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Sand, Surf & Sun: Guide to Affordable Fun at San Diego Beaches

Vacations are expensive. Travel, food, hotels, souvenirs, and admission fees can add up quickly and put a damper on what’s supposed to be a relaxing time. All of these things are necessary to a vacation, of course, but sometimes it’s nice to create some memories without having to pull out the wallet. San Diego’s beaches can provide hours of cheap and sometimes free fun. All it takes is a little creativity and some know-how to create a budget friendly experience.

Thinking Outside the “Sand Box”

All of San Diego’s beaches are free to the public. Everyone can spend a day basking in the sun, making sandcastles, aggressively seeking seashells, and carefully exploring the many tidepools found on the San Diego coast. But once the fun of these activities has passed, there are still many other places to go and things to do on the cheap. For example, Mission Bay Park is a 4,600 acre aquatic park nestled along 27 miles of shoreline with islets, inlets, and waterways to explore. Water activities abound here and the gentle waters and steady breezes are perfect for kite surfing.

Torrey Pines State Park is another place to hit up while on vacation, offering free shows daily as this beach is a hot spot for hang gliders. Take a picnic lunch and watch the daring athletes ride the wind on colorful gliders. Whales and dolphins have been known to frequent these waters so a keen eye can spot these gentle creatures as they play in the warm sea. Free docent led tours (1 to 1.5 hours) on weekends at 10am and 2pm guide visitors through the park, providing the history of the area and information on the topography of this popular beach

Finally, the San Diego Bay is 34 miles of waterfront broken into seven distinct areas, all filled with local merchants, dining options, and parks and marinas. While quick stops through all seven areas can give insight into the entire area, visitors can also choose to spend an entire day in one location, remaining completely entertained for their entire visit. Parks and wildlife refuges dot the entirety of Big Bay, offering views and information about local fauna and endangered and threatened wildlife. More information can be found here on Big Bay’s detailed website.

What to do After a Day at the Beach?

Once you’ve gotten your fill of the sand and surf, retreat back to a comfortable and spacious room at the Pacific Inn. Located in downtown San Diego, our guests are not far from the harbor and are within a 10 minute drive of San Diego’s most popular beaches. We welcome guests with our affordable hotel rates, clean and spacious rooms, and a variety of complimentary amenities. For more information about our hotel, contact a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 or check out our website at www.pacificinnsd.com.

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