Guest Post: The Best of Los Angeles for Free

Alyssa Bacon-Liu is a new wife, southern California native, and wannabe world changer who lives with her husband in Los Angeles. She is passionate about justice, equality, anything sparkly, and reusable shopping bags. She blogs about life, love, and the pursuit of all things beautiful at You can also find her on Twitter (@alyssabaconliu).

I am very vocal about the fact that I love living in Los Angeles. I know that big city life isn’t for everyone, but the City of Angeles has my heart. One of the best things about L.A. is that there is SO much to do and see. There is never a dull moment and you will rarely find yourself bored. Want to know the best part? You can experience the best of what this city has to offer and you can do it on a budget! I’m here to give you an inside look at how you can explore my favorite city in the world for practically free.

If you like architecture…

The historic Bunker Hill area of downtown Los Angeles has so much eye candy in such a relatively small area. First, you can make your way to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The architecture alone of this Catholic cathedral is worth checking out, but it also boasts a relaxing meditation garden, children’s garden, religious art, fountains and an open plaza where people can walk around or sit and talk. Next, head over to the Walt Disney Concert Hall which is home to the LA Philharmonic. The cool thing is that you can take free self-guided walking tours of the inside of the Hall when there isn’t a show going on. But even if that’s not your thing, you can just walk around the outside of the building and take in the awesome architecture. Finish your adventure at the California Plaza Water Court which is one of my absolute favorite places in downtown L.A. because of the beautiful skyscrapers and relaxing atmosphere.

If you like art…

The J. Paul Getty Museum is a must-visit for anyone in the Los Angeles area. The museum has an impressive collection of art and wonderful rotating exhibits. The grounds of the Getty are as stunning as the artwork inside. They have beautiful gardens to explore, plus an amazing view. Entry to the museum is free, but parking will cost you $15 so carpool with some buddies! You can also visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and get lost in the largest art museum on the West Coast! Their general admission usually comes with a price tag, but if you plan your trip right you can get in for free! Go on the second Tuesday of the month or go after 3 pm Monday through Friday if you are a resident of Los Angeles County and enjoy the expansive collection of art at no cost!

If you like the beach…

Los Angeles has so many beaches to choose from and any one of them is great for basking in the California sun and working on that tan. But I recommend Santa Monica because it has so much more than just the beach. When you’re done being a beach bum, you can do some serious window shopping at the Third Street Promenade. Towards the end of the day, make sure you head to the Santa Monica Pier for a breathtaking view of the sunset. An entire day full of fun with the ocean as your background, and it doesn’t have to cost you a thing!

If you like history…

The perfect place for history buffs is Los Angeles Plaza Historic District, nestled in the oldest district of Los Angeles. The area is a living history lesson and there is a lot to explore in this little gem. The three standouts are the Plaza, Olvera Street, and Avila Adobe. The Plaza is usually coming alive with live performances in Mexican music and dancing.  Olvera street is a bustling Mexican marketplace with colorful souvenirs and trinkets. Avila Adobe is the oldest residence still standing in the entire city of Los Angeles and it is well preserved for visitors. And if you can spare a few dollars, indulge in a delicious cinnamon churro. You won’t be disappointed!

If you like being a tourist…

If you want a quintessential Los Angeles experience, look no further than Griffith Observatory and Rodeo Drive. Griffith Observatory is a Los Angeles icon and landmark. Perched atop Mount Hollywood, it gives you great views of the greater L.A. area and the famed Hollywood sign. The grounds of the Observatory are great place to take pictures and take in the sights. And entrance to the Observatory is always free! I know that “Rodeo Drive” and “free” don’t seem like they belong in the same sentence. But fear not, my friend on a budget! Rodeo Drive is the infamous shopping playground for the ultra-rich and glamorous, but it is also a window shopper’s dream! The luxury stores on Rodeo Drive only stretch out over 3 palm tree lined blocks, making walking up and down the entire Drive very doable. Take your time and enjoy the scenery of Gucci, Armani, Versace, and Chanel…as well as some plastic surgery jobs gone wrong.

I hope this post inspires you to not only have fun, free adventures in my favorite city, but also inspires you to find the fabulous and free places to explore wherever you go.


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Staci blogs about travel at

9 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Best of Los Angeles for Free”

  1. I liked reading about beautiful places and things to do in Los Angeles as I am from the Midwest and all I know of Los Angleles is what I see or hear on the news. Stopping by to from HouseBlogging

  2. My friends got engaged at the Griffith Observatory! Not only were the city lights a beautiful backdrop for engagement photos, but the Griffith Observatory staff were super accommodating for the setup of the proposal. See- not everyone from LA is grouchy!

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