Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to sit at home for the holiday weekend. Here are ten fun things to do in Southern California that are free or very low cost.
Griffith Park Observatory is open on the all weekend and on the 4th of July from 12 noon to 5 pm. Parking and admission to the observatory is free of charge. The views are amazing including a photo op of the Hollywood sign. Inside the building there a lots of hands on exhibits the whole family will enjoy.
Getty Center Los Angeles and Getty Mansion. Both of these Los Angeles attractions are free however the Getty Mansion does require a reservation. Best bet is the Getty Center. Stay cool in the air conditioned galleries and enjoy a wonderful day fro free. Note: There is a parking charge, tram ride up the mountain and all exhibits are free.
Los Angeles Farmers Market The 75 year old open air market has over 100 shops and restaurants and is adjacent to the upscale mall “The Grove” A free trolley runs from farmers market through the grove and back. Admission is free, parking is not. Restaurants Los Angeles Farmers Market are affordable and offer a wide variety of food.
Bolsa Chica Wetlands Put on your hiking boots and take a stroll around this wonderful preserve in Huntington Beach. Parking and admission is free. Most folks will be across PCH at the jammed packed beach over the weekend. Enjoy the view of the wetlands and the beach for free.
Newport Back Bay is a great place to hike or a family bike ride. There is plenty of free parking and never an entrance free. If you have lots of energy you can ride all the way to Balboa Island. Most folks stay on the back bay loop with its amazing scenery. Kayak rentals can be had at Newport Dunes or Newport Aquatic Center.
Old Town San Diego free admission and free parking. See how life was like in the early days of California. You can hop on the ride car trolley and be downtown San Diego in a few minutes or dine at one of the numerous restaurants in and around Old Town San Diego.
Balboa Park San Diego is another great free attraction in Southern California. Free admission and parking. There are museums (fee required), a great little train ride that only costs a couple of parks and some amazing buildings and gardens to walk through. Of course you can always go to San Diego Zoo, pricing is affordable compared to other San Diego attractions.
Point Loma San Diego There is a modest fee to enter but its well worth it. This is the best place to get a view of the San Diego Bay. There is a visitor center, nature walks and you can also take a trail down to the rocky beach and check out the tide pools.
Whitewater Preserve is located near Palm Springs and a really amazing place to visit. You can check out huge trout in ponds feed by the whitewater river or take a hike along its waters. There are a few areas along the road where you can pull over and take a dip in the freezing cold water to escape the desert heat.
Forever Marilyn Statue in Palm Springs. Located on Palm Canyon Drive in the downtown area of Palm Springs. There is plenty of free parking and after you check out and take pictures of Marilyn you can wander along Palm Canyon Drive and see the walk of stars or take a peek in the Indian Museum both are free.