3 Days of LA on a Budget

Couple hiking in Griffith Park
Couple hiking in Griffith Park  |  Photo:  Yuri Hasegawa

Aren't we all in need of a getaway that's as easy on our wallets as it is on our soul? LA has what you need. Spend some time outside, look at art, eat tacos, discover new things. Here are some suggestions on how to fill your days with fun that doesn't cost you.

NOTE: Hours and opening dates change frequently. Check individual websites for updated information.

Day 1

Sand, sun, ocean air. Let's not waste any time getting to the beach. Venice, that is. Have breakfast, rent a bike and head to the Santa Monica Pier - yes, there are arcade games. Then, hike to an abandoned ranch, find peace at the Self-Realization Shrine, and nosh on beach bites at a favorite hangout of The Doors.

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Perry's Cafe & Beach Rentals

A quick bite and a bike rental.

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Venice Beach

The Skate Park, Muscle Beach, the Poetry Wall - see it all.

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Santa Monica Pier

Carnival games, an aquarium - ride the Ferris Wheel!

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Gjelina Take Away

Super tasty, locally sourced. Refuel here.

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Murphy Ranch Trail

For a workout, find the hidden stairs.

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Venice Beach

Back to the beach for a stunning sunset.

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Beyond Baroque

See what's happening at the legendary literary hotspot.

Sunset at The Venice Whaler
Venice Whaler

Serving beach bites to locals like The Doors since 1944.

Day 2

Coffee and culture is a great way to begin your day in DTLA. Then, head to Hollywood for a hike and lunch on the trail at Trails Cafe. See where James Dean filmed Rebel Without a Cause and pause for the stunning view. Discover hidden gems like the lush Amir's Garden and Ferndell Nature Museum. Head to Hollywood Forever Cemetery for film nostalgia and a movie, but don't forget to bring the tacos.

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G&B Coffee

Start your day at the historic Grand Central Market.

Timeline at Biddy Mason Memorial Park in Downtown LA
Biddy Mason Park & “Pope of Broadway” Mural

Two cultural landmarks are just a block from GCM.

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Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Free entry to the world-famous contemporary art museum.

Dr. Woo and his son inside Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirrored Room" at The Broad
The Broad

Go for the architecture, stay for the Infinity Mirrored Room

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Trails Cafe

Try pastries and sandwiches at this picnic ready walk-up.

James Dean at the Griffith Observatory in "Rebel Without a Cause"
Griffith Observatory

Perfect for stargazing and the iconic view of LA.

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Amir's Garden & Ferndell Nature Museum

Escape to two of Griffith Park's hidden gems.

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Hollywood Walk of Fame

Here the stars are on the ground - find your favorites.

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Guisados Echo Park

Order the quesadilla if it's on the menu.

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Hollywood Forever Cemetery

A bucket list activity and Hollywood landmark.

Day 3

Experience Hollywood magic IRL at film and TV locations in the Valley. Then visit the final resting place of legendary stars, view art and sculptures in Westwood, and slurp ramen at Sawtelle Japantown.

Scene from "Heat" at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank
Bob's Big Boy

Classic burgers and classic cars where "Heat" was filmed.

"The Brady Bunch" house on HGTV
The Brady Bunch House

The iconic 70s TV house was recently renovated by HGTV.

Circus Liquor
Circus Liquor

The 32-foot neon clown famously appears in "Clueless."

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Hammer Museum

Free admission to view world-class art in Westwood Village.

Marilyn Monroe’s crypt at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary
Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park

Pay your respects to Marilyn Monroe and other legends.

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA
UCLA Meteorite Collection & Sculpture Garden

Explore meteorites and sculptures on the UCLA campus.

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Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Get your steps in, then stay for the sunset.

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Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle

The famous tsukemen attracts diners from near and far.

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SomiSomi - Sawtelle

For dessert, enjoy soft serve in a goldfish waffle cone.