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Free and Cheap Things to Do in San Diego
San Diego is a great place to visit, and you don't have to break the bank to have a good time and get a real sense of the city. You can do plenty of great things that won't cost you a dime, and others that will only cost you a little more than a dime!

The Beautiful Beaches

One of the things for which San Diego is best known is its beaches. People can visit any of the many beaches around the city, from Pacific Beach to the pristine beach on Coronado Island, located next to the famous Hotel del Coronado. Whether you want to swim, surf, build sandcastles, or just bask in the sun, San Diego is the place to be. There is even great snorkeling and diving in La Jolla Cove, which is just north of the city.

Seaport Village

Located at the edge of San Diego Bay is a tiny village of shops and restaurants, as well as places to sit and watch the boats in the bay. It is a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon simply watching the water. There is an arcade for the kids, as well as plenty of great live entertainment. You can even get a good view of some of the large naval ships from this side of the bay. There are plenty of great photo opportunities.

The Gaslamp Quarter

Located just a few blocks from Seaport Village is the Historic Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego, where you can see Victorian era architecture, the William Heath Davis House (the oldest house in this portion of San Diego), and experience great dining and nightlife. No trip to San Diego is complete without a nighttime stroll the Gaslamp Quarter.

Mission Beach Boardwalk

The Mission Beach boardwalk is a classic example of what everyone envisions when he or she thinks of a California beach. It is lined with surf shops, dive shops, tattoo parlors, and the occasional bar. The three-mile boardwalk is a great place to jog, bike, or rollerblade, and runs from Mission Beach to Pacific Beach.


About an hour east of San Diego is the quaint former mining town of Julian. It is a small town tucked away in the Cuyamaca Mountains, and is a very popular destination for people who visit San Diego. You can come to taste some of the best apple pie in the world, hike on some of the trails in the area, or walk the Main Street and shop for some souvenirs.

There are even more great things for people to do while on a budget in San Diego, such as driving to the top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla to witness a gorgeous 360 degree view of San Diego. Keep in mind that sunsets are always free and there are few better places in the world to see them than America's Finest City. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to have a great time.
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