Free Things To Do In San Diego, California.
Ahhh… the lovely three free! Now we are going to focus on one of my favorite cities – San Diego! Yay!
As summer is warming up the ocean waters and tourists are coming in by the boat load, I thought this would be perfect timing for anyone planning a trip to what is self proclaimed as “America’s Finest City.” San Diego really is an incredible city and from wine tasting lessons in the park to Hare Krishna temples, taco shops and surf shops (and the hot surfers that go along with them) on every beach block, it has something for everyone! I’ve been here for six years, and it’s really hard to leave.
O.K., there isn’t anything unusual about Balboa Park but it is too incredible not to note here. Visiting Balboa Park is a must stop for anyone traveling to San Diego. There are museums (many which are free once a month), impeccable gardens, amazing Spanish architecture, food, wine, shopping – the list goes on and on. Of course, some of those things (like food) involve money but really you don’t need to spend a dime to have a great time here. It’s a huge park, right in the middle of the city. And if you go on a Sunday, you can pack a picnic and listen to the awesome outdoor organ pavilion. You can also bring your own wine – bonus! There’s also a great dog park here so your pooch can run around and get a work out in.
Day trip to Tijuana
Yes, I realize some of you will think this is a crazy idea but really it’s not. Tijuana is fun, interesting and it’s a different country located just 20 minutes away from the center of San Diego. So you get all the wonderful Mexican culture the minute you walk over the border. (ok, the first minute you walk across is kinda boring & dirty). Head over to the Zona Rio, and walk along the shops or see what your eyes might spy in the red light district. Just drive or take the trolley to the border and walk across. Prepare for a long wait on the way back into the U.S. but just enjoy it – it really is all part of the experience. You might even see the children fire blowers. Yes, they blow fire, yes they are young children – it really is just 100% wrong – you’ll think the same thing if you see it. In any case, you’ll have an interesting time in Tijuana without even spending any money. Of course, forking up $2 for a margarita & $1 for 3 street tacos might not be the worlds worst idea either. Just saying.
Tip: US Dollars are welcomed everywhere in TJ and be sure to take the money out of the ATM before you cross the border so you don’t get hit with the big international fee from your bank. While you may not spend any money while you are there be sure to take some with you in case you need to pay a bribe, etc. Never go to Mexico without some cash as a back up plan. If you are looking for Spanish style items for your house, you’ll find them in Tijuana at less than half the going rate in San Diego. If you want to drive across the border, then check out these tips for driving in Mexico.
Hiking, Nude Sunbathing and Hang-Gliders: Torrey Pines State Reserve
Torrey Pines is BEAUTIFUL! Sandstone cliffs line the waters edge and lead you down to a sparkling ocean and huge beach. When I first moved here I did this hike and really fell in love with San Diego. It’s gorgeous. This is also the only place you’ll spot the Torrey Pine Tree. The hike down isn’t hard but coming back up is a good work out. It is a cliff so you have to be careful where you walk, but if you are really fit and great with balance, you can bring a surfboard down the cliffs to the break below. I, personally, would not attempt this because I have a hard time carrying a surfboard anyway, but Randy has done it a couple times. On the bluff atop the cliffs there is a hang- gliding company. People run off the cliffs and glide around over the ocean before coming back. I feel bad for the suckers who end up in the water because that’s a tough walk up with all that equipment. I have seen it happen before too.
Now directly below the hang gliding section is where the nude beach is. Fun! While there is sign designating the clothes optional section of Black’s Beach, it is not really that obvious. But you’ll figure it out pretty quickly when you see swaths of older, naked men sunning themselves. There are some ladies as well but mainly it’s men. It’s fun really! You don’t have to be nude to enjoy the sites, in fact if you go walking around there fully clothed you will definitely meet people. I was there a while back with my friend (fully clothed) and people kept coming up to us left and right. It was funny. We even took pictures with a sociable naked man (except for his hat & sunglasses!). Those pictures were actually taken with a film camera so I can’t share them here but it was an unforgettable experience. If you’re not into nakedness – no worries, the rest of the beach is a normal bathing suit zone. So you can hike down and relax on the beach for a few hours in your bathing suit without even seeing naked people. But really can you do that when you know there are naked people frolicking in the ocean just about 1/4 mile away? Me neither.
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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!
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