Cheap Thrills in San Diego This Fall

by Eugenia Lazaris

Sep 19, 2019

Marco Bicci | Dreamstime.com


San Diego is a great destination for families looking for fun no matter what time of year it is, but this fall, there is plenty to do for everyone — even when you have a budget. Thanks to year-round sunshine, the best way to explore this city is by heading outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather.


Balboa Park is always a great place. This complex of museums, gardens, restaurants and attractions is home to the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Botanical Building with its picture-perfect lily pond. While some attractions at the park require admission fees, a large portion of the park is occupied by beautiful gardens and iconic sites free to enjoy and perfect for a day of outdoor exploration.


Wander the park’s EthnoBotany Children’s Peace Garden, the 1935 Cactus Garden or the Spanish Village Art Center to get a feel for the city, its history and its Spanish architecture. The “El Cid” statue, the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Tower are San Diego landmarks and must-sees for anyone visiting the city. For just $3 per person, the family can enjoy a ride on the Balboa Park Carousel, an original 1910 carousel in beautiful condition.


To truly enjoy San Diego and its great weather, head to Waterfront Park right along the harbor. This local hangout is a great way to spend a day with the family as the kids will love playing in the interactive water fountains. There is also local artwork on display, picnic areas and grassy areas for relaxing and taking in the sun. The park is open 6 a.m.–10 p.m. daily and, with no entrance fees, your day of fun won’t break the bank.

San Diego Waterfront Public Park. Photo: F11photo | Dreamstime.com


For $45 per person head to the beach to explore the coastline and the local sea caves with the La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour. An expert guide will help you navigate the coastline while you learn all about the local ecology and marine life.


To see more of the beautiful coastline without getting wet in the process, take the San Diego Harbor Cruise starting at just $28 per person. There are two cruises to choose from, either a one-hour or a two-hour excursion through San Diego Bay while you take in the beautiful San Diego skyline and the sites of the bay like the USS Midway and the Coronado Bridge.


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