Free Things to Do in San Diego

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Olympic Training Center

olympic-center-chula-vista
See where Olympic hopefuls train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.

The facility offers free tours of the training fields, tracks, athlete dorms and the Otay Lake Reservoir.

San Diego Botanic Gardens

San-Diego-Botanic-Gardens
Also known as Quail Botanic Gardens, located 30 minutes north of San Diego in Encinitas.

The Botanic Garden features numerous exhibits, including rare bamboo groves, and admission is free the first Tuesday of the month.

Old Town

San-Diego-Old-Town
Old Town is nestled in the heart of San Diego and a living legacy of the city’s history.

Check out Old Town’s historic buildings, including the blacksmith shop, Seeley Stables, Stewart House, Estudillo House and the oldest schoolhouse in San Diego.

The Big Bay

The-Big-Bay
Take a scenic walk along 27 miles of waterfront featuring parks, marinas, shops, restaurants, and miles of bikeways.

Whether you spend the day exploring all seven areas or enjoy each one individually, there is something for every taste and budget.

TGIF Concerts in the Parks

TGIF-Concerts-in-the-Parks
Summer in Carlsbad means TGIF Concerts in the Parks, a 30 year tradition that has become an integral part of the community’s life.

Bring a blanket and post up to enjoy some tunes on warm summer nights.

Seaport VillageSeaport-Village

Visit downtown Seaport Village for hours of free entertainment, leisurely strolling and window shopping.

There is a carousel that kids will love, but it’s also a nighttime destination for couples looking for some good fun.

SeaWorld fireworks

Seaworld-Fireworks
Celebrate the Wonder at SeaWorld has summer fireworks shows daily from June through September.

The Big Bay Boom is an annual Independence Day fireworks display that is one of the largest in the United States.

California Surf Museum

California-Surf-Museum
Visit this museum displaying surfboards, surf art, memorabilia, equipment, photographs, videos and more.

Admission is $3 military/student $5 for regular visitors and free every Tuesday.

La Jolla Cove

La-Jolla-Cove
La Jolla Cove is a beautiful natural settings and delivers a spectacular sunset at the end of each day.

Go scuba diving or snorkeling to see creatures of the sea in some of the clearest waters on the California coast.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion

Spreckels-Organ-Pavilion
Enjoy free organ concerts at 2:00 pm on Sundays at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

The Organ Pavilion features one of world’s largest outdoor pipe organs, a San Diego landmark since 1914.

Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp-Quarter
The historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego is home to boutiques, art galleries, specialty shops and more.

Not only is this area a center of San Diego nightlife, it is also rich with culture offering theatres, art galleries, symphony halls, concert venues and museums.

Tour Taylor Guitars

Tour-Taylor-Guitars
If you’ve ever wondered how a guitar is made, you should check out the tour at Taylor Guitars in El Cajon.

The factory has a free daily 1-hour guided tour at 1:00 pm.

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