Glitz and glamour may have made this city famous, but there are plenty of free or cheap fun things to do in Los Angeles. Get up early and trek to the iconic Hollywood sign from Griffith Park Observatory. You’ll wind through the tangled shrubs covering the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains for stunning city views (and work up an appetite for hand-made tortilla tacos from Guisados or Project Taco’s lox breakfast taco).
Active travelers will love the L.A. Conservancy’s walking architecture tours (Victorian mansions in Angelino Heights, Art Deco masterpieces like the 1928 City Hall building in Downtown), though it’s easy to admire the buildings on foot—for free.
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Biking along the beach is another activity enjoyed by fit visitors and locals alike. Stick to the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, also known as The Strand, and cruise from Santa Monica south to Manhattan Beach. Not free, but hard earned, is the Bloody Mary that awaits you at MB Post.
Hipsters know exactly what to do on the first Friday of every month: follow them to Venice for Abbot Kinney First Fridays to enjoy local art and hip shops. And don’t forget to make your reservation in advance for free admission to the buzzy new Broad Museum, next door to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.