The sticker price is balanced out by the bonus features
$15 glass of bubbly at Casa Del Mar
The Santa Monica hotel is by no means a bargain, but the Lobby Lounge boasts an elegant atmosphere, live (free) jazz, and a postcard-perfect view of the beach.
$13 Pancake Lasagna at The Roof on Wilshire
As if merging a pancake and lasagna into one dish isn’t enough, the Mid Wilshire hotel also has an outdoor pool and cabana area for breakfast sunbathing.
$8 Tiramisu at the Sunset Restaurant
Share an early-evening dessert at this secluded Malibu spot, then walk down to Zuma Beach to watch the sunset. The valet will even keep your car at no extra charge.
$5 cup of coffee at the Chateau Marmont
For about the price of a Starbucks Venti-something, you can stake out a table at the Chateau’s outdoor restaurant and do some blockbuster celebrity watching.
$55 pedicure at Burke Williams
This lower-cost treatment will still get you into a fluffy bathrobe and allow you to use the sauna and other spa facilities.
$14 pair of socks at Lululemon
The sportswear chain, which has nine L.A. locations, offers free classes such as yoga. Buy the socks if you want to be polite.
$5 donation to the AutoMobile driving museum
There are no free rides in life, but at this car buff’s museum, visitors are taken around in vehicles on Sundays.
$8 jelly sampler pack at Knott’s Berry Farm
A MarketPlace purchase earns you 45-minute park access.
Unexpected Music Spots
Some great shows aren’t at concert venues, but they are free
By Julia St. Pierre
From DJs and indie pop at the Natural History Museum to jazz at LACMA, you can find a groove that appeals to you at many local cultural institutions.
Listen to rock and roll at lunch in Pershing Square downtown, then reggae after dinner while sitting on the sand next to the Santa Monica Pier.
Hear KCRW DJs spin music on summer nights at One Colorado in the heart of Old Pasadena, or catch blues and jazz in the courtyard at Hollywood & Highland.
FARMERS’ AND FLEA MARKETS
Take in tunes at farmers’ markets (like West L.A., Hollywood, Pasadena); the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet is good for a bargain and a boogie.
The First Congregational Church showcases L.A.’s Bach festival and an organ concert series. It’s also home base for the Gay Men’s Chorus and the Vox
The Last Bookstore downtown has open-mic nights; Amoeba Music in Hollywood is like a hipster Carnegie Hall.