From the coast to the mountains, San Diego County has something for just about everyone. At times the major attractions that San Diego is known for, such as Sea World, the Zoo or even Legoland, can get expensive. So what can be done to enjoy San Diego County without spending a lot of money? This article offers twelve free things one can do and enjoy while visiting San Diego:
1. Beaches. With over seventy miles of coastline, there is a spot for anyone from hard pounding surf to lapping gentle waves. You can picnic, swim, sunbathe or just go to people watch.
2. Mission Bay Park. A 4,600 acre park which is perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, swimming and even kite flying as no power lines cross the park. The entire park as well as parking is free to the public.
3. Seaport Village. Quaint little shops and relaxed restaurants, this place welcomes all with gentle sea breezes and unique architecture. The fee for parking can be validated and you will not have to pay to visit.
4. Old Town State Park. Step into San Diego’s past and visit original homes and missions while learning how San Diego started. There is also shopping and casual restaurants to make the day complete.
5. Stargazing. Every first Wednesday of the month the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center offers a glimpse into the night sky. The Astronomy Center offers use of telescopes to let you gaze outward.
6. Mount Laguna. Tire of the beach, take a drive to Mount Laguna and breathe in the mountain air and go hiking to see the native foliage and animals.
7. Julian. Take a leisurely drive towards Julian via Ramona and make a few stops along the way as such places a Dudley’s Bakery for fresh bread and pie. Then continue up to Julian through twisting roads and wonderful views to see the one hundred year gold mining town. Pick up a map and walk along for a self guided tour and end the day with one of San Diego’s institution, Julian Pie Factory for a taste of there famous apple pie.
8. Bird Watching. Travel to Torrey Pine State Reserve and look at the old and rare Torrey Pine and watch native birds such as Swifts, Thrashers, Woodpeckers and Wrentits.
9. Balboa Park. Spanish Colonial Revival structures welcome you to enjoy the many museums along with its lush parks and gardens. Some museums are free while others do charge; however, some museums are free on Tuesdays. Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy one of the many eateries while strolling along to promenade.
10. Tidepools. Head to Point Loma during low tide and discover many of the creatures that inhabit the Pacific Ocean such as anemones, shore crabs and octopus just to name a few.
11. Cabrillo National Park. See San Diego’s first and oldest lighthouse and explore the military presence there. You can also see the gray whales from the point during their migration.
12. La Jolla. For window shopping and gallery gazing as well as tide pools that abound at the coastline. Enjoy gentle sea breezes while you stroll along the main walk and stop by one of the many eateries to grab a quick bite.
To find out more things to see and do that are free or inexpensive, visit www.sandiego.org or www.sandiegosuperguide.com for all attractions and events that are going on around San Diego County. The sites even offer special discounts for select attractions.