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10 Free Activities To Do In San Diego, CA

10 Free Activities To Do In San Diego, CA


From running, hiking, surfing, or just laying on the beach the city has a lot to offer, with a majority of those being free activities. Our advice is to skip the hotel search, grab some friends and save money by renting a San Diego Vacation Rental (preferably close to the beach) and then try any of these free activities on for size:

1. Visit La Jolla Cove or Point Loma’s Sunset Cliffs and see the magnificent sunset over the ocean. Both areas offer scenery, the perfect places to stroll and take in the beauty.

2. Take a walk through the 16½-block historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, and view the renovated turn-of-the-century Victorian architecture, home to boutiques, art galleries, specialty shops and more.

3. Visit Old Town and witness the living legacy of San Diego history. Guests invited to wander free through Old Town’s historic buildings, including the blacksmith shop, Seeley Stables, Stewart House, Estudillo House and the oldest schoolhouse in San Diego.

4. Take a scenic, one-hour drive to Mt. Laguna. Once there, hop out for an invigorating hike and enjoy the fresh mountain air whispering through the pines.

5. Rollerblade, skateboard or bicycle along the Mission Beach Boardwalk, a scenic 3-mile boardwalk along picturesque Mission and Pacific Beaches.

6. Gather family, friends and firewood for a cozy Beach Front fire at one of the beaches in San Diego County, including Coronado Beach, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach.

7. Explore the Tide Pools in Point Loma at low tide – get up close and personal with flowery anemones, scampering shore crabs, elusive octopus, spongy deadman’s fingers and many other magnificent sea creatures.

8. Stroll through Balboa Park and marvel at its beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. While there, take advantage of the park’s variety of activities offered, including 15 museums (select museums free on Tuesdays for San Diego residents), free daily park tours, public organ concerts (Sundays), and spectacular gardens (seven are free daily).

9. Go Bird Watching at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Located high above Torrey Pines State Beach, the area is home of the rare and ancient Torrey Pine as well as a beautiful protected habitat for swifts, thrashers, woodpeckers and wrentits.

10. Visit the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista for a free tour of the 150-acre facility, including training fields and tracks, athlete dorms and the Otay Lake Reservoir. Tours are offered from the Copley Visitor Center at 11:00 am on Saturday. Self-guided tours are available daily between 9:00 am – 4:00 pm