San Diego has a lot to offer... so much it can be overwhelming! So let's narrow it down: Here we'll focus on some activities you can enjoy at no expense!
Monday - Sunset Cliffs & Surf Watch
Picture this: The Sunset Cliffs of Ocean Beach glowing with orange light as the waves crash against the base of the cliffs at your feet... surfers riding giant pacific coast swells out towards the horizon, and a beautiful sunset unfolding right before your eyes... Be sure to get there early to snag a parking spot and find yourself a nice flat area along the cliffs to sit and watch the sky change and & the surfers catch their last few waves as the sun sets over the ocean.
Tuesday - Tide Pool Exploring
This had to have been one of our favorite activities during our time in San Diego. From the southern tide pools at Cabrillo (note that entry to this national monument does require a fee) to Ocean Beach, up to La Jolla and further north into Del Mar there is so much marine life to see at low tide! Be sure to check the local tide schedules to ensure you catch peak low tide and bring some proper water shoes if you plan to venture out across the rocks and barnacles.
Wednesday - An Evening of Jazz at Balboa Park
Did you know, every Wednesday Panama 66 hosts a Jazz Night? If you get there on the early side (note the kitchen closes promptly at 8pm) you can enjoy a nice dinner or appetizer while you listen to wonderful melodies of smooth jazz. But if you want to skip dinner, the bar stays open through the entire performance. But the best part? This weekly event is open to the public, and free! Toward the end local high school jazz band members even join in on some improvisational jams to show off their skills.
Thursday - North Park Farmers Market
Depending on your schedule, there are plenty of farmers markets throughout the week in different neighborhoods of San Diego. This particular North Park Market happens every Thursday 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm - "rain or shine!" If you're interested in a farmers market with even more than food to offer, this market is a must. We're talking locally grown/made food, handmade crafts from local vendors, live music, and they've even recently expanded to include a park so there is plenty of activities for kids as well.
Friday - Estate Sale Scavenging
Y'all are going to LOVE this one. So driving through San Diego we were in awe of the beautiful houses and landscaping across the city... if only we could see inside some of those places... Hah! Okay here's a great tool I used to find gorgeous mansions offering estate sales: www.estatesales.net Now this wholesome activity is free, but I can guarantee you may end up finding some treasures that will make you want to cough up some cash! Plus there is a reason I have this activity listed on Friday, as we found most glamorous estate sales in the area are picked clean by Saturday/Sunday.
Saturday - Rocks at Carlsbad
Saturdays can be a bit crazy in San Diego as far as crowds, traffic, and parking. Our solution? Head north! We really enjoyed escaping to the Oceanside/Carlsbad area on busier weekend days. Our favorite spot we found was Ponto Beach (just south of Carlsbad Beach State Park) where we would lose ourselves for hours on a beach covered in ocean-tumbled stones. The best part? There's free parking and almost no one out there! Most beach-goers choose the sandy beaches for their Saturday excursions, so this is a great place to spend a couple hours admiring nature's beauty.
Sunday - Picnic in the Park
San Diego has countless beautiful & FREE spots for picnics including balboa park, all along the coastline of mission bay, the green lawns of liberty station, and so much more. But, our favorite spot? Kate Sessions park. Enjoy beautiful views of the city from the top of an expansive grassy knoll, perfect for relaxing picnic and respite. There are restrooms, trails, and giant trees providing plenty of shade for those warmer days. 10/10 would recommend!