Traveling to an exciting new place over the summer can be really fun, but it can also be pricey. Between airfare, lodging, and spending money, it’s not hard for a weekend getaway to turn into a bank-buster all too quickly. However, Los Angeles is one of my favorite cities in the world (I’ve called it home for almost 20 years), and I think everyone should visit it at least once. So, I’ve rounded up the 15 best things to do in the city of angels for free. From getting the perfect Instagram shot at the famous pink wall on Melrose to window shopping at The Grove, here’s everything you need to see when you visit L.A. this summer.
Walk the Boardwalk in Venice Beach
Located at: 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
Check out the boardwalk and Venice Beach’s unique street performers while soaking up the Cali sunshine.
Check Out the Hollywood and Highland Center
Located at: 6801 Hollywood Blvd #170, Los Angeles, CA 90028
At the Hollywood and Highland Center, you can see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, browse the stores, and visit the entertainment complex. This shopping center has tons of fun shops and restaurants, and even has a platform to view the Hollywood Sign.
Take a Hike to the Hollywood Sign
Located at: Los Angeles, CA 90068
If you’d rather get up close and personal with the Hollywood Sign, you can get there via hiking trail. The Mt. Hollywood Trail, Canyon Drive Trail, and the Cahuenga Peak Trail will treat you to an up-close view of the Hollywood sign and Los Angeles.
Attend a TV Taping
Located at: Multiple locations
This is one of my favorite things to do in L.A. You get a really cool opportunity to see how TV shows are really made and you get to see the celebs up-close. Tickets to attend tapings of sitcoms and game shows can be requested here or here. Try calling the ticketing companies ahead of time and request priority tickets so you’re sure you’ll get in. They’re usually really accommodating with visitors from out of state!
Stop By the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Located at: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
The LACMA lights are a famous Instagram spot for bloggers in L.A., and photo shoots and music video-tapings are almost always happening there. LACMA has free admission on the second Tuesday of every month.
Browse the Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Promenade
The Santa Monica Pier is an iconic L.A. landmark (and the Ferris wheel and beautiful California beach make for the perfect Instagram backdrop). While you’re checking it out, be sure to walk around the shops and restaurants at 3rd Street Promenade, located one block inland from the pier.
Walk Around Melrose
Located at: 8221 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
There are tons of cute murals here, like the Instagram-famous pink wall at the Paul Smith store on Melrose between Fairfax and La Cienega (which also happens to be the perfect starting spot). You’re sure to get the perfect L.A. Instagram shot on this stretch.
Stop By the Grove
Located at: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Grove is an upscale shopping center that’s often frequented by celebrities. Every Wednesday night in July, The Grove hosts a summer concert. Be sure to also check out all the retail stores before heading down to the Original Farmer’s Market, where there are tons of produce vendors and famous L.A. food vendors like Bennett’s Ice Cream. The Grove can get pretty busy on the weekends, so if you’re in the city during the week, that would be the perfect time to visit.
Explore Your Artsy Side With a Visit to the Getty Center
Check Out the Exhibits at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Located at: 919 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90015
For all the design-lovers out there, FIDM is located in L.A.’s fashion district and is home to a big collection of costumes and textiles from your favorite shows and movies.
Stargaze at the Griffith Park Observatory
Located at: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
One Saturday a month, the Griffith Park Observatory holds a star party for free where attendees get to observe the constellations from the planetarium.
Stroll Down Sunset Boulevard
Located at: 6400 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Sunset is home to iconic rock and roll venues such as The Roxy and The Hollywood Palladium. While you’re there, don’t miss out on popping into Amoeba Music, a two-story record store full of vinyl records and CDs. If you’re a music-lover, strolling Sunset is a must.
Visit Olvera Street
Located at: 845 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Also known as “the birthplace of Los Angeles,” Olvera Street is a Mexican Marketplace full of authentic Mexican food and goods. It’s full of history, souvenir shops, and music.
Find Your Zen at Runyon Canyon
Runyon Canyon is one of the most popular hiking trails in L.A., but they also offer free yoga classes three to four times a day. Visit their Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on dates, times, and instructors.
Browse The Last Bookstore
Located at: 453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
The Last Bookstore feels like a fairytale world in downtown L.A. The building features a maze of 100,000 books, all on sale for $1 each. Bookworms, you’re going to love it here.
What are your favorite things to do in L.A. for free? Let us know in the comments below, or share your travels on Instagram by tagging @cfashionista!
Featured photo by @cataucker.