Totally Free in San Diego – Free Things to Do in San Diego

1. San Diego’s Beaches: At the heart of the Southern California lifestyle is a day at the beach. With San Diego‘s miles of coastline including wide expanses of sandy shore,much of it nestled under majestic cliffs,going to the beach has risen to an art form.

2. See a performance at Spreckels Organ Pavilion: Spreckels Organ Pavilion shows are also always free. Have a look at free Sunday afternoon organ shows June – August from 2-3pm. Spreckels Organ Pavilion also puts on the International Summer Organ Festival,with free shows on Monday at 7:30 pm throughout the summer months.

3. Take a Complimentary tour of Balboa Park: Balboa Park also offers four free tours of the park,leaving from in front of the visitor center. The Architectural Heritage Tours are scheduled on the first Wednesday of monthly at 9:30 am. The Offshoot tours are scheduled every Saturday at 10:00 am and lead by trained volunteers. Tour themes include Balboa Park history (1st Saturday of the month),palm trees (2nd Saturday),other trees in the Park (3rd Saturday),desert vegetation (4th Saturday) and tour del dia (5th Saturday).

4. San Diego Zoo: The San Diego Zoo is free to all on the first Monday of October for Founders Day,and children under 12 enter free each day during October!

5. Balboa Park Museums: Every museum in Balboa Park is free to the general public one Tuesday of monthly! Centro Cultural de la Raza,Natural History Museum,Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the Model Railroad Museum are free on the first Tuesday. The Museum of Photographic Arts and the Museum of San Diego History are free on the second Tuesday. The Museum of Art,Museum of Man,Mingei International Museum,Japanese Friendship Garden and the Art Institute’s Museum of the Living Artist are free on the third Tuesday. The Air & Space Museum,Automotive Museum and Hall of Champions Sports Museum are free on the fourth Tuesday.

6. Olympic Training Center: Visitors are treated to a birds-eye view of the campus from the Olympic Path,where they can see training fields and tracks,athlete dorms,and Otay Lake Reservoir. Free tours are offered daily starting at the Copley Visitor Center. You can purchase Olympic souvenirs (and support the athletes) at the Olympic Spirit Store.

7. Reuben H. Fleet Science Center: On the first Wednesday of each month,The San Diego Astronomy Association sets telescopes up at the Rueben H Fleet Science Center to offer guests a great (and free!) view of our planetary system.

8. Summer Shows: Free summer shows include Chula Vista Music in the Park,Coronado Summer Concerts in the Park,Del Mar Summer Concert Series,Encinitas Sunday Concerts by the Sea,Humphrey’s Shows by the Bay,International Summer Organ Festival,La Jolla Concerts By The Sea,Pacific Beach Concerts on the Green,Point Loma Summer Concert Series,Seaport Village Concerts,TGIF Jazz in the Park and Viejas Concerts in the Park.

9. Timken Museum of Art: The Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park is an uncommon display of artwork from the collection of two sisters,Anne R. and Amy Putnam. The Putnam sisters,who pertained to San Diego in the early 1900s from Vermont,spent decades acquiring European old master paintings. Initially,these paintings were loaned to prestigious museums around the country,such as such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; the National Gallery in Washington,DC; and Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum.

10. Seaport Village: Seaport Village along the Embarcadero includes 14 waterfront acres that recreate a historic harbor setting,combined with modern landscaping including ponds,lakes,and fountains. A great place for dining,shopping and entertainment,along with just strolling on its cobblestone pathways,the complex includes 54 unique shops,13 casual eateries,and four fine dining waterfront restaurants.

11. Old Town: Along the San Diego River is Old Town,the birthplace of San Diego,and adjacent Mission Valley,a major mall and the location of Qualcomm Stadium,home of the San Diego Chargers,and the Mission San Diego de Alcala,the earliest of the California missions. In addition,San Diego State University is situated here.

12. Gaslamp Quarter: No visit to San Diego should be attempted without visiting the Gaslamp Quarter,the city’s historic downtown neighborhood,now home to much of the city’s finest restaurants,a plethora of pubs and nightclubs,theaters,galleries,and a minimum of 100 retail shops,not to mention the artifices of daily life,offices and residential/work lofts,many located in grand Victorian-era building.

5 Things to Do in Los Angeles – For Tourists

So you’re finally making the road trip (or the flight) to Los Angeles,California to visit the city the entire world has become aware of. You’ll definitely enjoy the weather,the people and the history,and while you’re at it,you’ll probably find a pretty good souvenir or two to display to your friends.

Here’s a short list of some of the big stops you almost have to hit if you’re visiting from anywhere further than 100 miles away.

 

1. Visit Hollywood

 

It was called Tinseltown for a reason– the main attraction within this movie buff’s paradise is Hollywood and Highland,the famous intersection where nearly every little thing is designed to glamor visitors. From a towering complex of designer stores to a crowd of costumed street performers,to a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex poking its head through the roof of the Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not museum,this area can provide a busy afternoon. Especially if you venture further south and west to check out the area’s vintage stores (like Wasteland),cult restaurants (Pink’s Hot Dogs) and historical attractions (the La Brea Tar Pits). The many shops and tourist attractions along Hollywood Blvd contribute to the fun,as do the holiday decorations of you come in December.

2. Go to Universal Studios

 

Not far from Hollywood,this hive of fun tourist activity (100 Universal City Plaza,Universal City) combines amusement park rides and a carnival atmosphere with a movie-studio feel that almost puts you inside your favorite flicks. On the famous Backlot Tour,you can take the Jaws ride to see “Bruce” (the shark’s nickname) charge out of the water at you,see the New york city set where Manhattan-based movie scenes are filmed,and see how a heavy thunderstorm is created. Or you can go on rides designed after your favorite movies,where you could be used up and swept together with the plot,then probably dropped from a staggering height. Only a 9.5 mile ride from Los Angeles

3. Hit the Beach

 

Santa Monica State Beach offers a nice,tourist-friendly getaway,though it can get crowded and hectic on weekends. The bright side is it’s right beside the Santa Monica Pier,a well-trafficked amusement park area where you will find an abundance of food,entertainment and more costumed performers. This beach could be found along Ocean Avenue in the vicinity of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. For a more relaxing beach hangout,Manhattan Beach has to do with 30 minutes south,where a paved walkway makes it great for sightseeing. Or you can go about 40 minutes north to get to El Matador Beach near Malibu for a more secluded,scenic beach.

4. Go to a Dodger game

 

Catching a baseball game is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon,and the local team exists to entertain visitors and rabid fans alike. Baseball fans can find Dodger Stadium at 1000 Elysian Park Ave Los Angeles,and the area’s public transport is an easy way to arrive without paying for parking. Ticket prices range from $9 for upper-deck seats to around $70 for most other seats,for full-priced adults. More ticketing information could be found on the Dodgers Website (Dodgers.com). Just beware,because Dodgers fans are fiercely passionate about their team,and they also like to drink huge cups of beer.

5. Go to Disneyland

 

It’s what every major athlete does after scoring a touchdown or hitting a home run. Disneyland (1313 S Harbor Blvd,Anaheim) isn’t simply for kids (even though it tends to send them into ecstatic spasms),as the park offers the biggest,brightest and most complete amusement park experience you’ll find outside of a dream. The rides last longer,the park-wandering characters are happier,and even the client service folk are more helpful than any other park,despite the crowds. Explore the park’s many themed “lands,” see the light parade and jump onto the newest rides,along with the nostalgic classics like Pinocchio and Small World. Obviously,Pirates of the Caribbean never ceases to amaze – keep an eye out for Captain Jack Sparrow sightings,which can seem surreally lifelike.