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What Can I Do for Free in San Diego, California?

Visitors may flock to Seaport Villages for sea breeze and boat-watching in San Diego.
La Jolla Cove is known for the beauty of its ocean sunsets.
A blacksmith shop can be toured while visiting the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Sunbathe for free in San Diego.
San Diego is known for its weather and beaches.
San Diego offers wine tasting tours.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 August 2014
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There are many fun things to do for free in San Diego, California. This coastal city has an almost endless ribbon of beautiful, free public beaches. Swimming, surfing, sunbathing and beachcombing are all popular activities to do for free in San Diego, but there are other pleasant activities here that are also free.

The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (SHP) is a free outdoor attraction that includes buildings and artifacts that are representative of the 1821-1872 Mexican and Early American historical periods. This is a great attraction to see for free in San Diego. You can view some original Mexican adobe homes such as La Casa de Machado y Stewart, a working class home, and Casa de Estudillo, an upper class home. Other period buildings include a blacksmith shop, schoolhouse and the office where Southern California’s first newspaper, The Union, was published.

Balboa Park is the largest city cultural park in the United States and admission to the beautifully-landscaped grounds of the Park in San Diego is free. While most of the attractions such as the San Diego Zoo and museums charge admission, the Botanical Building at Balboa Park is a free attraction. The Botanical Building houses many beautiful displays of plants and flowers. A large reflecting pond, complete with water lilies and several species of fish, is located just outside the Botanical Building.

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Twilight in the Park is a series of live band concerts that has a decades-old tradition of being free in San Diego's Balboa Park on some summer evenings. Swing, military, Latin salsa and Dixieland jazz bands have performed at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion at Balboa Park. The Spreckels Organ Pavilion features the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world.

If your idea of fun is just relaxing outside, you may want to spend a sunny afternoon just watching the boats for free in San Diego Bay. You can pack a picnic lunch and head to Seaport Village for lots of sea breeze and boat-watching. Another great spot for catching amazing views for free in San Diego is La Jolla Cove. La Jolla Cove is known as a popular place to take in the beauty of ocean sunsets.

If you'd rather travel in the car to catch scenic views for free in San Diego, you can drive up Mount Soledad. The top of Mount Soledad offers 360 degree views of San Diego. You may also want to take a detour to the North Country area. Wine tasting and tours are often free in San Diego's North Country wineries.

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JoseJames
Post 4

On our recent trip I stayed at one of the hotels near San Diego Convention Center. while was very much a business oriented area of the town I did get the feel that there were many things that one could do while in San Diego for free. Old town San Diego has been restored and is a very beautiful place to walk.

San Diego also has many natural parks that are beautiful as well. Because San Diego is in the southern region of California there is a very pleasing climates to be enjoyed so any type of free outdoor activity could be a very useful idea if trying to save money while in the area.

youbiKan
Post 3

While it may not be completely free, one of the most fun free things to do in San Diego with kids is visiting the wild animal Park. While similar to a zoo in the way that keeps animals and exotic types, the differences in the way the animals are kept. At the wild animals zoo is common for large shared areas where different animal species can mingle to be maintained.

One of the best ways to get around while at the wild animal park is by way of their trolley service. Take a right on the trolley means that you will get an entire view of what the park has to offer. My favorite part of the trolley ride is going around the giant savanna simulated plane that is massive in size and populated with beautiful animal's. Your kids will love it.

NightChef
Post 2

While one may have never considered before one of the greatest things to do in San Diego for free is to enjoy the nightlife. Because of the amount of college students that are in San Diego and surrounding areas there are lots of activities going on at nightclubs and bars around town. While there are some certain localized areas for popular clubs and pubs, one can usually find a college aged venue play my music in almost any part of the city.

If you do a basic Internet search and you will discover just how many different types of clubs and young people hangouts are available in the San Diego area. Be wary about some of the places you go as there are definitely seedy bars in San Diego. Usual proper judgment as you ever would and I think you will be safe.

FootballKing
Post 1

I think one of the most fun things you can do in San Diego, California for free is to go to the beaches.

While there are very nice San Diego hotels and a lot of free things to do in San Diego at night, I think the best activity one can do during the daytime is in joy the sun on a sandy beach.

There are hundreds of beaches along the San Diego County coastline. While some of these are military beaches there are lots of public access beaches that anybody can have access to. What you might spend some money and gas getting to them, lots of these beaches have no types of entrance fees or even parking fees in certain locations.

I recommend my favorite beach that I used to go to all growing up. It's called La Jolla and is your typical Southern California Sunday Sandy Beach. You should check it out.

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