Photos By Matt Benton
LA can be a bit daunting to anyone, new to the area or not. There’s so much to explore, and in the case of the average college student, not enough money or time to do everything that sounds interesting. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to find free and fun things to do in LA. These activities will allow any student to enjoy LA and the weekend while on a tight budget.
Stay Close to Home
The beach is always a viable option for free fun, whether students make the trek through the bluffs to Ralph’s beach or drive down to Zuma. For those who choose Zuma, a good way to avoid paying to park is to make a U-turn on PCH and pull over. A bit more peace can be found at Malibu’s hidden public beaches.
Make the Classic Santa Monica Pilgrimage
Most students, at some time during their Pepperdine career, visit Santa Monica. Aside from window shopping at the Third Street Promenade, the area is host to a farmers market on Wednesdays and Saturdays; students can expect to meet kind vendors and receive free samples. The Promenade is also within walking distance of the Santa Monica Pier.
Learn More About the Arts and Science
Many museums in LA have no admission fee. Some charge for parking, but splitting the cost among friends or taking public transportation can make it an inexpensive but enriching experience. Time Out‘s website lists free museums in LA and their parking costs. Malibu’s own Getty Villa does not charge admission, but does charge $15 for parking.
Find Nature Among the Urban
For those looking for a change of scenery from Pepperdine’s hike to the cross, the hills surrounding LA are a great place to find free trails to explore. Among these is the hike to the famous Hollywoood sign located in Griffith Park. Students interested in exploring nature but not looking for arduous activity may want to visit other parks in LA. The city is home to several botanical gardens and the famous Exposition Park Rose Garden.
Seek Music Around Town and at Free Venues
Music enthusiasts can find free concerts all around the city. Most take place in the summer, but LA Weekly has a list of free concerts through the end of September. Less well known bands often play at coffee shops and similar establishments where patrons don’t pay to enter. These events can take some dedication to find without looking for a specific artist, but smaller artists are certainly worth a listen.
Not every trip to the city has to cost an arm and a leg; there are plenty of budget-friendly activities to do in LA. Going with friends can reduce the transportation and parking cost, and generally makes any activity more fun. Enjoy a budget-friendly weekend, a break from the stresses of school and finances.
Follow Lidia Bayne on Twitter: @lidiabayne