12 Fantastic Free Things To Do In San Diego 

Ana Sofia de la Cámara Ana Sofia de la Cámara

12 Fantastic Free Things To Do In San Diego 

San Diego is a city with many charms!

We have fantastic weather which allows us to take advantage of all the city has to offer. However, it can get a little pricey always to be out and about. This is why we’ve compiled a list of wonderful things to do in the city for…FREE! 

1. The Tide Pools in La Jolla Cove or Bird Rock

La Jolla Cove and Bird Rock have beautiful tide pools or shallow pools of seawater that form on the rocky intertidal shore. Many of these pools only exist at low tide and reveal extraordinary marine life such as starfish, sea anemones, barnacles, and sea urchins! 

2. Free Museum Days for Residents

Being a local sure has its perks! If you are a San Diego resident, then you can enter these lovely museums and gardens for FREE on these days:

First Tuesday-Fleet Science Center, San Diego Natural History Museum
Second Monday- San Diego Air & Space Museum (Not valid for special exhibitions)
Third Tuesday-San Diego Museum of Art, Japanese Friendship Garden
Fourth Tuesday-San Diego Automotive Museum


3.The Spreckels Organ Concert

All concerts on the Spreckels Organ are free to the public in accordance with the original Deed of Gift by John and Adolph Spreckels. These fantastic concerts are held every Sunday at 2 p.m. and last one hour. There are at least 62 concerts during the years, and what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than with a fabulous free show? These dreamy concerts take place every Sunday at 2 pm in Balboa Park. 

4.Palomar Observatory 

Palomar Observatory is home to one of the largest telescopes in the world! However, due to the continuing pandemic, Palomar Observatory remains closed to the public. But you can still use their extensive virtual tour of the observatory facilities, including many inaccessible areas to the public. When restrictions are lifted, you can show off all of your knowledge during the in persona and still FREE visits!

5.Sea World Fire Works

Summer may be coming to an end soon, so take advantage of the showstopping fireworks from Sea World. This magical display is on 15 minutes before closing every summer night! You can watch all of the action from a moonlit picnic out by Crown Point Park.  

6. Classic Car Shows in La Mesa

If you are a classic car aficionado, we might suggest you check out the Classic Car shows in La Mesa. They take place on Thursdays and are a wonderfully fun activity that the whole family can enjoy!

7.Torrey Pines Gliderport 


The Torrey Pines Gliderport has the most outstanding views in the city. We recommend this spot for a beautiful outing and magical brunch as you take in the panoramic views from this must-visit spot!

Location: 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr, La Jolla

8.Gaslamp Flicks

The Gaslamp Quarter celebrates summer like no one else! The Gaslamp Flicks has amazing films for film lovers this summer. Every Friday in August, they put on double features.

Oh yeah, did we mention it’s FREE ADMISSION!!

Location: 614 Fifth Ave, San Diego

9.Little Italy Summer Film Festival

From July 17 – to September 18, you can watch amazing Italian films each Saturday as part of the Little Italy Summer Film Festival! Each year the LittleItaly Association partners with Cinema Little Italy to show Italian cinema at the Amici Park Amphitheater, located at the corner of W. Date and State Streets. Grab a few snacks, bring a blanket, and enjoy movies under the stars with friends and family and enjoy an evening in this charming neighborhood. Doors open at 7:30 pm and the film starts at 8 pm. Fee: $10 donation accepted at the door

Location: Amici Park Amphitheater, 1660 Union St, San Diego

10.Balboa Park

Balboa Park is hands down one of San Diego’s greatest gems! This magical spot is the largest urban cultural park in all of the United States. There are over 56 miles of walking trails to choose from as well as gorgeous gardens to wander through! Its spectacular Spanish Colonial Revival architecture makes this an unforgettable place for all who visit Balboa Park!

11. Timken Museum

Here’s some good news San Diegans, Admission to the Timken Museum is always FREE.  The Timken is one of the most important and gorgeous mid-century buildings in the city! The art you’ll find is world-class, like gems from European Old Masters, American art, and Russian icons. This is definitely a must-visit for art lovers, particularly those with a preference for old masters. You’ll find the museum in the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park.

Location: 2550 Fifth Avenue, Suite 500, San Diego, CA 92103

12. Hotel Del Coronado

This legendary hotel is a piece of American history. It is a fantastic destination for a day exploring Coronado. It’s free to visit and to explore the grounds, beach, and shops. If this is your first time in San Diego Hotel Del Coronado is a must-visit!

Location: 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado



Featured image: Shutterstock 

Things To Do