9 Thrifty L.A. Adventures That’ll Really Get Your Blood Pumping (Without Breaking The Bank!)

This following is a guest post from Melissa Rodriguez, co-founder of adventurself.com, a lifestyle site dedicated to inspiring the millennial adventurers of our generation! 

Alright my fellow Los Angeles adventurers, if you’re anything like me there is no better feeling than getting your blood pumping and heart racing while undertaking a brand new experience.


While some shy away from the thrills we (the adventurous ones) run as fast as we can towards them. Of course, while we may love that ever so evasive sense of fearlessness, this adrenaline junky knows from experience it’s not always the cheapest hobby to keep up.

And, hey, while I’d be all for jumping out of a plane or getting behind the wheel of a race car whenever possible, let’s face it, the hefty price tag that follows these adrenaline-charged activities is not always the most sustainable of habits. So in lieu of dropping $100+ just to get that heart racing adrenaline, I’ve compiled a list of some adventures and activities in our very own backyard that won’t break the bank (All under $50, mostly under $20, and a few that are free).

So what’s stopping you? Nothing!

via Touchstone Climbing / YouTube

1. Bouldering (Under $20)

Lose the ropes, lose the harness this place lets you climb without the confines of the safety nets. Get in early on the weekdays before 3pm and pay only $13! But hey even if you can’t make that work, weekdays after 3pm and weekends is only $20 bucks, can you say hello good deal?!

Pro-tip: You will need to chalk up $5 for equipment rental and a chalk bag

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2. Stair Climbing (free)

Looking for unique stairwells to climb in Los Angeles isn’t just a fun way to burn calories, it’ll allow you to explore Los Angeles at vantage points you’ve never even imagined were there. You’ll come away with a sense of knowing the city of angels on a whole other level.

Pro-tip: Check out this list of 10 Secret (and Not-So Secret) L.A. Staircases, or you can join this excellent Stairclimbers Meetup Group if you want to have someone help guide your way.


Climb Culver City Stairs
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Trail. Photo Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

3. Shooting Range (Under $50)

What better way to get those fingers tingling then the recoil that comes from shooting a firearm? Gun rentals start at $5-$25 per gun and up to $40 for two people. If you really want to step it up you can even rent a rifle. Adrenaline? Check! Safety? Check!

Make sure to attend the safety briefings before starting on this heart racing activity and exercise all the safety measures provided.

Pro-tip: There is usually a Groupon or LivingSocial deal for these if you have some days to plan in advance.

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4. Roller Derby Action ($15)

Few live sporting events will racket up the adrenaline in the same way as watching the LA Derby Dolls. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the embed below featuring a playoff game from 2014 and tell me I’m wrong.

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via LA Derby Dolls / YouTube

5. Swings & Ropes at Santa Monica Pier (Free)

Check out this awesome outdoors spot in Santa Monica and use all the fun set-ups to get an awesome work out while having some fun!

Pro-tip: Bring some gloves (any really) so you don’t miss out on the rope climb, remember, the higher the better!

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6. Dodgeball (Under $10)

Did you know there is a World Dodgeball Society? Yeah that’s a thing! An awesome thing. Simply find a session, hit the gym for some arm work and you’re ready to rock n’ roll . Held at Gyms and rec centers all over Los Angeles, the game is two hours long and cost $5.

Pro-tip: You don’t need to be a part of a league to partake, just drop in on one of their open play sessions over the weekend and get ready to be a kid again.

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via World Dodgeball Society / YouTube

7. Salsa Lessons at The Granada LA ($15)

One, two, sweat! Remember those hot and sweaty dance moves in Dirty Dancing? Salsa gives you a chance to dance your heart out just like Baby Houseman and Johnny Castle. As a salsa dancer myself, I can vouch that no matter how new you are to the dance you will be turning and twirling by the time the night is over. The music, experienced dancers and the energy of the dance floor will take you over. Sure, you’ll miss a beat here and there, but you will be having so much fun it won’t matter!

Pro-tip: For my ladies, toss those sexy high skinny heels to the side all you really need for this adventure is some strappy thick heeled shoes sturdy enough to twirl around.

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8. Hiking (Free)

LA is notorious for its incredible and endless options of places to hike so why not take advantage and pick a more challenging one?

Pro-tip: If you want to really add on the adrenaline check out the East Fork of San Gabriel River 10 mile hike to the Bridge to Nowhere. And, if you’re brave enough you can even splurge on California’s only bungee jumping location on the 120 foot high arch bridge (sign me up)!

5 Hikes You Gotta Do Your First Year Living in Los Angeles (According to Modern Hiker)

The 7 Best SoCal Hikes to Do As a Couple

Bridge to Nowhere
The Bridge to Nowhere. Photo Credit: Eric Chan via flickr cc

9. Escape Rooms (Under $20)

You’re locked in a room, with no way to escape until you figure out how to crack each clue, leading you one step closer to your freedom. Not to worry you won’t be stuck for long, fortunately there is a time limit. But, this is certainly a great way for all you Clue lovers (guilty) to re-live your love for mysteries and adventure in real life! From an Alchemists’s Lab to ‘The Virus‘, Escape Room LA, or The Exit Game, there are many options all over L.A. you can choose from to meet your particular interests.

Pro-tip: You can get these tickets half off if you check out some discount ticket sites such as Groupon or Goldstar (affiliate links).

What are your favorites ways to find bargain adventure in Los Angeles? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!


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