Los Angeles Travel Guide

USA  #5 in Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA
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Courtesy of Az Jackson/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Los Angeles

If you have extra time, Santa Monica Pier and Beach is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Los Angeles
    View all Photos
    #1 in Los Angeles
    Hiking, Museums, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Museums, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Griffith Observatory sits on the south face of Mount Hollywood and overlooks the Los Angeles basin. Its location gives visitors impressive views of the surrounding area. But there's more than just a pretty photo-op here. The observatory hosts fascinating exhibitions and features a top-notch planetarium.

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  • #2
    The Getty Center
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    #2 in Los Angeles
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Getty Center is one of the most impressive architectural achievements in the United States – and it also contains some of the finest works of art in the world. The circular concrete-and-steel structure was designed by renowned architect Richard Meier, and it houses an abundance of art from various ages

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  • #3
    Santa Monica Pier and Beach
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    #3 in Los Angeles
    Beaches, Entertainment and Nightlife, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Entertainment and Nightlife, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Just west of downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica contains one of the most legendary beach scenes in the United States. Santa Monica also boasts an abundance of great restaurants and excellent nightlife spots. The 3 miles of shoreline are renowned as some of thebest in the areathanks to the soft

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  • #4
    Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre
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    #4 in Los Angeles
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    One of Hollywood's most iconic and memorable sites, the TCL Chinese Theatre (originally Grauman's Chinese Theatre) opened in 1927 and represents the excess of Hollywood's Golden Age. You can tour the theater for $16 (kids tour tickets cost $8 and senior tickets are $13.50 each); tours are offered from 10

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  • #5
    Zuma Beach
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    #5 in Los Angeles
    Beaches, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Malibu has a reputation for excessive wealth and exclusivity, yet all of the town's beaches are public – everyone's welcome. If you're seeking an LA beach spot for sunbathing and swimming, look no further than this part of town. The beaches here are far cleaner than those atSanta MonicaorVenice Beach.

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  • #6
    Third Street Promenade
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    #6 in Los Angeles
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Third Street Promenade, popular with shopaholics, has an eclectic vibe similar to its Santa Monica locale. This open-air shopping mall is filled with major chain stores like Urban Outfitters and H&M, as well as more unique boutiques like the Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller Inc. rare books shop and the toys-focused

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  • #7
    The Original Farmers Market and The Grove
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    #7 in Los Angeles
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sitting south of West Hollywood is one of LA's most beloved landmarks: The Original Farmers Market. Founded in 1934, this cream-colored facility reels in both residents and tourists with the promise of fresh produce and the aroma of ready-to-eat snacks. You can visit throughout the week, although hours vary depending

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  • #8
    Sunset Boulevard
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    #8 in Los Angeles
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    One of the most iconic thoroughfares in the United States, Sunset Boulevard continues to live up to its legends. In the old days, it represented the classic and glamorous Hollywood lifestyle and became the setting of several famous films, including the obvious classic "Sunset Boulevard." Today, the palm-lined street (which

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  • #10
    Runyon Canyon Park
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    #10 in Los Angeles
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Just two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard, Runyon Canyon Park is an often overlooked urban park that offers some great views. Atop the canyon, you can glimpse views of the San Fernando Valley and the Pacific Ocean, as well as the Hollywood Sign andGiffith Observatory. The park also boasts several hiking

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  • #12
    Hollywood Bowl
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    #12 in Los Angeles
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you can catch a gig at the Hollywood Bowl, LA's beautiful outdoor amphitheater, don't pass it up. Since its inaugural season in 1922, this unique stage, set in the Hollywood Hills, has entertained thousands of fans and hosted some of the biggest names in music, including the Beatles, the

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  • #13
    Rodeo Drive
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    #13 in Los Angeles
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Immortalized by Julia Robert's "Pretty Woman" shopping spree, Rodeo Drive is an upscale shopping street in Beverly Hills that features designer stores and small private boutiques. The area is popular with wealthy shoppers, sunglass-wearing celebrities and tourists hoping to see fashion icons.

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  • #14
    Venice Beach
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    #14 in Los Angeles
    Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Developed in the early 20th century, Venice Beach is modeled – canals and all – after its namesake city in Italy. Admittedly, the experiment didn't live up to its Italian inspiration, but the neighborhood has become distinctly Californian, embodying the spirit of the wealthy, the alternative and the just plain bizarre. Rather than towering

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  • #15
    Hollywood Forever Cemetery
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    #15 in Los Angeles
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    As morbid as it may seem, your best chance of spotting a celebrity in LA is at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Here, you'll find the final resting places of Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, Jayne Mansfield, Cecil B. DeMille and other stars who once worked at the adjacentParamount Pictures Studios. You

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  • #16
    Walt Disney Concert Hall
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    #16 in Los Angeles
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This Frank Gehry-designed concert hall has helped revive downtown Los Angeles, which was once dominated by mundane office buildings and lackluster entertainment options. Now, nightlife and culture burgeon in the area, and the concert hall is at the forefront. The curvaceous, stainless steel exterior is worth a visit alone, but

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  • #18
    Greystone Mansion and Park
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    #18 in Los Angeles
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Greystone is one of the largest mansions in Beverly Hills and an important landmark for American cinema. Originally built by oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny in 1927 as a gift to his son, Ned, Greystone now represents a golden age in American cinema. Many films, including "The Big Lebowski" and

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  • Grand Central Market
    View all Photos
    Cafes, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Grand Central Market, or foodie heaven according to visitors, is located in downtown Los Angeles by theWalt Disney Concert Hall. The venue features high ceilings and an open layout, with food vendor stalls offering different cuisines that represent cultures from the Los Angeles area and beyond. The market has been

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