A visit to San Diego is a wonderful way to spend a long weekend or even an entire vacation. The area has some of the most pleasant weather that can be found in the United States, and it also offers some of the best scenery in Southern California too. San Diego offers world class accommodations, fine restaurants and cafes, and a number of things to do. Vacations can also be expensive though and it is important to be financially smart when traveling. With that in mind, here is a look at ten fun and free things to do while on vacation to San Diego.
Walk Through the Gaslamp Quarter
The historic Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego is a wonderful neighborhood to experience. There are numerous restaurants, shops, historical buildings, and tourist attractions in the Gaslamp Quarter and it can all be seen at no charge. A stroll though this historic neighborhood is a great way to experience an important part of San Diego, it is also a great way to see a number of historic buildings in much the way they appeared during their glory days.
Hit the Beach
San Diego is blessed with some of the most beautiful scenery and warmest weather available in the United States. The perfect place to go to enjoy both is to the many beaches located in and around the city. The best part is that all of the beaches in the area are open to the public and there is no charge to access them. Playing beach games, sunbathing, swimming, surfing, snorkeling, diving, and more are all great activities that can be enjoyed in San Diego.
Tijuana is located just across the United States – Mexico border. There are a great many things to see and do in the city, many of the items available for purchase there cannot be found in America. While the things done or purchased by a traveler visiting Tijuana are not free, it is free to go there and see all the sights, experience the locals, and soak up the atmosphere. This is a completely unique experience for anyone visiting the city of San Diego.
Check Out Seaport Village
Seaport Village, located right in downtown San Diego, offers the chance to stroll about a historic waterfront area. Much of it has either been recreated or restored to its original appearance. Soaking up the atmosphere and doing some of the best people watching available in the city are both free of charge. There is often free live music played by various musicians or groups there and a number of spots with great views of San Diego Bay too.
ARCO Olympic Training Center
A great free attraction in San Diego is the ARCO Olympic Training Center. Here visitors can see an actual Olympic training center where athletes train year round for amateur competitions. There is a small museum on the premises that details some Olympic history, and there is also a great opportunity to tour the facility and see actual workout areas as well.
Free Museum Tuesdays
Balboa Park is home to a number of museums, many of them highly respected outside of San Diego as well. The museums have a free admission Tuesday program where every Tuesday at least one of the museums offers entry with no admission. A schedule as to which museums are offering that deal on which days is available at most travel brochure kiosks. Some of the museums that participate include the Natural History Museum, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Model Railroad Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Historical Society Museum, Museum of Art, Museum of Man, Mingei International Museum, Japanese Friendship Garden, Museum of the Living Artist, Aerospace Museum, Automotive Museum, and the Hall of Champions Sports Museum.
Mission Bay Park
One of the more beautiful outdoor locations in San Diego is Mission Bay Park. The park overlooks San Diego Bay and offers plenty of paths and trails for walking and jogging, as well as some wide open spaces that lack power lines and trees, this makes them perfect for kite flying. When visitors feel the need to escape crowded areas of San Diego like the museums, beaches, and shopping districts; a visit to Mission Bay Park may be the exact thing that is needed.
Drive to Mount Laguna
A one hour scenic drive filled with some of the most beautiful scenery ever seen is what awaits a couple or family that wishes to trek to Mount Laguna. Once at the mountain, there are a great many hiking trails that head off in all directions, including up the mountain. Access to the area and all the scenery that can be captured on camera are all free, all a traveler has to pay for is the gas to and from the mountain.
Visit Torrey Pines State Park
One of California’s most beautiful state parks, Torrey Pines State Park is located just outside of San Diego. This is a great place for a couple or family to go for a picnic and possibly a day away from the crowded urban attractions located in the city. One of the unique features of Torrey Pines State Park is the hang gliders that take off into the strong winds that sweep in off the ocean, watching them soar and perform aerial tricks is not only worthwhile and mesmerizing, it is also free.
Get Lost Along The Big Bay
The Big Bay is promoted as San Diego’s largest attraction. This is a twenty-seven mile stretch of waterfront area that caters to both locals and visitors alike. There are miles of promenades, boardwalks, piers, and docks to explore and enjoy. The entire area is lined with retail shops, emporiums, tourist attractions, restaurants, and more to enjoy as well. The Big Bay can be enjoyed on foot or on the seat of a bike too. Whether walking among all the action or sitting and watching both the people and the activities on the water, a fun time can be had at San Diego’s Big Bay.
Visit San Diego with Travelocity or Expedia
A visit to San Diego is the perfect way to spend some of that valuable vacation time. There are a number of things to be seen and experienced in and around the city and it offers something for nearly everyone. A great way to make a vacation budget stretch to its fullest extent though is to mix in some free attractions and destinations too. By doing this, everyone who ventures to the city of San Diego, regardless of their means, will be able to have one of the most enjoyable times of their lives there.