8 Free Things to Do in San Diego with Your Group

San Diego is a sunny, sandy, super fun California destination that is known for its beaches, warm weather, and entertaining attractions all throughout. This city is truly a great one to take your group to visit, but sometimes it can be costly, especially if you are trying to see and do it all during your visit.

While this trip CAN get expensive, it doesn't have to, especially when you are aware of all the fun free attractions offered throughout the city, from Balboa Park to La Jolla Shores!

Here are some free things to do in San Diego so your group won’t break your bank when you visit.

  • California Surf Museum
    • This fun museum showcases surf history from the first foam board to today, honoring famous surfers and the evolution of the sport in general all along the way. The museum admission is free and gives guests the opportunity to learn about inspiring surfers, the history of the sport, and all about the newest, best boards in the business.

  • Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
    • Considered to be the 'Birthplace of San Diego', the Old Town State Historic Park is an excellent, FREE, place to take your group while visiting the city. Within the park, you will find historic buildings, museums, shops, and restaurants, with many of the museums offering free admission. Enjoy a simple stroll around the park to take in the historic sites, then head into the free Wells Fargo Museum or San Diego Sheriff's Museum.

      Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Pixabay Public Domain

  • Embarcadero
    • San Diego's Embarcadero is nicknamed 'the landing place', this being the spot where cruise ships dock and historic ships such as the USS Midway are located. There is a fun, free waterfront park for kids, and the stroll along the way provides the best scenic water and city downtown views in the city. You can easily walk from here to the Seaport Village for shopping opportunities as well.

  • Beaches
    • There are 17 miles of coastline total in all of San Diego, the city featuring 9 highly popular beaches that allow guests to swim, surf, scuba, and have a great time in general, all for free! The most popular beaches in town include La Jolla Shores, Mission Bay, Moonlight State Beach, Torrey Pines, and Coronado, any of these choices great for your group during your trip!

      San Diego Beach Scene Pixabay Public Domain

  • Summer Movies in the Park
    • In an effort to 'take back the parks' for families the county of San Diego has been putting on free movies at the park during the summers since 2007. Various parks feature movies each weekend from May to October, a free, fun way to spend your Friday or Saturday nights during your visit. The showings include movies rated G to PG-13, showing everything from Disney classics to the newest Marvel movies.

  • Balboa Park
    • Balboa Park first opened in 1868 as 'City Park', a historic spot that still offers guests tons of fantastic free fun. There are over 1200 acres of gardens, museums, and theaters to explore, the gardens, trails, and historic buildings always free. Explore the Inez Grant Rose Garden, stroll El Prado, admire the Spanish Renaissance architecture throughout, and pay a visit to the 1910 historic Carousel in the park before you go.

      Balboa Park Pixabay Public Domain

  • South Park
    • Located just east of Balboa Park you will find South Park, one of the first suburbs of San Diego, dating back to 1905. This is a great place to stroll, window shop, enjoy community events and/or festivals, and support local businesses. Of course, many people just like coming here to enjoy the scenery and people watching, which is always free!

  • Taylor Guitars Tours
    • If you have ever wondered just exactly how guitars are made then this free 1-hour tour is perfect for you, Taylor Guitars offering guests a special inside look at their factory. Learn how guitars are created from start to finish, including the wood choices and how they affect the sound the instrument produces. You will get tons of information on the company and its influence along the way as well.

      Taylor Guitar Pixabay Public Domain