Picture this, it’s a Friday Morning, and you don’t have $1000 for table service.

Don’t feel bad, we’ve all been there.

There are tons of ways to enjoy Southern California on a budget. I’ll try to run down the most popular (and my favorite) for a solid time.

Runyon Canyon & Griffith Park are two outdoor attractions you can’t miss.  The Hollywood Sign is in Runyon Canyon Park. There have been hijinks over the years at the sign, so you may not be able to get too close, but the views are incredible. Both Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park feature trail to the crest of the small mountain. Normally these full of cute dogs and fitness trainers. But on your best Nike’s and prepare for a good breeze, fresh air and sweeping views of the City of Angels.

Photo Credit: JESSICA ROY (latimes)

Pro Tip: Take a Zipcar, Uber or Lyft. Both times I’ve been, parking was a challenge. Treat yourself to a $15, headache free excursion.

San Diego is a hop, skip and jump down I-5.

Is it close?  No, it’s about 3 hours away, but after an hour in LA Traffic, it really feels pretty nearby. Lol. The best views in LA of the hills and the ocean are north of the City. Sadly, a lot of these streets are private and home to some of the wealthiest people in the world. If you’d like to see these incredible views with fewer restrictions, San Diego is your safest bet.

You can catch the Amtrac from downtown and stop in Oceanside or San Diego. Oceanside will be the best BEACH experience.

From the train, it feels as if you can reach out and touch the beach houses which are built right next to the sand. You can grab an ice cream, and you won’t be too far from the city. An hour and a half further is San Diego, with incredible cliffs that break at the ocean.

You will depart the train near the popular Gaslamp district where you are blocs away from great restaurants and a quick ride from the cliffs. 

Photo Credit: By celosantiago_ (Instagram)

Remember, any experience you want, you can curate in Southern California. We should just call Los Angeles the western gateway. Trademark desired. s/o to Historic Filipinotown.