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So maybe some of you out there are short on cash. Maybe you are a freelancer, like some of us, and don’t have a current gig. Maybe you just want to explore the City of Angels but not spend a lot of money.

You are in luck! I am going to take you on a free tour of Los Angeles, which will cost you a tank of gas or a ticket on the bus. These are some must-see & some-off-the-beaten-path things to do.

1. Griffith Park Observatory – The observatory is located in Griffith Park, which is a great place to hike and get great views of the city and the Hollywood sign. Going into the observatory is free, and you can wander around and see the exhibits as well as pretend you are James Dean from “Rebel Without a Cause.”

2. Watts Towers – I feel like even most Angelenos haven’t ventured over to Watts to see this. I believe if you go into the area of the structure, there is a charge, but you can go and see it from outside the gate for no cost. You will see an interesting piece of art, learn some history, and see an area of Los Angeles that most people don’t go to.

3. Runyon Canyon – Runyon is a staple of Los Angeles. It is always packed with locals who hike with their dogs (who are allowed to go off leash here), socialize, and do some free yoga. I can attest it is a fun place to go, and Shiloh gives it two paws up!

4. The Getty Center & The Getty Malibu Villa – The Getty Center is free every day; you just have to pay for parking if you drive. This is a great place to go as the architecture alone is great, and they have a nice garden to walk through and great views of the city. They have a mix of permanent exhibits and new stuff that rotates in. The Getty Villa Malibu is free, but you need to get tickets in advance for certain days and times. This will take you over for a nice ride on the Pacific Coast Highway and a good view of the Pacific Ocean. The grounds are beautiful, and they have some art there worth checking out.

5. Archery lessons in Pasadena Saturday mornings – There is also a place in Culver City that does this. This way, depending on what side of town you are in, you can still go.

6. Farmers Market – Every day of the week, there is at least one if not several of these around LA. The farmers markets are a great place to get great local produce, find beautiful flowers, eat yummy food, people watch, and check out local vendors. No matter what part of town you are in, you will find one, and they are worthwhile.

7. The La Brea Tar Pits – For me these aren’t very exciting (maybe it is because I have been there so many times), but it is free to wander the whole park. You can also check out the Page Museum. There is some other fun stuff to see around there, and it is a place where the food trucks tend to congregate, so that will make for a fun and yummy lunch. Also, it is connected to LACMA, which isn’t free but is a good museum if you are interested.

These are just 7 ideas to get you going. There are some other options that are very touristy, like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Venice board walk. I tend to stay away from these, but others may disagree. There are also a lot of great, low-cost options, which maybe I will go into another time.

Hopefully this gives some visitors and even some locals some ideas. PLEASE feel free to share any suggestions in the comment section as I would love to be introduced to other great ideas!

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