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15 Fun & Free Things to Do in San Diego

It’s no secret that San Diego is one of California’s most treasured cities. Whether it’s site seeing or simply laying on the beach under the beautiful weather, there is a multitude of fun activities for your family and yourself to enjoy. To make matters even better, many of these fun activities are free! Read on to learn more about the amusing experiences San Diego has to offer.

Botanical Building- Balboa Park

Being one of the largest lath buildings in the world, the Botanical Building is not something you want to miss. Adjacent to both a Lily Pond and Lagoon while having more than 2,100 permanent plants with vivacious seasonal flowers on display, it only makes sense that this is one of the most photographed scenes in San Diego. The Botanical Building is free to the public weekly, only being closed on Thursdays and holidays.

The Schoolhouse

Get your historical fix at the Schoolhouse. Built in 1865, the Schoolhouse was the first publicly owned school in the San Diego County. Now a part of the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the Schoolhouse merely consisted of a one-room, wood-framed structure, with all students taught in the single room!

Mission Beach Boardwalk

Take a stroll down the Mission Beach Boardwalk! With beautiful Mission Beach on one side and a row of restaurants on the other, you’ll be sure to have a relaxing yet eventful day.

La Jolla Children’s Pool

With a seawall built to protect the beach from oncoming waves, the Children’s Pool in La Jolla is a great and safe place to bring your children for a swim. Being that it is in close proximities to Seal Rock, this has also become a prime spot for sea lions and harbor seals to bathe in!

San Diego Public Library

Opened in 2013, with more than 5.3 million books while offering free programming, the San Diego public library is definitely an impressive site to check out. Don’t forget to go to the top floor and check out the gorgeous views from the reading room.

Torrey Pines State Beach

Take a stride along the stunning, sandy stretch that is the Torrey Pines State Beach. Bring a picnic and enjoy the sun, all while getting entertainment from the hang gliders that cliff jump from perches nearby.

San Diego Waterfront

Stretching 27 miles long of waterfront along San Diego Bay, the waterfront is an exciting place for all who visit. You can enjoy the skyline view and beautiful sunsets or take a gander at the collection of upbeat restaurants and marinas nearby. Check out the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market on Saturday mornings for the freshest fish in San Diego.

Mt. Soledad

Breathe in the fresh air as you climb to the beautiful mountain top of Mt. Soledad. If you are from out of town or just simply looking to explore, this is a great place to get one of the best views of San Diego and La Jolla.

Little Italy

Explore Little Italy, a lively neighborhood filled with restaurants, art galleries, wineries, farmers’ markets, and more!

Amici Park

Located in Little Italy, Amici Park is a great public space to take the family and have a day. Take your pets to the Little Italy Dog Park, enjoy music and films at the Amici Park Amphitheater, or play a game of Bocce at the Little Italy Bocce Ball Courts, all found within the park itself.

Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Garden

Take some time at the meditation gardens located in Encinitas. The quiet nooks and koi ponds are the perfect place for some self-reflection and relaxation. 

Barrio Art Crawl

On every second Saturday of the month, the Barrio Art Crawl is open. This includes a self-guided tour of galleries, studios, and murals located within the Barrio Logan Cultural District in San Diego.

Friday Night Liberty

On the first Friday of every month, make your way to the Liberty Station in Point Loma for a free art walk. From 5-9pm you can enjoy music, dance, explore galleries, and meet some of San Diego’s local artists!

Waterfront Park

You’ll be sure to have a good day when you visit the Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego. Perfect for a day in the sun with the family with play equipment for children, fountains to run through, and plenty of grass space to enjoy a picnic.

La Mesa Classic Car and Bike Show

If you’re one that loves automobiles, this is the place for you. On Thursday nights in downtown La Mesa, during the months of July-August, you can enjoy live music all while admiring the collection of colorful, retro cars.