100 Free Things to Do in Los Angeles: Free Attractions

Photo courtesy of Shawn S. Park Flickr

You might think that sightseeing in Los Angeles will cost a pretty penny, but think again. Free attractions in Los Angeles offer a chance to see the city without breaking the bank.

31.    Hike near the Hollywood sign: Feeling uninspired? Try changing your perspective on a familiar sight. While the Hollywood sign’s grounds are barred from public access, some great nearby hikes allow for great angles for photos. From Franklin Avenue in Hollywood, go north on Beachwood Drive; turn left at Ledgewood Drive and twist and wind uphill. Then go right at the three-way intersection onto Deronda Drive.

32.    Tour the Los Angeles Central Public Library: The Los Angeles Central Public Library reflects the Egyptian-style architecture mania that swept the country in the 1920s, after the King Tut discovery.

33.    Discover fossil fun: At La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, the site of the richest discovery of Ice Age fossils in the world, more than 100 tons of fossilized bones representing 200-plus species of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have been unearthed from pools of sticky asphalt dating back to prehistoric time.

34.    Stroll the historic Farmers Market: The LA Farmers Market opened at the corner of Third and Fairfax in 1934 and retains much of its original flavor — the freshest produce, made-to-order peanut butter, gourmet meats and cheeses, and hot donuts — while adding a few extra touches (gluten-free pizza, gumbo, authentic Mexican food).

35.    Hollywood Walk of Fame: Since the 1960s, more than 2,400 terrazzo and brass stars have been unveiled on Hollywood’s major sidewalks.

36.    Korean Bell of Friendship: Intricate reliefs represent spirits and goddesses of liberty, victory and peace, while architectural details impart the colorful nature of Korean culture. Best visited on a clear, sunny day for a picnic and a stroll, the area features pristine views complemented by the yachts and charter boats of the harbor below.

37.    Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels: One of LA’s most innovative buildings and the largest Catholic cathedral in the country, it inspires visitors with its warm, inviting interior, perfect for introspection.

38.   Take a self-guided tour of Walt Disney Concert Hall: Though the stage and concert hall itself are usually off limits to even paid tours (due to rehearsals), the public spaces of the interior and the garden are still quite spectacular to explore.  

39.   Venice canals: Winding through quaint little (and very expensive houses), the canals feature arched bridges and beautiful landscaping. It's a great place to cruise along on a bike. Start between Washington Avenue and Venice Boulevard.  

40.   Visit Hollywood Forever Cemetery: At this Hollywood landmark, fans still gather every August 23 to pay homage to Rudolph Valentino. Cecil B. DeMille and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. also rest here. Plus, catch outdoor movies during the summer (for a fee). 

41.   Step back in time 100 years: The Victorian era had its influence on local architecture, as evidenced by the homes in the 1300 block of Carroll Avenue in Angelino Heights. 

42.   Bradbury Building: The one-of-a-kind interior features a five-story atrium finished with glazed bricks and wrought-iron grillwork (including the cage elevator that will be familiar from the many movies filmed here).

43.   Watch the ceremonies on Hollywood Boulevard: The best way to see your favorite celebrities up close and personal is to check out the star-dedication ceremonies. They are typically held twice a month. 

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