Tuesday, October 7, 2014

10 Things to Do in Los Angeles for FREE

(Post not finished yet - baby got in the way!)

In 2014, I got the chance to stay in LA for 10 days at a friends house and check out the area. She had just moved there and was eager to show me around and explore the area herself. We were staying in West Hollywood and had a car so that made things easier too. I highly recommend renting a car when exploring LA.

Here are my favourite 10 things to do for free and a few things below the list that are low cost but amazing experiences too!

Relax at a Rooftop Pool
A few of the pools in LA are open to guests AND non-guests. This is very different to what I have experienced in other cities (usually you need a room key to enter pool area). Not only do they let you swim, but you can use chairs, towels and get food/drink service to your pool chair! Most pools seemed to open around noon, so we went around 12:30/1 to get chairs. We also got a light lunch and some drinks. The lunch was surprisingly cheap but drinks were a bit pricey. Either way, this is a great afternoon activity on a hot summer day! Check out The Standard Downtown - we also LOVED The Standard in Hollywood - lots of palm trees surround the pool :)

Hike to the Hollywood Sign
Everyone has grown up seeing the "Hollywood" sign in movies and TV shows and now if your chance to check it out in person. There are tons of hikes around this area and make have a great view of the sign. Unfortunately, the parking area closest to the sign is now closed due to neighbours complaining about the traffic. We did a hike that was about an hour and didn't get too close (as you can see in photo). If you have 2-3 hours, you can do a hike that gets right up close to it.

Visit Santa Monica Pier
A great place to stroll along, check out the mini amusement park, listen to buskers and enjoy the beach. A must do!

Relax at a Malibu Beach
If you want to escape the city and relax for the day, nothing is better than El Dorado Beach in Malibu. It is quiet, easy to get to and gorgeous. Remember to check the tide chart, because during high tide, the beach can get very small.

Check out The Last Bookstore
This bookstore in Downtown LA is something out of Harry Potter. It sits inside an old 2-story building and is filled to the brim with new and used books. Within minutes we each had a book and they were $5 each. Much less expensive than any other bookstore I have been to. Make sure to explore the upper level called the Labyrinth with over 100,000 books that are all $1 each! More details here. 
  1. Do a Free Trial at a Fancy Gym
  2. Hike Runyon Canyon at Sunset
  3. Be a tourist at Venice Beach
  4. Spend the Day at a Hollywood Pool
  5. Sunset at Venise or SM P
Or for a small amount:
  • Outdoor Movie in a Hollywood Cemetery 
  • Jay Leno Stand-Up