San Diego Staycation Ideas



Family vacations are so great to spend with your kiddos and family–especially during the summer when they are out of school. Depending on where you go the expense really adds up! Plane Tickets, gas, food, lodging.. phew!

Have you ever considered a Staycation? Exploring the city you LIVE in (or live close enough to)  for fun, inexpensive or FREE family activities. In San Diego, there are quiet a few things that you can do that are budget friendly–then you can go home and enjoy the comfort of your home.

1. Beach! While this may be obvious–there are several wonderful beaches in San Diego. This can take up most of your day–so dedicate a day!

2. Ocean Pier — longest pier on the west coast at 1971 feet into the ocean

Ocean Beach Pier
1950 Abbott St.
San Diego, CA

3.  Seaport village— you can walk the village and visit unique shops and see many performers entertain!

4. Balboa Park — Very unique gardens and museums. While the park admission is free– the museums are fairly priced at have lots of excited exhibits.

5. Trolley Rides — Take a ride through the city for $5 on a day pass. This is a great way to get to the various parts of downtown San Diego

6. Presidio Park — walk the grounds and visit  The Serra Museum for a small fee.

7. Coronado Ferry— travel to Coronado island and back on this great ferry! 


8. Embarcadero Waterpark– fun and FREE water park for kids and adults! 

  • 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA. 92101

As you can see, there are so many things to that you can do in San Diego with very little money required! Please share your Staycation ideas in the comments below! 


Not looking for a San Diego Staycation? Check out other Staycation ideas below!


A – D

Phoenix, Arizona — Saving For Someday
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous

F – I

Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida —
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois — Entertaining Chicago
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss

K – P

Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High

R – W

Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That


  1. Ekanne says

    I work at that park that you posted above- it’s a County Admin. Building in San Diego… nice park recently opened.

  2. sarah @ little bus on the prairie says

    My husband and I have done this several times for our anniversaries. We save up change in a sparkletts jug every year and use the “hidden deals” sections of travel websites to get great deals on the best hotels. We’ve never been disappointed!

    • Mariana says

      Can you share the website for hotel deals, I will be going to san diego this weekend. I really need a good deal any recommendations?

  3. KC says

    & if you are in Escondido you can check out a kids pass to the children’s museums from the library. On Tuesdays there’s various free admissions to certain museums within balboa park. Check to see if balboa park is hosting free events, which they often do on the weekends during summer. There’s missions, the light house, old town & tons of hiking places & cool parks.
    Make sure to check amazon local & groupings & try to get your hands on an entertainment book… & there’s a lot of restaurants here that have kids eat free on certain night. Hth someone 😉

  4. Michelle says

    Watch a Padres game! Park at the Park tickets are the cheapest and Sundays are family days. They fill the grassy area with inflatable jumpies for the kids. The New Children’s Museum in Downtown is awesome! $10 per person or $80 for an annual FAMILY pass!

  5. Mary says

    The Flying Leathernecks aviation museum is free located in miramar. Goimg to
    go check it out for the first time today

  6. Stephanie Kay says

    That is a really cool looking climbing structure! We started exploring Rhode Island last summer with a project called R is for Rhode Island. Basically we’re creating our own alphabet book about all things RI. It’s been fun and a lot cheaper than Disney!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *