How To Explore Los Angeles as a Solo Adventurer on a Budget

Posted by on Jul 9, 2017 in Adventure
22 Comments

Life update: I moved to Los Angeles!

That’s right, I’m a Cali girl now. If you can’t find me surfing in Malibu or munching on a $30 Kale Salad, I’m probably sweating it out at Soul Cycle or prancing down Rodeo Drive. Just kidding.

With my Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) currently pending with USCIS, I cannot begin working just yet. That means two things: I have no income and I have unlimited free time. Things could be worse, right?

Now that I have settled in, it’s time to start exploring. I spent the past couple days reading up on things to do in LA and put together a one-week itinerary comprised of budget-friendly, easily-accessible day trips in the LA area. With a plan in place, I purchased a 7-day TAP card (aka Transit Access Pass) to get around Los Angeles County and am ready to get this week started.

Let the adventure begin!

LA Weekly Weather Forecast

MONDAY: Take advantage of the ‘partly cloudy’ weather and start the week off with a Runyon Canyon Hike. This is a highly popular hiking destinations in LA and offers scenic views over Hollywood. Pick one of the several trail options and start climbing – stay hydrated!

TUESDAY: Get ready for a full day of beaches, people watching, and entertainment – Venice Beach & Boardwalk has it all. Walk down the pedestrian-only promenade to watch the performers, appreciate the artists, and make small-talk with the vendors. Don’t miss the ego-lifters at Muscle Beach for a quick laugh, then wander through the Venice Canal Historic District to snap photos of the man-made canals. Make your way back to the beach, kick off your shoes, and spend the afternoon enjoying the sun and waves.

WEDNESDAY: It’s time to blend in with the rich and famous. Hit up Rodeo Drive and pretend you’re on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Leave your credit card at home, your bank account and future-self will thank you. Don’t be too upset if celebrities are nowhere to be found, we’re heading to the Hollywood Walk of Fame next. Who needs photos with actual stars when you can take selfies with the sidewalk?

THURSDAY: There’s too much good hiking around to wait for another cloudy day, so let’s trek to the Hollywood Sign. (Don’t worry Mom, I’ll pack sunscreen.) The Mt. Hollywood Trail is the easiest of the trail options and conveniently leaves from Griffith Observatory. After the 3-mile hike, use the opportunity to explore the exhibits, peak through the telescopes, and take in some more spectacular LA views. Come back for The Canyon Drive Trail (moderate) and The Cahuenga Peak Hike (difficult) another day.

FRIDAY: It’s been a busy week and the weekend isn’t slowing down. Spend the day relaxing in Santa Monica and exploring Downtown & Third Street Promenade. After venturing through the upscale malls and checking out some independent boutiques, walk out to Santa Monica Pier. As the evening approaches, catch the metro to the Natural History Museum for ‘Summer Nights in the Garden’. From 5pm to 9pm, enjoy live performances, botanical tours, animals, and music. Grab a bite from one of the food trucks and a garden-infused cocktail – you’ve earned it.

SATURDAY: Doll yourself up, dress to impress, and get ready to mingle with the fashion elite. Your girl snagged a ‘Social Butterfly’ ticket to the SIMPLY Los Angeles Fashion/Beauty Conference being held at The Grove 8th Floor Rooftop. From 8:30am to 6pm, it’s time to connect with other bloggers, learn some style tips, and make friends! If you don’t have an event bringing you to The Grove, it’s still the perfect day trip when you can’t decide between shopping, dining, or the movies. Walk through the stores, try some speciality foods, and see what’s playing in the theater. The Original Farmers Market is right next door at Third and Fairfax, so enjoy the in-season goodies and pick up some fresh produce to take home.

SUNDAY: Venture to Smorgasburg Los Angeles to surround yourself with other LA foodies. Let’s see if Smorgasburg LA can outdo Smorgasburg NY on the Williamsburg waterfront. LA may have an advantage because it’s National Ice Cream Day and the Ice Cream Alley Launch Party. What could be better?

 

Keep up with my weekly adventures @juliaelizablog on Instagram and stay tuned for upcoming blog posts to recap the week.

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22 thoughts

  1. I’m planning a budget friendly trip to LA in fall. This is very helpful!

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    1. Oh I’m so glad!! My budget-friendly adventures are just beginning so stay tuned 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  2. Great suggestions for anyone traveling to LA! I have been there to California twice (LA both of those times) and wish I had a few of these suggestions when we were there.

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    1. Thanks so much Sandy! If you ever come back, you know where to find me 😀

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  3. Cool list of things to do! You don’t always need to spend money to have fun 🙂

    http://nouw.com/ladolcemusica

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    1. Yes – completely agree! Thanks for stopping by ☺️

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  4. It is my dream to see LA! This was amazing

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    1. Make that dream a reality girl!! Thanks for reading 😊

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  5. You’re article literally caught my eye faster than a speeding bullet. It’s so funny because I left L.A 4 years ago and moved to Arizona, partly due to things just being so expensive. I do want to congratulate you on this because you use the word budget. Everything you’ve said is literally on the money with little to no money being spent. Awesome job.

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    1. Oh wow I’m so glad!! Thank you for such a thoughtful/encouraging comment. I definitely see how things can add up living in LA, especially with the cost of rent and food itself! Stay tuned for my post on how much this week actually cost me and thanks again ☺️

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  6. I was born in Cali, but we moved before I was one. I would love to take a trip and explore like this! Great post!

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    1. You must be a Cali girl at heart then 😉 You should totally come back! Thanks for reading, Gabby.

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  7. Cute! I didn’t love LA when i was there but I know I need to give it another chance. Maybe now that I have your budget friendly tips I can!

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    1. I’ve heard mixed reviews! I think LA can be a bit overwhelming and you have to go in with the right mindset, but I really believe there is something for everyone here 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

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  8. Congrats on your move. 🙂 Our daughter is asking us to take her to LA and surrounding area on vacation. Love your budget friendly tips. I am sure she will have a hard time narrowing down what she wants to do first… probably the shopping part.

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    1. Thank you, Kelly! Haha girls like to shop and there are so many options 🙂 I hope you enjoy your trip if you do end up going!

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  9. Sadly not planning to visit LA anytime soon, but you make it sound like it should be added to the travel list! Sounds like a great time 🙂

    Am a fan of anything travel, solo travel, and budget travel.

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    1. Oh yes there’s so much to do, definitely worth the visit 😊 Thanks for your comment! PS there’s lots more travel, solo travel, and budget travel to come.

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  10. Thanks for such a great explanation

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    1. Thanks for reading!

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  11. Congratulations on moving to LA !Go ahead and continue living the dream life

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    1. Thank you – will do 😋

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