Los Angeles might have a lot of glitz and glam, but it is possible to explore the city on a budget. In fact, after doing some research and exploring the city for a weekend, I was surprised by how many low-cost options there are!

But first things first: If you’re going to spend an extended amount of time in LA, definitely rent a car. Thankfully, there are a lot of budget car rental options for you to check out. The last time I was in LA, I booked a car through Kayak and got a rental for just $40 (with gas pre-paid).

Now, what are some things you can do in sunny Los Angeles without that movie star salary? Check out our recs below.

Coastal Towns

With a rental car at your disposal, one thing you have to put on your schedule is driving out to all the coastal towns around LA. On my list: Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Some highlights here include:

Museums and Parks

One of the great things about Los Angeles is that the city has quite a few museums to explore. At the top of my list were the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Griffith Observatory.

Touristy Stuff

If you’re making your first trip to LA, you have to go see the sites. And the best part about most of these places is that you can walk right up to them, free of charge.

Where to Stay

My go-to lodging choice is always Airbnb. They have so many great options that are much cheaper than what you’ll find at hotels in the city. However, if you’re looking to splurge, I’d recommend checking out the boutique hotel Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood, or the hip LINE Hotel near downtown. You can read more about my stay at Petit Ermitage here.

Where are your favorite LA spots? Send us your tips on Twitter @BritandCo.

All photos belong to Sarah Vogt. To see more photos and read about my trip to Los Angeles, check out my blog Let’s Go Places.