40 Cheap Things to Do in Los Angeles

40 of The Cheapest Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Los Angeles This Summer

Since Los Angeles is known for its great weather in Southern California, it would be a shame not to spend it outside. If you’re looking for the best ways to have fun outdoors this summer, here is our travel guide showcasing 40 coolest activities that you can try around the City of Los Angeles.

Cheap Things to Do in Los Angeles

1. Enjoy a Meal or a Cocktail

Cost: Varies

Many establishments around the city will let you dine al fresco. Some will even have beautiful vistas of the mountains or sea, making a meal or drink with a loved one all the more special. Here are 34 best Los Angeles restaurants you can go to.

2. Ride around the Santa Monica and Venice Beachfront

Cost: Varies

Bring your own or rent some rollerblades or mountain bikes in the Santa Monica and Venice beaches for an active day by the water.

40 of The Cheapest Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Los Angeles This Summer 2020

3. Catch an Outdoor Screening

Cost: Varies

Go on a romantic outing and view a nice movie under the stars. Several venues host such events but some are more interesting than others. Check them out here.

4. See a Show at the Forever Hollywood Cemetery

Cost: Varies

The Forever Hollywood Cemetary is one of the most popular and unique outdoor venues in LA, you should certainly try catching a screening, concert, or event here.

5. Take a Downtown LA Walking Tour

Cost: Free

Want a guided exploration of the beautiful City of Angels? Take a walking tour in downtown Los Angeles! There are programs offered by volunteers but you can also go on a DIY tour using the guides available on the web.

6. Shop in a Farmers’ Market

Cost: Varies

There are tons of great places around LA to source the freshest produce. So if you want to give the farm to table trend a try, drop by the Original Farmers’ Market, Grand Park, and Hollywood Farmers’ Market among many others.

7. Hunt for Treasures in Local Flea Markets

Cost: Varies

Los Angeles is also widely known for flea markets, so you should also check them out. The Long Beach Antique Flea Market, Melrose Trading Post, Rose Bowl Flea Market, and the Venice High Flea Market are popular among locals and celebs alike.

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8. Spend an Activity-Filled Day at the Griffith Park

Cost: Varies

With about 4,210 acres of space, there are certainly tons of things that you can do in the largest public green space in LA. There are tons of activities available on site but outdoor enthusiasts might appreciate its hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails more. It’s also home to the Griffith Observatory and the LA Zoo.

9. Stroll through Grand Park

Cost: Varies

Sitting right in the civic center of LA, this park offers a refuge to those who want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

10. Go for a Run by the Beachfront

Cost: Free

With LA’s mild weather, going for a run will be quite enjoyable. Do it by the beach and you can make your workout a lot more challenging and enjoyable.

11. Go for a Bike Ride on the Strand

Cost: Varies

Enjoy a leisurely bike ride by the water on Santa Monica’s The Strand. The bicycle path also is known as “The Strand” starts at Will Rogers State Beach and travels through all of the South Bay beach communities and 2 harbors: Marina del Rey and King Harbor at Redondo Beach. The bike path ends about 2 miles past the South end of Redondo Beach Pier in Torrance.

12. Spend Hot Days on the Beach

Cost: Free

There are tons of beach spaces open to the public around LA so you can take a pick where to go when you want to laze around by the water.

13. Relax at the Paradise Cove Beach

Cost: Free for swimming and surfing, a minimum spend of $30 for services

The Paradise Cove Beach is a small public/private that is hailed as one of the best beaches in LA by Conde Nast so it’s safe to say that it’s worth checking out. Enjoy the iconic Southern California experience at our quintessential California Beach Restaurant. Not only is Paradise Cove the best beach in Malibu, but it’s also the best beach in the world!

14. Spend a Day at Venice Beach

Cost: Free

Lively and full of attractions, visit Venice Beach if you want a more exciting beach day. Known for its bohemian spirit, Venice is a buzzing beach town with upscale commercial and residential pockets. Free-spirited Venice Boardwalk is the site of funky shops, street performers and colorful murals.

15. Relax at Carbon Beach

Cost: Free

Carbon Beach is a public beach but it doesn’t feel like one, thanks to the low foot-traffic. You can relax here and even rub elbows with the rich since it’s located in Malibu. arbon Beach has been nicknamed “Billionaire’s Beach” because of the lavish houses owned by famous celebrities and CEO’s that have been built right at the water’s edge.

16. Enjoy a Fun-Filled Beach Day at the Santa Monica State Beach

Cost: Free

This iconic beach will let you enjoy lots of activities under the sun without breaking the bank. The beach is located along Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica. It is 3.5 miles long and has parks, picnic areas, playgrounds, restrooms, as well as manned lifeguard stations, the original Muscle Beach, bike rentals, concessions, a few hotels, a bike path, and wooden pathways for warm days and beachgoers with disabilities.

17. Go on a Get Away at the El Matador State Beach

Cost: Free

With its sparkling waters and zero reception, El Matador State Beach will feel like a remote getaway. Beautiful sea stacks are on the beach and in the surf. This is a popular spot for pro photographers to shoot swimsuit models and stunning sunsets.

18. Have Fun Under the Sun at the Dockweiler State Beach

Cost: Free

Dockweiler State Beach is a beach in Los Angeles, California, with 3.75 miles of shoreline and a hang gliding practice and training area. Located near LAX, this beach is a great spot for hang gliding.

19. Surf at the Surfrider Beach

Cost: Free

Considered as the premier surfing spot in all of Los Angeles, Surfrider Beach is the best place to ride the waves. The name Surfrider suggests good surfing waves for riding, and with a super long right hand break, it’s an accurate name.

20. Explore the Nearby State Parks

Cost: Varies

There are lots of state parks that offer various outdoor activities in the Greater Los Angeles area. Most of them won’t cost you a lot to visit. Find a park nearby here.

21. Learn about Nature in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Cost: Free

Visit the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, it is an approximately 1,300-acre coastal estuary. Habitats include open water, mudflats, salt marsh, coastal dunes, seabird nesting islands, riparian, and freshwater marsh. More than 200 avian species have been identified at Bolsa Chica and the reserve is very popular with birders and photographers. Hiking, birdwatching, and photography are some of the most popular activities done in this coastal wetland reserve. However, tours are also hosted from time to time.

22. Step Back in Time at the Los Encinos State Historic Park

Cost: Free

Established to preserve the historic buildings of the Rancho Los Encinos, strolling through this state park will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time.

23. Enjoy Various Outdoor Activities at the Topanga State Park

Cost: Varies

Being the largest wildland within a major city, you shouldn’t miss spending a day or two at the Topanga State Park. Hiking, camping, and biking are some of the most common activities done here.

24. Learn about Local History in the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park

Cost: $3

Bask in the beauty of the Antelope Valley and learn about the history of the area and its Native American inhabitants in the Antelope Valley Indian Museum.

25. Go ‘Forest Bathing’ at the Malibu Creek State Park

Cost: $12

Forest bathing might sound like a synonym for skinny-dipping. Instead, it’s spending time in a forested area (fully clothed) and soaking up the atmosphere — metaphorical bathing of your senses in the forest. With its walking trails through the woodlands, you can enjoy some Nature Therapy in this state park.

26. Hike to a Waterfall at Eaton Canyon

Cost: Varies

For a quick outdoor adventure, head to the Eaton Canyon. Eaton Canyon Natural Area is a 190-acre zoological, botanical, and geological nature preserve situated at the base of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains. You can enjoy its hiking trails, equestrian trails with a staging area, picnic areas, seasonal streams, rocks and minerals, various natural habitats, native plants, and wildlife.

27. Stroll along the Venice Canals

Cost: Free

Feel like spending a fun day walking around? Check out the Venice Canals in Venice, California. Venice is home to Venice Beach (Venice Pier) which is perfect for surfing (Pacific Ocean) and features a charming boardwalk (near the Santa Monica Pier). With the year-round perfect weather and proximity to a big city, it’s certainly a great place to visit if you just want a quick dose of vitamin sea.

28. Go Ice Skating at Pershing Square

Cost: $9

LA doesn’t really get white Christmases but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have some fun on the ice in the winter months, check out Pershing Square. You can also go to the Pasadena Ice Skating Center, they offer daily public skating sessions open to the general public with convenient times throughout the week. Skaters of all ages and ability levels can have fun with family and friends while improving their skating skills during these recreational sessions.

40 of The Cheapest Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Los Angeles This Summer 2020

29. Meander around a Botanical Garden

Cost: Varies

There are tons of beautiful botanical gardens around LA. You can spend your day strolling around, taking photos, and having a picnic at the Descanso Gardens, The Japanese Garden, and the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden among many others.

30. Spend a Day Out with Your Fur Baby

Cost: Free

Want to hike with your pet? Go to Runyon Canyon Park. Runyon Canyon Park is a 160-acre park in Los Angeles, California, at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, managed by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

31. Hit the Beach with Your Pup

Cost: Free

Want to hit the beach but don’t want to leave your puppy behind? Rosie’s Dog Beach will welcome you warmly. This area is not fenced in and is not a dedicated “dog beach.” The area has metered parking in the Bennett Avenue lot, trash cans, and nearby restrooms. Some bags are provided in dispensers, but users are encouraged to bring their own bags from home.

32. Climb Stairs

Cost: Free

Want an urban hiking adventure? Explore the many staircases in LA. The climb will be tough but most of them offer gorgeous vistas of the city, so they’re well worth the effort.

33. Explore the Grounds of the Getty Center

Cost: Free

You can opt to view the art collection in the Getty Villa but you can also just stay outside and traipse around its spacious outdoor area.

34. Visit an Open Air Shopping Mall

Cost: Varies

Thanks to California’s mild weather, the malls here are designed to be open spaces as well. Some of the spots you must hit for some shopping include the Third Street Promenade, The Grove, and the Hollywood & Highland.

35. Go Boating

Cost: Varies

This isn’t exactly cheap but it’s a fun, special activity that you can do on a nice, warm day. You can do this in a paddleboat in Echo Park or take a boat ride all the way to Santa Catalina Island.

36. Lounge on a Rooftop Bar

Cost: Varies

By picking the right hotel, you’ll be able to lounge by a rooftop pool without spending some serious dough. Gawk at the Hollywood Sign while sipping on a Mai Tai. Here now are the 15 essential rooftops in Los Angeles.

37. Watch a Turtle Race

Cost: Varies

For a unique and memorable evening of drinking, Brennan’s at Marina del Ray will also let you experience the action of turtle racing.

38. Attend a Star Party at the Griffith Observatory

Cost: Free

Every month, amateur astronomers host a star party at the Griffith Observatory. The Griffith Observatory is a facility in Los Angeles, California, sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park.

40 of The Cheapest Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Los Angeles This Summer 2020

39. Go-Wine Tasting

Cost: Varies

While LA isn’t Napa Valley, you can still sit back and do some wine tasting at various spots around the city. You can do it by the beach or in the canyons of Malibu, Hollywood Boulevard, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.

40. Try River Kayaking down the Los Angeles River

Cost: Varies

If you don’t want to enjoy something not too touristy, book yourself a kayaking trip at the Los Angeles River. Only minutes from downtown Los Angeles and just over the Los Angeles River, this gorgeous event facility will fit many a bride’s ideas of the dream wedding location. The Center is a hidden jewel, sequestered behind thick, ivy-covered walls. A wide, circular brick driveway with a spreading ficus tree in the center marks the entrance, and through the arched, wrought-iron gate you get your first glimpse of the fountains, flowers, and serenity inside.

Not completely satisfy with these 40 spots, here are few others …

Head on over to these other amazing places for more inexpensive activities to do: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Disney Concert Hall, Visit art museum like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, visit the iconic Los Angeles City Hall, Universal Studios Hollywood, craving for Korean BBQ, head to KoreatownAnaheim Packing District, and the old Los Angeles Times building. For more information, head on over to the LA City Directory.

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