5 Best Budget-Friendly Things to Do in San Diego

September 19, 2021

The jewel of the California coast that is San Diego offers an endless list of things to do for both locals and visitors. If you fall into the second category, take comfort in knowing there are numerous opportunities to enjoy inexpensive activities in America’s Finest City. Keep reading to discover five budget-friendly recommendations, brought to you by the friendly team at Sunrise Inn San Diego, one of the most ideally located and affordable San Diego hotels.

1. Hanging Out at Balboa Park

Smack dab in the heart of San Diego, Balboa Park is a sprawling urban park with many inexpensive activities you’re welcome to enjoy. In addition to strolling through the more than two dozen gardens here and snapping some pics in front of the Moreton Bay Fig Tree or Cabrillo Bridge, affordable options here include:

• Hiking along the trails accessible here
• Spending time at park playgrounds if you have kids in tow
• Having a picnic in one of the open spaces here
• Checking out on-site museums such as the San Diego Air and Space Museum and the San Diego Natural History Museum

2. Biking around San Diego

A fun, invigorating, and inexpensive activity you can do in SD is bike your way through downtown or any of the adjacent neighborhoods. Affordable bike rentals are available at numerous locations throughout the city. Gpsmycity.com also offers 12 self-guided tour apps you can download if you prefer to bike your way to various points of interest, such as the historic Gaslamp District and the Embarcadero Marina.

3. Seeing Historic Sites

There are many historic sites you can affordably see throughout the San Diego area during your visit, either at no cost or for a minimal entrance fee. For instance, the historic aircraft carrier at the USS Midway Museum can be seen for only a $5 general admission fee for adults and $3 for children. Some other options to consider include:

• The Piazza Basilone Memorial in Little Italy
• The Estudillo House in Old Town
• The Davis-Horton House in downtown SD
• The San Diego Asian Pacific Historic District, which overlaps with parts of the Gaslamp Quarter

4. Exploring Seaport Village

Concerts are periodically held at Seaport Village for free. Check this location’s website to see what’s coming up on the dates you’ll be visiting if this appeals to you. This 14-acre waterfront complex has a family-friend vibe as well, and many of the bayfront eateries here have inexpensive menu options. Some of the shops have affordable souvenirs and mementos you can purchase to take back with you.

5. Having Fun at La Jolla Cove & Other Outdoor Spots

La Jolla Cove is one of many outdoor locations in the San Diego area where you can affordably get active. If you rent what you need locally, you can kayak, surf, or paddleboard here in a budget-pleasing way. You can also watch the sea lions and other wildlife at this particular spot free of charge. Some other affordable outdoor spots in the area where you can see the sights and do affordable things like swimming and exploring on foot include:

• Solana Beach, a more secluded spot with hidden coves
• Cardiff State Beach, a place known for its laid-back nature and tide pools
• Mission Beach, a lively area where you may be able to get in on a volleyball game or take an affordable ride on a beachfront roller coaster 

There’s so much to do in San Diego that one day simply won’t be enough, so reserve a room today at Sunrise Inn San Diego. When they’re looking for comfortable but cheap hotels, San Diego visitors will be amazed by our affordable rates as well as our spacious rooms, stunning views of the harbor, and convenient location near many of the most popular tourist attractions in America’s Finest City. Call one of our friendly staff members today at (619) 223-5544.

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