24 hours in LA | Travel on a Budget
I recently had the joy of going to California for a few days. The trip was to go to Paso Robles with some fellow bloggers and enjoy wine country. But I’d never been to Los Angeles so I decided to turn this into a proper adventure! I flew into LAX, spent a day exploring, then drove to meet the girls. The return trip looked the same with a drive, a day, and a flight out of LAX.
But everyone knows I’m on a super tight budget. So I turned this into a budget travel trip. And so I present to you, my tips to traveling in Los Angeles on a budget.
I stayed in a neighborhood called Los Feliz and managed to be able to walk nearly everywhere. My second day I did have a car but didn’t actually use it terribly much. So here’s my tips on everything you could want to do – on a budget!
Stay – PodShare Los Feliz
In college living in London, I traveled a ton. And the best way to do that on the cheap was to stay in hostels. But they’re not nearly as much of a thing in the States as… well anywhere else in the world, especially Europe. But when you’re a budget travel gal, you look for what you can. So my searching took me to PodShare, a co-living and working space that gives you a pod for sleeping and community space for working. It’s awesome! I stayed two nights and both nights were excellent. On my second night, they even upgraded me to a queen pod. Comfy beds, great community, wifi, and a shower. Literally all I need to be happy when traveling.
At $40/night, this place is definitely the most budget friendly crash pad you’re going to find in LA.
NOTE: For those used to a life of luxury, this is not the place for you. That’s nothing against that lifestyle, it’s just honesty. Something tells me people who are used to 4 star hotels wouldn’t really enjoy bunks and sleeping above strangers.
Eat – The Vegan Joint, Little Dom’s, The Sitdown, Homestate
The Vegan Joint offers cheap vegan food, aka the three words you need to get me scurrying there faster than you can say… well, “cheap vegan food.” My tacos were to die for. Budget travel goes vegan!
The Sitdown was a nice family-friendly BYOB Italian place with wood fired pizza, pasta for days, and more. I splurged on Olives al forno and some vodka penne. Let me tell you how delicious that meal was!
For breakfast, it seems there is no other place better in Los Feliz than Homestate, a Texas inspired place serving up the most wonderful concept known to foodie kind: breakfast tacos. I’ll admit, I didn’t have one of those because I needed something with a bit more oomph [and a bit less meat]. My migas was scrambled eggs, tortilla strips, onions, cheese, avocado, and heaven. No really, it was so good and so filling that I didn’t need to stop as I drove to Paso Robles.
Little Dom’s was definitely my splurge dinner. I had amazing margherita pizza, local vino, scotch, and amazing conversation with new friends. The atmosphere was perfect for a quiet evening and I ended up chatting with the bar tenders and my neighbor for way longer than intended. The joys of traveling solo, right?
Shop – Vintage Shops on Vermont Ave
Just a short walk away from my PodShare sits Vermont Ave, a pretty big thoroughfare through Los Feliz, Silverlake, etc. And if you walk north, you’ll find possibly the cutest area ever. Cafes line this shade-covered strip as well as tons of vintage shops and bookstores. I spent hours just popping in and out, looking at books, browsing vintage, sipping on coffee, and enjoying the weather. The whole strip has an amazing 50’s vibe thanks to a 24 hour diner and the Loz Feliz theatre, pictured above.
Drink – Caffe Vita
I’m always in need of a good cup of coffee and Caffe Vita provided mine both days I was there. A 5 minute walk from the PodShare, Caffe Vita sits across the street form the Vista Theatre and provides a trendy backdrop for caffeine consumption. The coffee was wonderful, as one would expect, and the interior was beautiful. Basically, all I need in a good coffee shop.
Visit – The Dog Cafe!
Guys this was easily the most exciting part of my entire trip. And that includes all 6 wineries, photoshoots, catered meals, and more. Nothing [let me repeat that… NOTHING] can beat coffee and dogs, as we all learned in my Grounds and Hounds post. Here’s the concept: get great coffee, play with rescue pups, help the pups get adopted into homes. All the dogs at The Dog Cafe are adoptable and have been pulled form high-kill pounds. So they’re already getting a caffeine infused second chance at life. For just $15, you get a drink and one hour of puppy cuddles. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider going back. Multiple times.
Fitness – One Down Dog Yoga
I’m always looking to try out new yoga studios and enjoy coming together with different people over the same wonderful practice of yoga. So I googled “yoga near Los Feliz” and found this place. One Down Dog might be the cutest studio and yoga boutique I have ever seen. I did a flow class, enjoyed the heck out of it, then treated myself to some sweet new yoga pants that will make any yogi giggle. Definitely recommend checking them out. Class was $20 and your first mat rental is free, so it didn’t even matter that mine was back in my PodShare covered in Cali dirt. oops.
Do – Griffith Observatory at Sunset
Okay but for real, guys this was amazing. I had a rental car so I wound it up through the hills and, after finding a parking space a ways away, I finally made it to the observatory. Somehow, I’d managed to be there at sunset the same night as the Oscars and there was something so surreal about seeing the blimp above Hollywood, seeing the Hollywood sign in the distance, and knowing that stars and so many other folks were just a few miles away from me. Mind, there were tons of folks at the observatory as well. Clearly the sky’s nightly show is popular but I couldn’t have been happier. And since the observatory is the low cost of free, it’s perfect for budget travel.
I hope this guide is helpful to budget travel around Los Angeles! Obviously, there are tons of things to do here and there’s always someone to see and somewhere to go. LA can be perfect for any budget if you commit to it enough. Cheers to budget travel! May your adventures be plentiful.