How To Be A Tourist In Your City

The thing that I love to do the most in Los Angeles (and any city for that matter) is explore, explore, explore. I enjoy spending my weekends being a tourist in my city, discovering new hidden treasures that some natives don’t even know about, and visiting the typical go-to touristy spots.  I’ve only lived in LA for 2 years so there are still plenty of sights I haven’t been to or visited but I plan to cross off my “must-see/do while in LA” list.  So I enjoy exploring any city I’m in like a tourist, whether I've been there once or ten times before, or even if it's where I live or grew up. There's always something new to do or something worth revisiting. The only items necessary is a dope outfit for dope photos, camera – of course, cash, and an open mind. Here are some tips on how I become a tourist in my city:

Free (or cheap) things to do

You can find free or very inexpensive things to do in your city by simply googling "free things to do in __________". This search should yield a ton of results and legit options to get you started. From there, research and narrow down specifically what it is you want to do. For example, check out some museums that offer free admission.  Have a flexible schedule?  Some museums offer free admission on certain days.  Find out which museums these are and visit 2-3 on your particular day.  A great free way to get some culture!

While not completely free, rent a bike and explore a particular area, stop at a food truck for some cheap eats or a local cafe. Again, a simple google search can assist with this. "Best places to rent a bike in ________", or “best food trucks in ________”. Are you near public transportation or in a walkable neighborhood?   Find out some stops along the way by googling "free things near ___________".   Hop on and hop off the bike, train, or bus, without dealing with the hassle of parking. Especially if you are in a major city.

Get lost

Try to live without Google Maps and Waze for the day. Instead, decide on a neighborhood or area that you are generally familiar with and just drive, walk, or bike around (depending on the size of the area) and discover some hidden treasures.  Most recently, by purposefully getting lost and driving down some side streets, I stumbled upon a yard sale that sold a few vintage pieces and home decor for the low.  While this isn't your typical tourist find, it just goes to show that you never really know what you will find or see if you take a detour from your typical route.  Discover a farmer’s market, bike/walk path, hiking trail, garden, or museum.  Go off the beaten path.  Just get lost!

Use social media

I swear by this and will insert this suggestion into every blog post if I can.  It’s that clutch!  Utilize the search and hashtag features on social media and discover the coolest restaurants, shops, museums, art galleries, and outdoor activities.  The possibilities are endless.  I've discovered so many amazing and unique places simply because of what I've seen on Instagram (my go-to social media network because I’m a visual person).  Type in your city in the search feature and see what you find!  Then, of course, go explore, explore, explore!

I'm always on the hunt for new things do.  Do you have any tips on how you venture out and explore your city like a tourist?

P.S. Here are a few of my favorite touristy spots in LA.

Downtown LA from City Hall Observation Deck

Echo Park with view of Downtown LA

Venice Canals

Stylin' and profilin' at Venice Canals

LACMA urban lights


Bike riding along the coast

The Broad

Venice Skatepark

Hiking at Los Leones Canyon

LA Arboretum

Walt Disney Concert Hall