7 Nearly FREE Things to do in San Diego

From creature-filled tide pools to postcard-worthy ocean vistas, there's plenty to see and do in San Diego that won't cost you a dime. Here are seven ways to spend your spring break in the land of consistent sunshine:

Watch Sea Lions Play at La Jolla Cove

Known as the jewel of San Diego, La Jolla is nothing but luxurious. But besides all the fine dining, upscale shopping and fancy homes, the central coastline offers a variety of free gorgeous beaches. Head to La Jolla Cove for an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. The area is home to many bright orange Garibaldi fish and other tame marine life, according to SanDiego.org. Enjoy a picnic at the grass park adjacent to The Cove while watching sea lions play on the beach or water below.

Museum Hop at Balboa Park

Filled with numerous museums, performing-arts clubs, attractions and gardens, you could spend more than a day exploring Balboa Park. It's home to the San Diego Art Institute, Air and Space Museum and world-famous San Diego Zoo. But to spend time not money, visit on a Tuesday. Many of the attractions offer free admission on Tuesdays to different areas throughout the month as follows:

First Tuesday

  • Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • SD Model Railroad Museum

Second Tuesday

  • Museum of San Diego History
  • Museum of Photographic Arts

Third Tuesday

  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • San Diego Art Institute
  • San Diego Museum of Man

Fourth Tuesday

  • San Diego Hall of Champions
  • San Diego Aerospace Museum

Walk Through Historic Gaslamp Quarter

Established in the 1800s, this waterfront district still offers an eyeful of Victorian architecture and one of the first residences in town, the home of developer William Heath Davis. Spend $5 to enter the house-turned-museum or $15 for a two-hour walking tour through the district, or just peruse the area on your own. The historic 16-block district is home to more than 200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shopping boutiques.

Stay in Touch With Family Back Home

Whether you stay at a hostel to cut costs or find a rental near the beach, document your adventures for family and friends back home. Use Skype to make free Internet calls or Dropbox to share files and photos. Visit Yelp.com for a list of Internet cafes in San Diego.

Sample Fresh Produce at the Farmers' Markets

Whether you're seeking fresh fruit, tasty treats or a colorful atmosphere with live music, the many farmers' markets in San Diego are bound to deliver. As found on SanDiego.org, here are a few you to keep you busy through the weekend:

Farmers Market at Imperial Beach

  • April through September, Friday: 2 to 7:30 pm
    October through March, 2 to 7 pm
    Imperial Beach Pier Plaza
    10 Evergreen
    Imperial Beach, CA 91932

Little Italy Mercato

  • Saturday: 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM
    Date Street between India and Columbia
    San Diego, CA 92101

Hillcrest Farmers Market

  • Sunday: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
    3960 Normal Street at Lincoln
    San Diego, CA 92103

Roast Marshmallows at a Beach Bonfire

Make friends and host a beach bonfire at one of the county's bonfire-friendly beaches, located in Oceanside, Pacific Beach, Coronado, Ocean Beach and Mission Beach, according to SanDiego.org.

59 Miles of Scenic Bliss

See most of the city's sites on a 59-mile scenic drive that can be driven in about three hours if you don't make any stops. Start your road trip in Embarcadero and making stops in Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Seaport Village and Gaslamp Quarter, the Horton Plaza � a contemporary complex with shopping, dining and entertainment � will be more than three hours, but you'll see the Pacific Coast in a new way.