Named the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles could be an exciting weekend trip or a life-sentence on your wallet. If you’re taking or thinking of, a quick trip to California, plan ahead. Here are five destinations for your Californication that you won’t need another student loan for.

Named the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles could be an exciting weekend trip or a life-sentence on your wallet. Photo courtesy of Grace Stocksdale/Connect.

Named the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles could be an exciting weekend trip or a life-sentence on your wallet. Photo courtesy of Grace Stocksdale/Connect.

  1. Venice Beach

Venice is known for their beaches, and these sandy shores are totally different from Florida’s. The sand is darker, coarse and not powdery like St. Pete Beaches. Along the boardwalk, visitors can observe the local skating rink, where a lot of young kids gather to show off their skating skills. Local shops offer bike and scooter rentals for easier travel down the bay.

Instead of paying for a rental car, struggling in traffic and fighting for parking, consider a guide package. Sites like Get Your Guide offer affordable tours of popular destinations without the hassle. The LA Grand Tour takes you to Santa Monica Pier to walk and shop on 3rd Street Promenade, eat at an outdoor farmer’s market and shop at the famous Grove in Beverly Hills, visit the Griffith Observatory, and the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.

  1. Venice Canals

The tobacco millionaire, Abbot Kinney, ordered the illustrious, man-made Venice canals to bring a bit of Italy to Southern California. The tour of the canals is open 24 hours and is completely free for viewing. You will see many decorated and trendy houses along the paths and will be amazed at every turn, for each house owner has their unique sense of decor and style. Be sure to watch your step and respect the homes along the way.

The Venice Canals were dug in 1905 after being funded by a tobacco millionaire Abbott Kinney. Photo courtesy of Layla Mahanourath/Connect.

The Venice Canals were dug in 1905 after being funded by a tobacco millionaire Abbott Kinney. Photo courtesy of Layla Mahanourath/Connect.

  1. Randy’s Donuts

Get fast, affordable sweets at Randy’s Donuts, located on 805 W Manchester Blvd in Inglewood. This donut “world famous” shop, built in 1953, boasts it has been  “one of the top donut shops in the country for over 60 years.”  

Open 24 hours a day, Randy’s serves fresh donuts at their front window for visitors to enjoy in their cars for only $1.50.

Donuts from the street. Photo courtesy of Layla Mahanourath/Connect.

The view of Randy’s Donuts from the street. Photo courtesy of Layla Mahanourath/Connect.

  1. CatCafe Lounge

Located on Sepulveda Boulevard, CatCafe Lounge brings to you Los Angeles’s only nonprofit cat cafe. Not only will you be able to hang out in a room full of 30+ adoptable cats, but there is also complimentary drinks provided if you make advance reservations and snacks available at their on-site cafe.

The lounge has many cat toys available to play with and areas to sit and lay. CatCafe Lounge is not just a place but a home to a great cause and a great experience. One-hundred percent of the proceeds will support CatCafe Lounge’s mission to decrease euthanizations by increasing adoptions while socializing cats.

CatCafe Lounge has a wall of photos so visitors can connect with the cats and even adopt one. Photo courtesy of Layla Mahanourath/Connect.

CatCafe Lounge has a wall of photos so visitors can connect with the cats and even adopt one. Photo courtesy of Layla Mahanourath/Connect.

  1. Griffith Observatory  

On a South-facing slope in Los Angeles sits one of the city’s most popular sights, The Griffith Observatory. Free to the public, the observatory offers astronomy exhibits, live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and a spectacular view of the Hollywoods sign and surrounding city. Many also come to get a glimpse of the sky through the Zeiss telescope.

Free parking is available if you’re up for a hike. The Observatory is located on 2800 E Observatory Rd.

The Griffith Observatory opened May 13, 1935. Photo courtesy of Warren Buchholz/Connect.

The Griffith Observatory opened May 13, 1935. Photo courtesy of Warren Buchholz/Connect.

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