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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.