronto. Smorgasburg L.A. provides a platform for nearly 100 small businesses to try out the next wave of SoCal’s food, beverage, and shopping scene. They are open every Sunday with admission being free and parking also being free for the first two hours. In my opinion, this is a must-try if you want a taste of what is new in Los Angeles.
In conclusion, Los Angeles offers a wide array of budget-friendly activities and attractions that allow you to experience the city without breaking the bank. Whether you're interested in exploring its natural beauty, cultural diversity, or artistic scene, there are plenty of options for those on a budget. From hiking in Griffith Park to visiting free museums and enjoying street food, LA provides numerous opportunities to have an enjoyable and affordable experience. So, don't let your wallet hold you back – explore the City of Angels and make the most of what it has to offer without spending a fortune.