Hipster Things To Do In San Diego When You Are Broke

Did you know that San Diego is the second most hipster popular city in California? No wonder, because San Diego is on the Pacific coast and is only 3 hours away from Los Angeles. Let’s discover all the fun hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke.

San Diego is the home of the world renowned San Diego Zoo, a beautiful harbor and also exciting aircraft exhibitions. Whether you are traveling from abroad or even live locally, it is costly to visit all of the sightseeing locations. Sounds like we need to save money with these hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke.


How Much Money Does It Cost To Travel To San Diego?

According to the statistics, the average cost per person to travel to San Diego is $170 per day, which is $30 cheaper than traveling to Los Angeles. The average cost of a trip to San Diego for one week is $1,193 per person, including food, accommodations, transportation and entertainment.

All the pleasures in life shouldn’t be so expense. Let’s find hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke so that we can save money and still have fun exploring new places.


Hipster Things To Do In San Diego When You Are Broke

Hipster Things To Do In San Diego When You Are Broke #SanDiego #ThingsToDo

source: @smelsen.young

Good news is there are hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke that locals don’t even know about. We are going to explore everything from free things to do in San Diego to fun things to do at night and also fun places to eat when you are broke.

So bring along your daypack, because we’re headed on a wild adventure around the city to find hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke!


Where To Stay In San Diego When You Are Broke

Where To Stay In San Diego When You Are Broke #SanDiego #WhereToStay

source: @maddiebroderick

Consider your accommodations all taken care of if you already know where to stay near the beach in San Diego. But if you need help planning your weekend getaway trip to San Diego, then you are on the right place!

  • Hotel On the Beach: Want to stay at a hotel on the beach with a breathtaking view? This boutique hotel in Little Italy is under $100. Stay where there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance, take a walk on the beach and visit the Waterfront Park.
  • Family And Kid-Friendly Hotel: This modern retro vibe hotel is perfect for the whole family. Stay here so you can easily visit the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld within a 10 minute drive from the hotel.
  • Hotel On A Budget: If you are tight on a budget, this luxury contemporary hotel on a budget is under $65 a night. Furthermore, it is only a 15 minute drive to the beach.
  • Romantic Hotel For Couples: This romantic hotel for couples offers live music every night. In addition, it offers high-end California wines and craft beers to celebrate the evening with your loved one.
  • Best Hotel For Nightlife: The hotel is within walking distance of the shopping venues and the Gaslamp Quarter. Not only is it the best hotel for nightlife, but it is also a dog friendly hotel for under $100.
  • Best RV Parks in San Diego: Featuring kid-friendly options and fun for the entire family, these are the campgrounds you want to stay at most. Plan your weekend camping trip and stay at these exciting RV parks in San Diego!

Free Things To Do In San Diego Today

Free Things To Do In San Diego Today #SanDiego #ThingsToDo

source: @lucaspics

Be sure and add these free hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke. There are so many free things to do in San Diego today without spending any penny.

  • Visit over 30 beaches in San Diego.
  • Stop by La Jolla Cove to watch the sea lions.
  • Walk around the Gaslamp Quarter to people watch by the art galleries, the speakeasy, and restaurants.
  • Capture the sunset at the Oceanside Municipal Pier.
  • Take a brewery tour with free beer samples.
  • Hike to the top of Cowles Mountain and Mt. Soledad.
  • Whale watch at Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument.
  • Explore the 59-mile scenic drive.
  • Visit Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for hiking, camping and star-gazing.
  • Take a walk on the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge.
  • Free admission at the San Diego Botanical Garden every Tuesday.


Unique Things To Do In San Diego

Unique Things To Do In San Diego #ThingsToDo #SanDiego

source: @emileehazlett

These are must visit places on the list of hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke. If you are looking for cool, hidden and unusual attractions while visiting San Diego, here are the top unique things to do in San Diego.

  • Sunny Jim Cave Store: The Sunny Jim Cave Store has a private entrance to a sea cave that you can easily access by land.
  • Whaley House: The Whaley House was built in 1856, and is the most historic and haunted home located in the San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood.
  • Lucha Libre Taco Shop: Need a quick bite? Grab a taco at the Mexican wrestling themed taco shop.
  • Harper’s Topiary Garden: Visit Harper’s Topiary Garden and get inspired by over 50 artfully manicured shrubs.
  • Lemon Grove Mummies: Near San Diego, visit the Lemon Grove that is famous for its Giant Lemon and mummified bodies.
  • 1895 Looff Carousel:  This carousel was build in 1895 and features over 40 horses and a mixture of other animals like camels, giraffes, and elephants.
  • Zoro Garden: This 1915 stone garden was once home to a thriving nudist colony. Now, it is a beautiful butterfly garden that contains both the larvae and nectar plants needed for the complete life cycle of butterflies.


Hipster Things To Do In San Diego At Night

Things To Do In San Diego At Night #ThingsToDo #SanDiego

source: @ednaonthemoon

Nightlife isn’t all about bar and clubs, especially if you are looking for hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke. There are plenty of fun things to do in San Diego at night that will be more memorable:

  • Visit Mount Soledad for a stunning view of the city lights.
  • National Comedy Theater for fun evening.
  • Live music at San Diego House of Blues.
  • Catch classic Tony award-winning plays at the Old Globe.
  • Night fishing along the San Diego shore.
  • Build a bonfire at San Elijo State Beach.
  • Join a star party at the San Diego Astronomy Association.
  • Watch the beautiful sunset at Sunset Cliff.
  • Midnight whale watch from late December to March.


Things To Do In Downtown San Diego

Things To Do In Downtown San Diego #SanDiego #ThingsToDo

source: @sandiegofoodgirl

Downtown San Diego is a slightly different scene than downtown Los Angeles. It has more historical homes and fun local activities that you don’t want to miss on your San Diego trip.

  • USS Midway Museum
  • Whale Watch
  • Harbor Cuise
  • PETCO Park Tour
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • GoCar Trous
  • William Heath Davis House
  • Seaport Village
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego


Fun Places To Eat In San Diego When You Are Broke

Fun Places To Eat In San Diego When You Are Broke #SanDiego #FoodieTravel

source: @noodleandchili

From brewery tours to unique hip restaurants, there are plenty of fun places to eat in San Diego when you are broke. Be sure to add these restaurants to your bucket list of hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke. Using the tips below, you will get to save money and enjoy the local food experience even more:

  • For Brunch: Organic coffee and healthy breakfast options will make you reconsider any food for thought. Get 5% cash back and enjoy a locally roasted fresh cup of coffee with fresh baked goods.
  • In Central San Diego:  More than 2,000 locals gave this restaurant a 5 star rating! Grab a slice of stuffed thick pizza and a craft beer on the side. Get paid 20% cash back for this quick lunch special.
  • In Hillcrest San Diego: From house made chocolate sauce to fluffy marshmallow and graham cracker topped cake donuts, who can resist fresh baked cake donuts. Get 30% cash back when you grab a dozen donuts to share with your friends and family!
  • In Little Italy: This homemade cuisine will take you straight to Argentina. Stop by for lunch or dinner to get the signature skirt steak and mahi-mahi con salsa de mango!
  • In Liberty Station: Looking for award winning burgers? With over 1000 different beers every year, enjoy the house made burger patty that will never make you rethink the best bacon burger ever again.


San Diego has everything to offer with the stunning beach views and fresh ocean breeze. From good food to hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke, have fun exploring the cit.  Know that you can find plenty of fun things to do to save money along the way..

What’s your favorite unique experience when traveling in San Diego?

Share your fun experiences with us!


fashion wanderer

These hipster things to do in San Diego when you are broke are THE BEST! #SanDiego #ThingsToDo

Soonjoo Uh

I graduated with a bachelors of arts degree in fashion design. I worked in the fashion industry as a lead designer for major brand name labels such as Stitch Fix, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Dillards. Now, I am the founder of the website Fashion Wanderer where I share current fashion trends, style tips and how to build a capsule wardrobe collection.

  1. Definitely my kind of my post! I’d love to visit San Diego and see my friend but I’m always broke! I will have to add these to the things to do to save some money when I finally make it out there!

    1. Haha yes do add this to your San Diego bucket list of things to do to save money! You will have a blast visiting all the free places and local attractions in the city.

  2. Great post – so many great ideas for cheap things to do! It sounds like there is so much to do in San Diego…

  3. These are some great tips! There are always free options of things to do wherever you go, the key is just figuring out what they are!

    1. Organize your list of activities and prioritize the ones you wish to visit most 😉 Find the best free things to do when you visit San Diego and share any tips that you have with us!

  4. Awesome ideas for what to do when visiting San Diego! It’s nice that you included a section on free things to do.

    1. Everything fun doesn’t have to cost lots of money. Enjoy the free things to do in San Diego so that you can save on your travel expenses 😉

  5. I totally want a bubble waffle now! I think there are always cheap things to do when visiting a city, you just have to be open to explore! So many great ideas in here.

    1. I agree, there are always cheap things to do in a city if you do your homework and explore around! That was our intention so that we can share our fun experiences with others 🙂

  6. It’s always great to know the cheap/free things to do in a city. Traveling can be so expensive. I think of all of this, the hidden entrance to the sea cave sounds like so much fun!

    1. Yes Sunny Jim Cave Store is pretty unique, but I’m most interested in the all the fun places to eat in San Diego 😉 I really want the Bubble Waffle!

  7. Very true that San Diego swings to the extreme on the cost scale ~ very expensive to having hundreds of free things to do / see. Maybe considered “hipster”, but the county is very diverse to include having over two dozen microclimates. The only city you can go in which you can dive, ski, and skydive in one single day. Yes, I live here.

    1. We really enjoy visiting San Diego! There are so many fun and adventurous things to do. Interesting fact that you shared, didn’t realize that you can ski in San Diego!

    1. Yes I hope that you find this list of things to do in San Diego useful on your trip! Please share your fun experiences with us 😉

    1. San Diego is a great place to visit. There are many things to do, places to visit and sights to see. San Diego is a great bucket list travel destination.

  8. Again with the awesome images! This is a such a great list for those visiting that may be low on funds. My faves would be to whale watch and to hike on those beautiful trails you mentioned!

    1. Thank you Shan. We absolutely love hiking trails and anything to do with the ocean and beaches. Guess the outdoors and nature continuously calls to us 😉

  9. I absolutely love San Diego and there certainly are lots of things to do even if you are on a tight budget. One of my favorites is La Jolla Cove! I just love watching all of the sea lions 😍

    1. La Jolla Coe is such a great place to visit! The sea lions are everywhere and just being on the ocean shore is worthwhile 🙂 We love the beach!

  10. I love all of this. We haven’t been to SD in 5 years and I am dying to go back. Its such a gorgeous place!

    1. Thank you Neely. We love visiting and exploring new destinations. San Diego has so many places to visit and things to do that you could never run out of fun activities to do 😉

  11. After exploring the south for the first time this year, I’m made it a goal to make my way to California next year. I’ve never been to the West Coast. Blogs like this make San Diego and easy choice and I’m looking forward to trying some of the things on your list.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing such amazing tips. We recently moved from Miami to Seattle and we had never been to the west coast before. San Diego is definitely on top of our bucket list.

    1. We love the west coast and San Diego is a must visit location on this side of the country. Good choice to add to your travel bucket list

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