San Diego Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations
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Courtesy of Billy_Dally/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in San Diego

If you have extra time, Coronado Beach is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in San Diego
    View all Photos
    #1 in San Diego
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Home to the renownedSan Diego Zoo. this 1,200-acre park is the city's cultural hub. Located in downtown San Diego (about 2 miles north of the city center), Balboa Park is a great place for a stroll, bike ride or picnic. Wander around the park's many gardens while admiring the intricate

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  • #2
    Mission Beach and Pacific Beach
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    #2 in San Diego
    Beaches, Recreation, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Recreation, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are one giant, connected shoreline in San Diego. While not as pristine asCoronado Beach, the area is just as popular thanks to all the nearby attractions and amenities. This miles-long stretch of sand fits the SoCal stereotype to a T: throngs of surfers and bikini-clad

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  • #3
    Coronado Beach
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    #3 in San Diego
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Compared toMission Beach, this popular shoreline boasts fewer sunbathers and calmer waves. Just across the bay from San Diego, Coronado Beach is popular with families and couples alike thanks to its miles-long shoreline (affording plenty of room for beachgoers), clean sands, peaceful atmosphere and idyllic location in the "Crown City"

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  • #4
    Gaslamp Quarter
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    #4 in San Diego
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Gaslamp Quarter's 16 blocks are peppered with Victorian-style buildings that now house a variety of shops, art galleries, theatres and trendy restaurants, not to mention plenty of bars and clubs. The area stretches from L Street all the way up to Broadway, including Sixth, Fifth and Fourth avenues as

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  • #9
    Sunset Cliffs
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    #9 in San Diego
    Hiking, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Next to theCabrillo Monument, travelers say this is the next best place for ocean views in Point Loma. Situated a little more than 9 miles due west of downtown San Diego, Sunset Cliffs stretches across 68 acres and runs 1.5 miles along Point Loma peninsula's western shoreline. The dramatic sandstone

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  • La Jolla Shores
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    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Known for its gentle waves and active beachgoers, La Jolla Shores is an ideal place to relax for a few hours. Locals and tourists hit this beach to surf, see marine life and enjoy the clean ocean water and sand. Families flock to La Jolla Shores and appreciate the reliable

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  • La Jolla Cove
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    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    La Jolla Cove is the jewel of La Jolla. Located across the water from La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove may not be much in terms of a beach, but its striking beauty and snorkeling reputation more than make up for it among recent visitors. The site is an ecologically

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