Ways to Save! San Diego Travel Guide (On a Budget)

You can experience exceptional accommodations and service at a price that won’t blow your budget at one of Marriott’s San Diego hotels. Whether you are interested in sight seeing and sun worshiping or you are staying on business, you are sure to find a Marriott San Diego hotel that is right for you and right where you want to be.

If you are on vacation you will appreciate Marriott’s unique blend of comfort, luxury and affordability. If you are traveling on business, Marriott’s hotels in San Diego tout state of the art technology for work as well as the finest in spa services for pleasure.

Now, it has been said that the best things in life are free. And if you are staying at one of the 26 Marriott San Diego hotels you are in luck! We want our guests to fully enjoy this captivating city, no matter the size of their budget. That is why we have put together this list of San Diego’s “best kept secrets” that are totally free:

Timken Museum of Art: Over 600 years of art history are housed within 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 like 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 number one best-kept local secret! All of the 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’ve put together a list of the free days for you:

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

2nd Tuesday: Museum of Photographic Arts (tel. 619/238-7559), Historical Society Museum (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: Aerospace Museum (tel. 619/234-8291), Automotive Museum (tel. 619/231-2886), Hall of Champions Sports Museum (tel. 619/234-2544)

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

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

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

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

Tijuana: There are many reasons that Tijuana is the country’s most popular border town. If you have never been, it is a must see. If you have been there, it is a want to see again! It is a short drive or trolley ride away, and taking in the sights is free.

U.S. Olympic Training Center: See for yourself where the Olympic athletes train and, if you are lucky, get a sneak peek at some upcoming gold-medal winners. Free tours are given year-round at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. It is the country’s first warm-weather, year-round, multisport Olympic training complex (one of four in the United States). A 6-minute film about the Olympic movement is followed by a narrated tour (a 1 1/2-mile walk) of the impressive 150-acre campus. Hour-long tours are given every hour on the hour, Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm, Saturday from 9am to 4pm, and Sunday from 11am to 3pm (tel. 619/656-1500).

Old Town: OK, they’ll charge you to eat in the area’s largest collection of authentic Mexican restaurants, but the historic tours in the city’s oldest neighborhood are free. A visit to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is like stepping back in time to experience the history of early San Diego. Even today, life moves more slowly in Old Town. The Historic Plaza remains a gathering place for community events and historic activity. 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 walking in urban, suburban, and rural environments throughout 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 calendar of walks and destinations at www.walkabout-int.org

San Diego is an ideal vacation destination – with so much to do, much of it free, and the climate to enjoy it year round. For more entertaining and budget friendly ways to enjoy San Diego, visit the Concierge at one of Marriott’s San Diego hotels you are staying at.

So, go ahead, book your vacation at a Marriott San Diego hotel today! With so many San Diego hotels to choose from, you are sure to find one right 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 many more! Book Today!