Free activities here and free things to do there! Wherever you look, Los Angeles has got your budget covered. The first installment of 100 free things to do in Los Angeles is to get out there and do stuff. So what are you waiting for? Discover Los Angeles right now.
1. Cruise Mulholland Drive: One of the world’s most famous scenic drives, Mulholland winds from the Hollywood Hills, across the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains, and west towards the Pacific Ocean.
3. Experience the Sunset Strip: Few other roads have the multiple personalities of this legendary 1.5-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard. See what’s happening on the Sunset Strip.
4. Step into Hollywood history: The forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre has been one of the most popular free attractions since the 1920s, when actress Norma Talmadge accidentally stepped in wet cement during the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s King of Kings. Movie fans from around the world compare their hands and feet to those of stars past and present.
5. Get photographed with a star: Speaking of movie stars (and other pop culture leading lights), at Madame Tussauds Hollywood you never know which famous wax figure will be on display near the box office entrance off Hollywood Blvd., a free photo opp waiting to happen. For example, in the fall of 2011, the attraction featured Robert Pattinson for a limited time, to the delight of Twilight fans everywhere.
6. Walk the walk in Venice: Chainsaw jugglers, swamis on rollerblades, street dancers…the most amazing street entertainers in the world are in Venice Beach. Get the local’s perspective on Venice.
8. Watch TV live: Be a part of a studio audience on your favorite television shows and game shows like Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Tickets are free but must be obtained in advance. Get on a game show.
9. Treepeople: This LA-based nonprofit organization has helped spearhead the ecotourism industry by offering numerous opportunities for visitors to volunteer. For more than 30 years, Treepeople has helped plant and care for trees while educating people about the environment.
11. Follow the paparazzi: Witnessing the paparazzi portion of the star-making cycle is an authentic LA experience, and totally free. Check out the top places to celeb watch.
12. Star gaze at Griffith Observatory: To learn about stars that are truly out of this world, the exhibitions and displays in the painstakingly renovated Griffith Park landmark are all free, as is an introductory video about the building and its contents.
13. See the reality behind reality TV: Whether it’s watching the American Idol finale live, or dropping into a Top Chef restaurant, reality TV fans have plenty of places to see throughout Los Angeles. Learn more about reality TV sightseeing.
14. Explore LA’s Fashion District: The people-watching alone makes the Fashion District one of LA’s premier shopping destinations and an experience all its own. Read more about the LA Fashion District.
15. Dance, dance, dance: You don’t always have to pay a cover charge to get your groove on in the LA dance scene. Great clubs without covers can be found in most neighborhoods, you just need to know where to look. Check out the hottest nightlife in Los Angeles.
16. Explore Exposition Park: Five major cultural attractions are within walking distance of each other in the USC/Exposition Park area, so be sure to take advantage with our walking tour.
18. Walk on the Beach: Los Angeles beaches are a great place for walking, people-watching and relaxing. View photos
19. Downtown: There’s more to do and see downtown than most people realize. Use our self-guided tour and you’ll find plenty to see for free.
20. Museums for Free: The California Science Center is free all the time. The Getty Museum and Getty Villa have no admission fee (although they will charge you to park). Others offer free admission on selected days only.