Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cheap Disney

Maybe you want the Disney experience but not the Disney prices this long weekend? How's this: Head to Downtown Disney the afternoon where you can check out some of the new shops, go to a movie at the on-site AMC Cinema, but be sure to stop at Planet Popcorn before going inside (You get four bags of popcorn for the price of three till June 30). If you plan it right, head back to the giant parking structure before 9:25, climb to the highest level and you'll have a perfect spot to see the Disneyland fireworks.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cheap Museum

Kids need an education, which is why it's worth taking them down to the California Science Center in Exposition Park near downtown. Parking is around $8, but admission to the main exhibits is free. There's also an IMAX theater with cutting-edge science films with tickets ranging from $5.00-$8.25, and the Exposition Park Rose Garden and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is within walking distance.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cheap Horses

If you come to L.A. and you're tired of the glitter and glamour, head over to the Griffith Park Horse Rentals. For $25 per hour you can take a ride through the sage of Griffith Park and feel like you're away from all of those chasing paparazzi. And on Friday or Saturday, you can take one of their famous Dinner Rides. They take you through a winding trail that ends up at Viva Cantina on the Burbank side of the park, and which features some unique country and bluegrass music. ($65 plus dinner).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cheap Westwood

Westwood in L.A. is an enigma. It's an exclusive, expensive area, surrounded by Beverly Hills, Brentwood and UCLA, and it has a village with lots of shopping, restaurants and bars, but the area doesn't get the love it used to receive. It's a great area to use as a base for your L.A. trip, but not if you're being asked to spend $300-plus at the swanky Westwood W Hotel. Near the fun, but down some side streets are a couple of options: The Royal Palace Westwood Hotel is a clean, free-internet place with king-bed rooms for $119. Up the street is the Claremont Hotel, which offers perhaps the lowest room rates this close to Rodeo Drive: $111 for two people if you can squeeze into a double bed.