San Diego Budget Travel Guide
San Diego is the area of unending eateries and world-class museums, scenic hiking trails, sun-splashed beaches, and aging surfers, overused Anchorman jokes, and sunburned hipsters. With its alternative style of living, delicious beer, and amazing weather, having fun in San Diego is a snap. It has one of the best climates in the USA with over 300 sunny days a year. That is so natural that it has turned into one of the most visiting cities in California, and, at the same time, one of the most expensive. We have to say that we have prepared the guide that will help your trip not to cost a penny. You will find out where to get and park your 12 passenger van rental in San Diego, how to save a fortune, and to enjoy the trip regardless of the economy.
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If you and your family arrive in San Diego for great outdoor activities, you will find lots of public and free beaches for surfing, swimming, playing with dogs, and just having fun. Ocean beach in the northern suburbs is situated between the San Diego River and the hills of Point Loma. It is a dog-friendly paradise for surfers and swimmers providing the best waves any time in the city limits. Ocean beach is a great place to park a van rental on the seaside cliffs of Point Loma and observe stunning sunsets every night in the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. You can also explore marine life in surf-side tide pools. The Cabrillo National Monument is one of the most significant points of interest in the city and it is located beyond the Cliffs. It shows the monument of the first European who reached the Pacifics, Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo. Not far from the monument you can explore the Point Loma Lighthouse. There are main trails around this area.
The longest beach in San Diego is called Coronado Silver Strand Beach. It is located near Naval Air Station and the famous Hotel del Coronado stands in the background. It is a place where tourists and natives spend hours for promenades and enjoying sea views. You can also take a ferry for under $5 for a 15-minute jaunt to the island in San Diego Bay from Coronado Beach.
Among the rest of the best country beaches, travelers can enjoy the beautiful waters of Mission Bay with its area full of kayaks, wind-surfers, and paddle-boaters. If you are overwhelmed with adrenaline, relax along the 3-mole boardwalk observing spectacular sew views. The pedestrian-friendly piers are located on every San Diego beach from Oceanside to Pacific beach.
Ride a bike
If you have used the tips for a cheap van rental, you have an idea of where to place your bike in the van. We offer to use this chance and go for a ride on the 24-mile Bayshore bikeway. City parks are also comfortable for bike adventures. Visit Balboa Park for a spectacular ride in nature. San Diego Velodrome offers to observe free races of athletes or to try it personally a few days a week.
Go to Museum Tour
There are many museums in San Diego that offer free entry. If you want to learn about the history of surfing, you can do it in the free Surf Museum at the Oceanside. It is easy to find, park your rental van right near the beach.
The San Diego Natural History Museum is a must-have for any tourist. You will explore the biological diversity in the botanical and fossil collections, get to know the world of San Diego mountains and the underwater world.
If you want to know more about the Navy, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, which was created in 1948, has a collection of historic vessels and the HMS Surprise, a replica of a British Navy frigate used in the Pirates of Caribbean. It is open from 10 am to 5 pm and it offers many free days from time to time.
Enjoy the Underwater worlds
Are you a fan of the underwater world? SeaWorld San Diego is located in Mission Bay and offers thrilling rides, animal shows, and aquatic displays. Penguins, dolphins, and otter sea creatures are the masters of this center. It is a family-friendly attraction that is interesting for both adults and kids.
Explore Wildlife and Nature
There are numerous hiking trails around San Diego. Put on your hiking boots for training in the countryside that will cost you no more than a little blood and sweat. Start with a one-day visit to the regional parks. If you arrive in spring, the Anza-Borrego Desert, one of the largest state parks in the US, will surprise you with a colorful array of wildflowers. Torrey Pines State Reserve, a prime birding area, will introduce you to swifts, thrashers, and woodpeckers during your hiking exercise. This area belongs to the Pacific migratory flight path.
If you rent a van in San Diego and drive to Mission Trails Regional Park, it will reward you with tons of biking, hiking, and walking trails with stunning views and a chance to observe numerous wild plants and animals. Tourists can climb to the peak of Mount Soledad for stunning pictures and panoramic views.
Would you stay away from a free beer? What about the free beer tour? Well, you are lucky to know that many breweries in San Diego offer complimentary samples and free tours. San Diego has lots of exclusive breweries, including:
- Karl Strauss;
- Stone Brewing
- Alesmith Brewing;
- Modern Times, and many others.
Karl Strauss beer gardens in the Pacific Beach neighborhood offer 20 handcrafted beers on tap. Stone Brewing provides not only outstanding 36 types of beer, but delicious farm-to-table cuisine, and live music in one place. It is situated in Mission Bay with other famous breweries like Coronado Brewing and Modern Times. Alesmith brewing company is 20 minutes north of downtown is also a great place to enjoy fantastic ales and lagers.