Ways to Save! San Diego Travel Guide (on a budget)

What budget travel means to you?

Tour takes us out of our coziness and inspires us to check, taste and try a new worlds. It constantly challenges us, not only to adapt to and explore new surroundings, but also to engage with different persons, to embrace experience as they come and to share new and meaningful experiences with playmate and girlfriends.


At one of Marriott’s San Diego hotels, you can enjoy exceptional accommodations and service at a price that won’t break your budget. Whether you’re interested in sight-seeing and sun worship or traveling on business, you’re sure to find a Marriott San Diego hotel that’s right for you and right where you want to be.

When you’re on vacation, you’ll appreciate Marriott’s unique blend of comfort, luxury, and affordability. If you are on a business trip, Marriott’s hotels in San Diego offer state-of-the-art technology for your work and the best spa services for your enjoyment.

It has been said that the best things in life are free. And if you’re staying at one of the 26 Marriott San Diego hotels, you’re in luck! We want our guests to enjoy this exciting city to the fullest, regardless of the size of their budget. That’s why we’ve put together this list of San Diego’s “best kept secrets” that are absolutely free:

Timken Museum of Art: More than 600 years of art history is housed in the modern architecture of the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park. Enjoy masterpieces by Rembrandt and Rubens, as well as works by American painters such as Eastman Johnson and John Singleton Copley. Always free, call the Timken today for hours and special visiting collections (tel. 619/239-5548).

All the museums in Balboa Park: this may be the best kept local secret! All museums in Balboa Park are open to the public free of charge one Tuesday a month. This is America’s largest urban cultural park, with more than 25 museums and attractions. But how do you know which Tuesdays which museums are free? We have listed the days off for you:

1st Tuesday of each month: Museum of Natural History (tel. 619/232-3821), Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (tel. 916/238-1233), Model Railway Museum (tel. 916/696-0199)

2nd Tuesday: Museum of Photographic Arts (tel. 619/238-7559), Museum Historical Society (tel. 619/232-6203)

3rd Tuesday: Museum of Art (tel. 619/232-7931), Museum of Man (tel. 619/239-2001), Mingei International Museum (tel. 619/239-0003), Japanese Friendship Garden (tel. 619/ 232-2721), Museum of the Living Artist (tel. 619/236-0011)

4th Tuesday: Aviation Museum (tel. 619/234-8291), Automotive Museum (tel. 619/231-2886), Sports Museum Hall of Champions (tel. 619/234-2544)

Organ Pavilion Concerts: The 4,518 pipes of the world’s largest outdoor organ have been in almost continuous use since 1915. Enjoy free concerts all year round, every Sunday at 2:00 PM at Spreckel’s Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park (tel. 619/702 -8138).

Chicano Park Murals: Considered the largest and most important collection of exterior murals in the country, the Chicano Park Murals celebrate and honor Latino heroes and culture. The more than 70 works of art adorn the mainstays of the Coronado Bridge in the Chicano Park of Barrio Logan, National Avenue at Crosby Street (tel. 619/563-4661).

Gone Fishing: You don’t need a fishing license to fish from a San Diego municipal pier. Just bring your own pole and some suntan lotion.

Self-Realization Fellowship Temple: Built by a yogi in 1937, this retreat in Encinitas, 215 WK St., offers incredible vistas. An architectural marvel, with its lotus-shaped towers, it also features cliff-side meditation gardens overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Visitors are welcome free of charge (tel. 760/753-2888).

Tijuana: There are many reasons why Tijuana is the country’s most popular frontier city. If you’ve never been there, this is a must see. If you’ve been there, it’s a wish to see it again! It’s a short car or trolley ride and it’s free to see the sights.

US Olympic Training Center: See for yourself where the Olympic athletes train and, if you’re lucky, get a taste of some upcoming gold medalists. Free tours are offered throughout the year at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. It is the first multi-sport Olympic training complex to have year-round warm weather (one of four in the United States). A 6-minute film about the Olympic movement is followed by a guided tour (a 1 1/2 mile walk) of the impressive 150-acre campus. One-hour tours run every hour on the hour, Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm, Saturdays from 9am to 4pm and Sundays from 11am to 3pm (tel 619/656-1500).

Old Town: OK, they’ll charge you for food at the largest collection of authentic Mexican restaurants in the area, but the historical tours in the city’s oldest neighborhood are free. Visiting Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is like stepping back in time to experience the history of early San Diego. Even today, life slows down in Old Town. The historic square continues to be a meeting place for community events and historic activities. Old Town, the birthplace of California, is just a short walk from the San Diego Trolley Transit Center and a short drive from most San Diego destinations. Check out their website at www.oldtownsandiego.org/.

Walkabout International: Put on your walking shoes and experience San Diego up close. It’s fun, free and for all ages. Walkabout International is a non-profit educational group that promotes neighborhood walks in urban, suburban and rural settings around the world. Guided walks vary in pace and duration, many ending with an invitation to socialize over coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner. Check out their website for their walking calendar and destinations at www.walkabout-int.org

San Diego is an ideal vacation destination – with so much to do, much for free, and the climate to enjoy it all year round. For more entertaining and budget-friendly ways to enjoy San Diego, visit the concierge at any of the Marriott’s San Diego hotels where you’ll be staying.

So go ahead, book your vacation at a Marriott San Diego hotel today! With so many San Diego hotels to choose from, you’re sure to find one where you want to be. Some of Marriott’s San Diego hotels include:

Courtyard San Diego Downtown

San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina

San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter

Residence Inn San Diego Downtown

Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa

…And much more! Book today!


Why is budget travel good for you?

Travelling relieves stress and boosts mental health

Tour has the ability to take you out of stress and into new circumstances and adventur and this can reset your body and mind. Even planning a trave can have an amazing effect on the chemistry – it boosts happiness and feels joyful.

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