The grandparents’ visit to Los Angeles does not have to become a budget-destroying experience. There is much culture, natural beauty, and sightseeing that you can do with them on a budget or even for free. Here are just five locations that will certainly send your grandparents home with marvelous memories.
Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier, Suite A
Santa Monica, CA 90401
The view from the Santa Monica Pier will wow anyone, at any age. The Pier is always open and walking up and down it will cost you nothing. Between vendors, performers, the breeze, the ocean and the sun, your grandparents will have a wonderful time here. At lunch time you will have plenty of options – from seafood restaurants to fast food joints – but, even better, take along food and a blanket from home and eat it picnic-style on the sand. You may want to splurge on parking; but instead of making your relatives walk to the Pier from the city, park on the Pier’s deck by driving your car down the ramp from Ocean and Colorado.
3rd St. Promenade
1351 3rd St. Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401
If you take your grandparents to the Santa Monica Pier, you may want to round out the visit by letting them window shop at 3rd St. Promenade. Here they could enjoy a cup of coffee at one of several coffee houses, enjoy the street performers who play music and dance there daily, walk into art galleries and simply sit down on the public benches if they feel like resting. You can park at the parking structures adjacent to the street, open 24 hours daily. Public restrooms are available at these parking structures.
Griffith Park Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Do not send your grandparents to bed early. Treat them to a beautiful sunset by taking them up the mountain to the Griffith Observatory. Once the sun has gone down, the lights of the city down below will remain a breathtaking sight. From Wednesday through Sunday, the Observatory building and grounds are free of charge. Your relatives will be able to look at the stars through the public telescopes and find out how much their body weight would be if standing on the moon (always a hit) while perusing the exhibits. The Observatory is open until 10 p.m. A visit here will be a fantastic way to wrap up a day.
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
You cannot miss with a trip to the Huntington Library, which has bookcases to satisfy any bookish grandparent, just as its art collection and gardens will marvel the rest. Seniors 65 and over pay $15 during the week and $18 on the weekend for admission, but if you are quick at the beginning of the month, you can get free admission for the first Thursday of the following month. The instructions to get free passes are here. Most of the Huntington is accessible for people in wheelchairs, and there are even some movable chairs that can be rented if walking for too long would be problematic.
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
A visit to The Getty is a must for anyone in Los Angeles. It is a place to admire art, architecture, gardens and a fantastic view. Access to everything is free and parking after 5 p.m. is $10 (regularly $15). There is always an exhibit or a public program on the schedule, so plan around it to make your grandparents’ visit not only entertaining, but educational.
Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.