Los Angeles is the kind of city where you can do pretty much anything your heart desires. You want to eat shaved ice (a concept I will ~ never ~ understand) at 3am? Sure! Take your dog for a mani-pedi? You got it! Sip $30 smoothies surrounded by celebs at the Beverly Hills Hotel? Just call the concierge dahhhling. However there is so much more to this SoCal city that doesn’t involve a single swipe of your credit card…
1. TAKE IN THE BEST VIEW OF THE CITY FROM GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY
Even the observatory itself is free to enter and the views from the surrounding park are truly stunning. If you want to make a day of it, there are plenty of hike trails that start or end up here, including one to the Hollywood sign.
2. EXPLORE THE STREET ART AT VENICE BEACH
It’s no secret that Venice is one of my absolute favourite parts of Los Angeles. While away hours wandering along the boardwalk spotting street art and taking in all the weird and wonderful sights.
3. GET LOST IN ‘THE LAST BOOK STORE’ IN DOWNTOWN
The Last Book Store in Downtown LA is not only a total literary treasure trove, it’s also an incredibly cool (and free) hang out zone. There are cosy couches, art displays and books as low as a dollar and they hold free events including talks with authors, signings and music sessions.
4. SUNBATHE ON SANTA MONICA BEACH
Santa Monica is the perfect Cali beach with miles and miles of white sand, cool ocean and totally instagrammable lifeguard huts. It’s also a prime surfing spot if you fancy a bit of water sports, or you can take a wander along the pier and enjoy buskers and the beautiful view.
5. OOZE CULTURE AT THE GETTY CENTRE
Take a free tram up to the top of the Getty Centre where you can enjoy spectacular views, beautiful botanical gardens and a wealth of free art exhibitions. The architecture of the centre itself is also somewhat of a marvel.
6. ENJOY A FREE TOUR OF THE WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of Downtown’s most famous spectacles, with it’s grandiose metallic structure designed by Frank Gehry. Self-guided audio tours are complimentary!
(Photo Credit: Photo Surge)
7. HIKE BEHIND THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN
You can’t really take a trip to Los Angeles and not see the Hollywood sign, but it’s smaller than you may imagine and the best way to take a really good look at it is to hike up behind it!
(Photo Credit: Charlotte Pickles)
8. TAKE PHOTOS IN FRONT OF THE MURALS ON MELROSE AVENUE
Melrose Avenue is an absolute mecca for quirky photo opportunities with huge murals dotted all along the street. Don’t forget to stop at the world famous Paul Smith pink wall!
9. INSTAGRAM CONTEMPORARY ART AT THE BROAD
The Broad is heralded as one of LA’s best art galleries with a huge contemporary collection that is totally free to visit. Make sure you visit the Infinity Mirror Room!
(Photo Credit: Time Out Los Angeles)
10. HUNT FOR YOUR FAVOURITE STAR ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD
Hollywood Boulevard is a very strange (read: trashy) place and you might be surprised to find the stars are literally just part of the sidewalk, littered with fag ends and dirty footprints. Nonetheless, it is a truly iconic Los Angeles location and you can have some fun spotting your favourite stars!
(Photo Credit: PBS News)