Los Angeles is home to multi-million-dollar mansions, custom-made cars worth more than small islands, and, now, crippling gas prices. But there are some ways to enjoy this bustling coastal paradise that won’t bankrupt you; they’ll merely require a little planning. So if you’re just saving up for your next avocado toast or those mounting parking tickets, browse this list of free things to do in LA.
Just like traffic, hiking in L.A. is an unavoidable part of life, and the best way to motivate yourself is with a refreshing reward at the end of it. From icy mountain pools to inviting hot springs, here are all the swimming spots you can cool off in for free.
There’s nothing better than L.A.’s array of arresting natural landscapes and mesmerizing lines of the architectural landmarks, except seeing them bathed in the golden haze of a sunset. Witnessing “magic hour” is an essential ritual in this city and is also absolutely free. Pick a spot from our list of 10 best places to catch a sunset here.
Wander through the canals lined with million-dollar homes, dotted with swaying palms and decorated with picturesque bridges. It’s a slice of Italy with a modern California twist and won’t cost you a dime to explore. If you feel inclined to splash out, you can always hire a SUP or canoe and glide over the water while taking in a sunset.
Visit the world’s top cultural institutions with this guide to free museums and galleries in L.A. and how you can visit the rest without paying. With a little planning, you can see some top exhibits in the city.
What better way to appreciate the iconic Urban Light installation outside LACMA than with soothing jazz music in the background? Every Friday from April through November, talented local musicians will be honoring the finest jazz musicians in front of this glowing outdoor piece by artist Chris Burden. It’s the ultimate free musical and cultural fix.
34. Treat Your Eyes To Lush Views And Even Lusher Designer Surroundings At This Hidden Rooftop Garden
This palatial interior design boutique in West Hollywood may not be in your price bracket if you’re reading this, but that won’t stop you from running your hand over sofas covered in exotic handwoven fabrics before retreating to the top-floor rooftop garden. The design follows the aesthetically pleasing symmetry of a famous Parisian garden and is more peaceful than any of L.A.’s parks.
Fans of The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and more, can become part of the audience. You’ll get to howl with laughter or let out loud gasps amongst fellow fans instead of being hunched over your laptop alone at home. You browse shows and can get tickets to the recording through 1ioata.
Long Beach offers a free outdoor cinema with tons of exciting films and kettle corn (if you make it there early). Watch cult classics, family flicks and new releases screened while munching on delicious food with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop this summer. Go to Moonlight Movies on the Beach for a complete list of screenings happening through August 18. For more family-friendly options, you can check out Beach Movie Nights in Vista del Mar, City of Inglewood Movies in the Park at various locations, Summer Night Cinema at the Hammer Museum.
Explore over 6 acres of verdant peacefulness at the stunning Japanese Garden. Doctor Koichi Kawana managed to create this sprawling haven of paths, ponds, trees and blooms, which is the best medicine for fatigued city souls. The gardens are also known as SuihoEn, which means “garden of water and fragrance” in Japanese. And although this heavenly place was solely created with reclaimed wastewater from the sewer system, there’d be no way of knowing unless you were told. You can visit for free, but you’ll need to make a reservation online around ten days in advance. Find out more here.
The legendary concert series is back and they’re lighting up major cultural hubs after hours throughout the summer. Expect live performances from bands, infectious sets by Anthony Valadez and Jeremy Sole, mouthwatering drinks and food. Get all the details here.Find more exciting things to do in Los Angeles this month here.