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Fun & Free Summer Activities in San Diego

 

Having fun during the summer in San Diego doesn’t require a lot of money. In fact, many things to see and enjoy in San Diego are absolutely free. 

Following is a list of fun and free activities you can enjoy during San Diego’s summer months:

  1. Put on your bathing suit, grab your towel and head to one of San Diego’s 70 miles of beaches, all open to the public, and perfect to body surf, play in the sand, collect seashells and bask in the sun. As you contemplate the crashing waves, the magnificent blue Pacific provides you with a clearer mind, lighter heart and stronger spirit.
  2. Attend La Jolla Concerts by the Sea. On a string of summer Sunday afternoons from 2:00pm - 4:00pm, Ellen Browning Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove is filled with the sounds of live music. These family-friendly FREE summer concerts are fun for everybody...no matter what age...offering a wide range of musical styles for everyone's enjoyment in an ideal setting overlooking La Jolla Cove.

    Gather your family and friends and join us for summer sun, fun and LIVE MUSIC!

  3. While at La Jolla Cove, stay around to see the magnificent sunset on the ocean and watch sea lions play along its shore. La Jolla Cove is one of the most spectacular natural settings in the world.
  4. "Summer concerts in the park" are offered throughout San Diego County, including:
    - Carlsbad TGIF Concerts in the Park
    - Coronado Summer Concert Series
    - Del Mar Foundation Twilight Concert Series
    - Point Loma Concert Series
    - Poway Summer Concert Series
    - Santee Summer Concerts
    - Scripps Ranch Symphony in the Park
    - Twilight in the Park Summer Concerts 
  5. Visit Seaport Village during the weekends for free entertainment and hours of leisurely strolling and window-shopping in the Village’s stores. You can also walk along the bay-front or sit in the grass and gaze at passing yachts and ships along San Diego’s beautiful Big Bay.
  6. Stroll through the 16½-block historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego and view the renovated turn-of-the-century Victorian architecture, home to antique stores and art galleries. Did you know that the Gaslamp Quarter was the stomping ground of Wyatt Earp?
  7. Fly a kite along the grassy field in the Tecolote Shores of Mission Bay Park, a 4,600-acre aquatic park. Here, away from trees and overhead wires, friends and family gather to launch colorful kites into the high-flying bayside breezes.
  8. Enjoy free organ concerts at 2 p.m. on Sundays at the Organ Pavillion in Balboa Park. The Organ Pavillion features the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ, a San Diego landmark for 84 years, where organists resound traditional favorites, waltzes and showtunes from the organ’s monstrous 32-foot lead alloy pipes.
  9. Visit Old Town full of Mexican lore and stroll through the variety of international shops. Guests are also invited to wander free through Old Town’s historic buildings, including the blacksmith shop, the Seeley Stables, the Stewart House, the Estudillo House and the oldest schoolhouse in San Diego.
  10. Bike or jog along Mission Bay Park’s many trails. Joggers and walkers share more than 20 miles of scenic running paths winding through sunlight and shade near the shoreline with workout courses at planned stations along the route.
  11. Take free fly-fishing lessons on Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon at Lake Murray, located in La Mesa. If you don’t have your own gear, arrive early for a free equipment loan.
  12. Stargaze outside the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater on the first Wednesday of every month for "Stars in the Park." The San Diego Astronomy Association sets up huge telescopes and offers guests a great view of our magnificent outer space.
  13. Take a scenic, one-hour drive to Mt. Laguna for a hike, bike or picnic while enjoying the fresh mountain air whispering through the pines. Before making your way back to San Diego, stop at Julian to sightsee in this century-old gold mining town and enjoy some apple pie.
  14. Rollerblade, skateboard or bicycle along the Mission Beach Boardwalk, a scenic 3-mile boardwalk along picturesque Mission and Pacific Beaches.
  15. Visit Mission Trails Regional Park to explore the cultural, historical and recreational aspects of San Diego. The Park’s state-of-the-art Visitor’s Center boasts a 94-seat theater where guests explore and learn about the wonders of nature and the people who once lived on the land. The park also offers 40 miles of natural and developed hiking and biking trails.
  16. Go scuba diving or snorkeling off San Diego’s shores to see spectacular creatures of the sea. La Jolla Cove offers some of the clearest waters on the California coast, as well as miles of protected underwater preserves to explore.
  17. Attend the 38th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-off, featuring live music and entertainment, unique vendors, talented artists, thrilling rides, refreshing beer garden and so much more!  June 24.
  18. Join the festivities at San Diego’s Fourth of July celebrations. Fireworks, festivals and patriotic parades are held in numerous communities throughout the county.
  19. On warm summer nights when the tide is high and the moon is full, join San Diegans in a local natural phenomenon, the grunion run.  Witness thousands of small grunion fish swimming ashore to mate and bury their eggs in the sand before riding the waves back out to sea.
  20. Watch the 64th Annual World Championship Over-the-Line Tournament San Diego’s most popular beach and softball event. July 8 & 9 and July 15 & 16 on Fiesta Island in Mission Bay.
  21. Go on a hike at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Feast your eyes on the dramatic cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, deep valleys and majestic pine trees in this scenic 1,000-acre wilderness playground.
  22. Gather your family, friends and firewood and have a cozy beach bonfire at one of the select beaches around San Diego County, including Coronado Beach, La Jolla Shores and Mission Beach.
  23. Take a walk around Balboa Park to discover its beautiful architecture. While visiting the Park, take advantage of the variety of free offerings, including 15 museums (select museums on Tuesdays), tours of the park, organ concerts (Sundays) and spectacular gardens (seven of the eight are free on a regular basis).
  24. Visit other museums around town that offer similar free days. In its La Jolla and downtown facilities, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego is free on the third Thursday of each month 5-7pm.
  25. Celebrate the Latin American culture at the Annual Latin American Festival at Bazaar del Mundo in Old Town. Diane Powers’ annual festival presents one of the nation’s most extensive collections of authentic Mexican folk art, traditional clothing and textiles, colorful collectibles and dazzling jewelry, plus entertainment and Mexican cuisine August 4-6.
  26. Don’t miss the Annual Hillcrest Cityfest Street Fair, featuring fine arts, crafts, food booths, live entertainment and a beer garden. August 13 from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  27. Watch international and U.S. body surfers, equipped with only a pair of swimming fins, ride and perform on ocean waves during the 41th Annual World Body Surfing Championships on August 19-20.
  28. Explore the Point Loma tidepools when the tide is low and the pools are visible to see some of the magnificent creatures of the sea. Point Loma tidepools are located just short of the tip of Cabrillo Point.
  29. Take a drive to the top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla for breathtaking, 360-degree views of San Diego, including the gently curving La Jolla coastline and Mission Bay. Other spectacular views await guests at the top of Mt. Helix, offering magnificent 360-degree views of San Diego’s East County communities.
  30. Visit Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and experience the heat and natural beauty of the desert. The 600-acre park is one of the largest state parks in the United States.
  31. Rollerblade, skateboard or bicycle along the Mission Beach Boardwalk, a scenic 3-mile boardwalk along picturesque Mission and Pacific Beaches.
  32. Discover real artifacts at the San Diego Archaeological Center in Escondido where you'll find comparative collections of geological, shell and historical specimens.
  33. Go on a self-guided walking tour of The Stuart Collection, a display of contemporary sculptures scattered throughout the University of California San Diego campus in La Jolla. Tour maps are available at the Gilman Drive campus entrance.
  34. WALKABOUT volunteers lead more than 100 FREE walks every month. Walks vary in pace and duration, many ending with an invitation to socialize over coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  35. Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game.  Players try to locate hidden containers, call geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online

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