Top Free Hidden Gems in Los Angeles to Explore

Los Angeles is the city of angels. The city of glitz and glamour. The city with insane housing prices, expensive gas prices, food prices and tourist attractions. Los Angeles is an expensive city to visit and live in and travel to. But if you do a little digging around, there are so many affordable gems to visit in Los Angeles. Many of which are free! When I refer to Los Angeles, like many Angelenos, I don’t just mean the city of Los Angeles. I mean Los Angeles county. There are around 88 cities in Los Angeles county, 10 million people, and 4,084 square miles! I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life and I am still not done exploring. So whether you are visiting Los Angeles for the first time or whether you are a local on a budget, this list is for you.

  1. Terranea Resort

100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

View when walking along the Terranea Resort

Now the Terranea Resort is not free at all. A one night stay at the 5 star Terranea Resort will run you a hefty $700 a night on the low end and up to $2,500 a night on the high end. But what is free is walking around the beautiful campus and trails of the Terranea, the amazing views of the cliffs and the ocean, and walking on the Terranea Cove Beach. This scenic walk is very underrated, so you won’t find too many people. I highly recommend this spot for a romantic date.

  1. Korean Bell of Friendship/Point Fermin Lighthouse

3601 S Gaffey Street, San Pedro, CA 90731

807 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731

Me visiting the Korean Bell of Friendship for the first time.

If you are in San Pedro, these two attractions are great places to visit. The Korean Bell of Friendship and the Point Fermin Lighthouse are only a 9 minute walk away from each other. They are located on the beach and it is a wonderful scenic stroll you can take with your friends and/or loved ones. If you would like to schedule your visit to Point Fermin Lighthouse in advanced, you may want to schedule it when the free live theatre performance of Shakespeare by the Sea performs. This performance is free and performed in different parks in the South Bay, but mostly in San Pedro.

  1. Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum

18127 Alameda St, Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220

Adobe Home and kitchen

Forget what you have heard about the infamous city of Compton. There is a hidden gem found in an unincorporated city in Compton called Rancho Dominguez. This museum/campus is filled with lush greenery, an adobe house that is filled with rich California history, and great free activities for children such as building their own adobe bricks and searching for gold nuggets. Every year they also reenact the historical battle of Dominguez Hills. Their docent led tours are great and both kids and adults will enjoy it. This is a great community gem for children and families to visit and be a part of their activities.

  1. Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site

4600 Virginia Rd, Long Beach, CA 90807

Adobe Home

Located in the beautiful residential neighborhood of Bixby Knolls in Long Beach, this historic site includes a small but quaint garden and a beautiful 2 story adobe home. Take a stroll around the garden that is filled with cacti, tall lush trees, koi fish pond with lily pads, and orchard trees. This is such a peaceful site to visit and learn about the rich history in Long Beach.

  1. Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Garden

6400 E Bixby Hill Rd, Long Beach, CA 90815

Adobe Home

If you are visiting Rancho Los Cerritos, I recommend adding Rancho Los Alamitos to your itinerary. They are about 8 miles away and 15 minutes away by car. This is located across the street from Cal State Long Beach in an upscale gated community in Long Beach. When you arrive, you might be confused and think you are in the wrong place, but you are in the right place. Let the security guard know that you have made a reservation to tour Rancho Los Alamitos. This beautiful ranch and historic house is filled with history and barn animals! The architecture of the inside and the outside of the house is so beautiful! Taking a stroll around the garden is the perfect thing to do on a hot day. I highly recommend visiting this gem if you are in Long Beach.

  1. Will Rogers State Historic Park

1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

We will continue with the historic sites by adding Will Rogers State Historic Park to the list. It is a perfect outing to take your loved ones on a docent led tour of the Will Roger’s home and then hike the 4 mile trail. The views of Los Angeles are absolutely breathtaking.

  1. Leonis Adobe Museum

23537 Calabasas Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302

Admission to this historic site is free of charge, but donations are suggested. This historical ranch features a Victorian style home from the Old West, a barn with livestock, beautiful gardens, and cool artifacts such as wagons and old farm equipment. This is a fantastic visit for both adults and children.

  1. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook aka Culver City Stairs

6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, CA 90232

Culver City Stairs

If you love heights and stairs, this is the perfect hike for you! This hike is literally just a really long staircase. Once you reach the top of the stairs, there is an epic view of the city. Definitely worth the visit!

Los Angeles is truly an amazing place. It is filled with rich culture, people and hidden gems that are awaiting for you to discover! Whether or not you are on a budget, these places are definitely worth a visit.

No Soy Coda

Karen Carranza is a personal finance content creator and enthusiast. She is a first generation Mexican American determined to build generational wealth and spread financial literacy through her blog, workshops, and Instagram page.

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