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10 Ways to Have Fun in San Diego for Free

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When thinking of San Diego you may think about enjoying the sun and spending some money. If you are on vacation, taking a day trip or moving to San Diego there are many options to have a great day. However, having an enjoyable day does not depend on spending money. Take your whole family on a trip to any of these ten locations to enjoy a day of activities and fun for free. Never fear there is fun for everyone in the San Diego area. Whether you are looking for a leisurely day on the beach, a vigorous day hiking or something in between.


The Big Bay


The Big Bay is an area of San Diego that offers a beautiful waterfront view that has a bit of fun for the whole family. No matter what activities you are looking for you will find something to enjoy. The Big Bay covers a thirty four mile span to explore. This large area holds many shops, restaurants, hotels, and attractions. It is great for anyone looking to take a leisurely walk, vigorous jog, or even spend a day biking from area to area. This location can be great for a day trip. For those that want to spend more time in each area there are many places to visit.


Point Loma


Point Loma is a more adventurous destination. It is not your typical San Diego beach. Instead it has many gorgeous rock cliffs and tide pools brimming with life. The Cabrillo National Monument is accessible for any history buffs. The explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was an explorer in 1542 and is the focal point of the monument.


Take time to visit the Point Loma Lighthouse. Here you will be able to see many tide pools. The tide pools have a variety of creatures. You can find crabs, anemones, mollusks, and much more. Remember to check when the tides are low. This will allow you to find the many marine creatures that reside in this area. Point Loma is a great area to take in the natural beauty of the water.


Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego


The Museum of Contemporary Art does not cost too much to experience numerous art forms. You are able to view sculptures, paintings, photographs, videos, and installations. It is a fantastic resource for contemporary art lovers. The museum is ever changing as new works are purchased or donated. Making every visit unique. The museum has a permanent collection that you may view repeatedly. Visit frequently to view the new pieces that they bring in periodically to discover up-and-coming artists.


While the museum typically does collect admission there are days they are open to the public for free. Make sure you visit their website to find these dates to get a free art experience.


La Jolla Cove


La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in San Diego. The view is spectacular and it is a great spot to relax for the whole day. The water is ecologically protected. You may encounter different marine life like leopard sharks, rays, Garibaldi, and yellow tail. There are no flotation devices allow in the water. However, you are able to snorkel, dive, swim or kayak to get a closer look at the sea life. For the safety of all beach goers there is a lifeguard on duty most of the day.




Step into the lives of a gold mining town that became prosperous after gold was found in a creek in 1870. You can learn the history of the town through tours or by visiting their museums and galleries. Make sure to check the calendar because there are historical skits that you will not want to miss.


There are many shops to walk through. You can even stay in the bed and breakfast for an authentic Julian experience. Julian offers areas for hiking. Be sure you pack some lunch and have a picnic while enjoying the splendor only a small town area can offer.


Laguna Mountains


If you are looking for an adventure through the mountains visit the Cleveland National Forest. There is plenty of area to cover in the 8,600 acre forest that hold many pines. This area is picturesque and can be a great area to explore the beauty of nature. Visit with the family for a day of hiking or fishing. You can also bring your biking or camping equipment for longer trips. For a more invigorating visit climb the Laguna Mountains in the summer. In the winter the area becomes a wonderful area for sledding.


Old Town


San Diego was founded in 1769 in Old Town. As time has passed Old Town has prospered and grown into a must see for anyone coming to San Diego. There are many places to visit in Old Town. There are restaurants, gardens, shops, museums, and various historic sites. It is easy to spend an entire day examining each shop.


Mission Bay Park


Mission Bay Park covers 4,600 acres of water and land. This large aquatic park is always brimming with people looking to enjoy themselves under the warm San Diego sun. There are areas dedicated to all types of activities. Activities like swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing, boating, walking, biking, or visiting a playground


There is no need to spend money to enjoy the beauty that Mission Bay Park has to offer. You can bring the whole family to play on the beach, have a picnic, or just have a leisurely walk to savor the view.


Seaport Village


Seaport Village offers a day to visit many shops. Stop by one of the multiple restaurants and enjoy what the San Diego outdoors has to offer. If you enjoy visiting specialty shops search for your favorite. There are shops that specialize in areas like art, books, cooking items, items for children, souvenirs, and many more.


If you enjoy a sit down lunch there are plenty of places to visit from pizza to seafood. For those that are on the move visit one of the ice cream shops to grab a sweet treat to enjoy as you take in the view.


US Olympic Training Center


The US Olympic Training Center located in Chula Vista is open to the public for free tours. If you prefer there are guided tours but if you are more independent you are able to do a self guided tour as well.

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