A metropolitan without doubt, an undisputed urban jungle and a hub for dreamers, Los Angeles has some lesser-spoken-about secrets, some so concealed that even the city dwellers don’t know about them!
We are not talking about spending the big bucks to get a taste of the exotica but just spending time, no dollars, to uncover a side of Los Angeles that travel catalogues don’t talk about. Folks who believe that “the best things in life are free”, should consider this a utopia while those who believe that only money talks in the world of travel & tourism, will get a rude reality-check.
In this discussion, we implore you to take the offbeat track to rediscover Los Angeles, whether you are a first-time visitor or consider yourself an LA resident…
Los Angeles has more than just the glitziness of Hollywood. There are spots like museums, plazas, or exhibitions that make you realize the real expanse of LA culture. Shockingly, most of these are accessible without an Entry Fee:
1. Peaceful Walk at the Venice Canals
You don’t need to get on a flight to Italy. Stand amidst the spectrum of beauty from Venice Beach and Boardwalk to Abbot Kinney. Visiting Venice Canals in LA offer you the chance to witness Venice-like landscape. You get to view an entirely unspoken about section of the famous beachfront LA localities. Buildings are surrounded with canals and this architecture is the reason why it is named as ‘Venice’. Just remember, you are not in Europe, this is the US!
2. Get Spellbound by Griffith Observatory
Too academic? Perhaps, too scientifically predictable – this is what most folks think about an observatory. However, perceptions change quickly when you mingle in the panorama of Griffith Observatory that becomes more fascinating at night when you will observe glittery LA from a location that seems to offer the best LA views with astronomical precision. Inside the observatory, you would find the Foucault pendulum, Tesla coil, and experience the planetarium show…each of them might sound like views for a school trip but give them a chance, you will be enthralled.
3. The Grand City Hall
Just another Los Angeles historical landmark? Not really. Be the spectator of the iconic beauty in LA – the City Hall has stood tall since 1928. The white tower helps you take an exalted vista of Downtown and beyond. To make your experience more wonderful, take a stroll at the Civic Center in public hours, through the Main Street and visit the 27th floor Observation Deck.
4. Runyon Canyon Near Santa Monica
Runyon Canyon is lungs for LA according to some residents here. The 160-acre park is massive, located at the eastern extremity of mountains of Santa Monica. The park has a main loop and a cluster of dirt hiking trails. This place can be an ultimate refuge from the daily churn. A small daytrip, some time alone here can help you detoxify overburdened senses!
5. La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
In 1875, some amateur paleontologists found animal fossils in the pits of Rancho La Brea. Intensive research followed and by now, the marsh here has offered 3.5 million remains, each of great scientific value. This place can be a quenching hub for those with interests in Science or Palynology. For some, it can be the most unthinkable, boutique dating venue – not as nerdy as you think!
6. Japanese American National Museum
Japan and the US have co-existed, been allies and enemies through history and this museum underlines this strange relationship. Globally known for its commitment towards helping people discover the essence of America’s ethnicity and cultures through the lens of Japanese Americans, it highlights how cultures can collaborate and nurture each other. The display is truly special with the entry being Free every Thursday from 5 P.M. to 8 P.M. and through the day, every third Thursday of the month.
7. Hiking at the Urban Trail
Hiking amid unassuming natural surroundings, this defines the LA Urban Trail. This is a great way of walking-off your daylong anxieties. You can do this during the night or day. You will notice many joggers or strollers on a renovated path constructed along the Silver Lake Reservoir. With an aesthetic appeal, this path can be the best place for you to regain a sense of mental and physical fitness.
8. Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve
This sanctuary is situated in Van Nuys. It offers nature-rich terrains that help you disconnect yourself from the daily urban chores. The landscape is infused with trees and light hiking trails. You can witness waterfowl, herons, and ducks. A great way to spend some time with yourself, unburden your mind or take your family for a short trip sans the need to worry for entry fee.
These are just a handful of many tourist attractions in Los Angeles that don’t cost big and still give you plenty of reasons to come back for more. These sights are proof that the real LA life is a lot more than the glamorous, Hollywood aura LA carries…
I am an addicted traveler based in Sydney, Australia and I explored Europe, North & South America, East Asia & South-East Asia. I love sharing my travel knowledge, I want to benefit my readers and give valuable travel advice.