Things to do for Budget Travelers in San Diego 

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  • 1

    Balboa Park

    1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
    360 reviews

    Balboa Park is a great spot for families and dates! There are a number of museums (there's at least 1 with free admission, the others have a fee) and the gardens and fountains are beautiful. I love the intricate architecture of the outside of the buildings. This is a great spot to spend a few hours walking around and exploring ...

    Popular withFamiliesLocalBudget
  • 2

    San Diego Zoo

    2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101-1646
    469 reviews

    The San Diego Zoo is a great place to spend your time with family or friends and not break your budget!

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorBudget
  • 3

    Mission Beach

    Mission Blvd and Portsmouth Ct, San Diego, CA 92109
    94 reviews

    Gorgeous sunsets and lovely for walks along the boardwalk! Tons of bars & restaurants nearby, try Sandbar for taco Tuesday or wave house in the summer!

    Popular withFamiliesBudgetOutdoor
  • 4

    La Jolla Shores

    S La Jolla Ave, San Diego, California
    143 reviews

    I decided to chill on my second night in SD. A friend wanted to get some air after being stuck at a conference all day, so we hopped in my rental and drove here. We walked along a good amount of the area, and it was nice taking everything in. Well, everything that I could see, which wasn't much because ...

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorBudget
  • 5

    Old Town

    2383 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110
    254 reviews

    I thought Old Town was going to be the oldest part of town but it turns out it's kind of a historically preserved, tourist attraction. The entire thing is set up like the old wild west/traditional Mexico feeling. While your there you have to stop for some of the Mexican food and I recommend grabbing a margarita while your at ...

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesBudget
  • 6

    Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma Lighthouse

    1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106
    63 reviews

    We arrived here about 1 hour prior to sunset and walked down to the tide pools. My bf loves photography, and he said that the lighting on the cliffs was absolutely perfect. We drove back up to the Visitor's center to see a beautiful view of downtown San Diego and Coronado Island. We walked up to the Whale Overlook just ...

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesBudget
  • 7

    Pacific Beach

    Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA, USA
    40 reviews

    I'm an ocean-loving person, so when we had a family reunion a few years ago I picked Pacific Beach as the location. We all got rooms in the same motel, with kitchenettes, and had a great time strolling the beach, swimming, playing Frisbee, walking to restaurants and driving to other parts of San Diego. We even did a day trip ...

    Popular withFamiliesNightlifeBudget
  • 8

    La Jolla Cove

    1100 Coast Blvd (at Girard Ave), La Jolla, CA 92037
    147 reviews

    I've never considered how unique and spectacular it is to have such a gathering of seals accessible for all to see! This cove is nestled between gorgeous cliffs which have tide pools, loud crashing waves, and blue water as far as the eye can see. I especially love sitting on the cliffs mid to late afternoons and enjoying the calmness ...

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorBudget
  • 9

    Fashion Valley Mall

    7057 Friars Road, San Diego, CA 92108
    89 reviews

    Department store heaven for shoppers. Fashion Valley is probably the most well known mall in San Diego for the wide variety of stores it has. Has some high end brand name designer stores as well. Great food options for sitdown as well as the food court. Movie theater. Plenty of parking and the trolley right there as well for accessibility.

    Popular withLuxuryFamiliesBudget
  • 10

    Ocean Beach

    San Diego, California
    56 reviews

    Great sunsets, and neighborhood. Known for an abundance of local bars that serve cheap drinks and have a laid back atmosphere. Most local businesses here are cash-only! Also great for its amazing sunsets.

    Popular withLocalFamiliesBudget
  • 11

    Coronado Ferry Landing

    1201 1st Street, Coronado, CA 92118-1462, USA
    28 reviews

    The ferry is a great way to get from Downtown SD to Coronado Island. Do note, if you take the ferry, you're on the opposite side of the island as the beach. You can probably find a bus/trolley with a route that goes to the other side. Once you arrive, you're met with the Ferry Landing Marketplace, full of small ...

    Popular withFamiliesLocalBudget
  • 12

    Carlsbad State Beach

    7201 Carlsbad Boulevard, Carlsbad, CA, United States
    23 reviews

    Lots of fun to take a walk and watch the surfers. Park on the street for free or you can pay to park in the lot.

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorBudget
  • 13

    Dog Beach (Ocean Beach)

    5174–5198 W Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, California
    3 reviews

    Perfect place for dog lovers and also has good surf! Not too crowded, lots of free parking, but of course packed during any holiday weekend, tourist and summer seasons! Your dogs will have a blast, but please clean up after then. Restrooms within walking distance.

    Popular withBudgetWellnessOutdoor
  • 14

    Mission Bay Park Playa Pacifica

    1093 East Mission Bay Drive, San Diego CA 92109
    25 reviews

    What a beautiful park and beach - perfect place to bring the family or hang with friends! The water is still enough for paddle boarding on one end and on the other end, enough wind to go wind surfing and sailing.

    Popular withAdventureFamiliesBudget
  • 15

    Seaport Village

    849 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
    125 reviews

    Seaport Village is a blend of San Diego laid-back culture mixed with LA's eclectic 3rd Street Promenade. Performers, tattoo artists, parrot keepers, and magicians dot the boardwalk and captivate tourists, while locals ignore them all and jog by in the beautiful sunshine. Horse-drawn carriages take you through the village if you so choose, while live jazz bands entertain visitors in ...

    Popular withFamiliesFoodiesBudget
  • 16

    Gaslamp Quarter

    417 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101
    247 reviews

    Downtown SD is hoppin' any day or night of the week! Eat, drink, walk the Embarcadero, shop, go to a baseball game, visit the museums, etc!

    Popular withNightlifeFoodiesLocal
  • 17

    USS Midway Museum

    910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92132
    104 reviews

    The USS Midway has been docked at the San Diego Navy Pier since 2004. It's a seventy-five thousand pound floating museum located in the Embarcadero Waterfront Park near the San Diego Convention Center.

    Popular withHistoryFamiliesBudget
  • 18

    Little Italy District

    1668 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101
    102 reviews

    We absolutely LOVE Little Italy! Not only the food, but the local culture, "shop local" feel, designer boutique stores and walkability are very attractive about the area.

    Popular withLocalFoodiesBudget
  • 19

    Reuben H Fleet Science Center & Space Theater

    1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101-1625
    42 reviews

    Located in Balboa Park, the Reuben H Fleet Science Center is especially fun for Space Buffs, kids and families!! As a teacher (and parent) in San Diego, I absolutely LOVE taking kids to this one-off Museum. IMAX movie screen with amazing shows, too many exhibits to visit in a day, and a special, interactive play area for little ones 5 ...

    Popular withFamiliesStudentsBudget
  • 20

    Oceanside Beach

    300 N the Strand, Oceanside, CA, United States
    16 reviews

    My favorite beach in Southern California. The people in Oceanside are friendly and full of culture. There are many restaurants steps away from the sand. Although it isn't the cleanest beach in SoCal, it is definitely a great place for some laid back fun!

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorBudget
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