Santa Monica Pier Entrance
Santa Monica Area
Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade, and Venice Beach. Spend all day window shopping, people watching, walking and enjoying the fresh air. The food court near Arizona Street has reasonable prices for food. For a couple dollars more, go upstairs to Wolfgang Pucks for a great meal. There's also a food court in Santa Monica Place shopping mall. Parking at Santa Monica Place is usually free, and when they charge it only costs $3.
The Getty (West L.A. and Malibu)
Admission is free to both sites of the Getty (Getty Center off the 405 freeway in West L.A. and Getty Villa in Malibu). Pay only for parking ($15 per car), or take a Metro bus to save even more. See more free museums in another section below.
Free Shows, Concerts and Musical Performances
TV Show Taping
In most cases you'll need to get your tickets in advance, but they're usually free.
Mulholland Drive near Hollywood Bowl Overlook
Sightseeing From Your Car
The cost of gasoline makes this more expensive than in the past, but it costs less than paying for parking and admission at a theme park.
- directions on how to get to the scenic areas of Mulholland Drive.
- here's a suggested driving tour that covers beach views, mountains, the Valley, downtown LA and Hollywood.
Griffith Park Observatory
- Free activities include: Picnic in the park, go hiking on one of the trails, see the or visit train museum.
Court of Flags in Grand Park, downtown L.A.
There are many free activities in downtown Los Angeles, although they are not all within walking distance of each other. However you can take a low-cost DASH bus to get around. Free activities include tours, famous tourist sites (such as Disney Hall and Olvera Street), and the L.A. City Hall observation deck. Parking will cost $5 or more (it's less expensive on the weekends), or you can take a Metro train into downtown L.A.
Some shopping districts are more than just malls, and are an attraction in themselves. Many of them offer entertainment beyond what a mall provides. Some are in attractive locations, like near the ocean. Although it costs money to shop, the are places where you can walk around and stay entertained without having to buy anything. Most charge for parking.
Hiking in the Santa Monica or San Gabriel Mountains
Suggestions - if you know of an ongoing free activity in Los Angeles, please send a note about it to firstname.lastname@example.org