Doing San Diego for Free

by on November 27, 2012 · 3 comments

in California, Environment, Popular, San Diego

View of the San Diego skyline from the south.

There’s a blogger at San Diego Free Press, John Patrick Anderson, who’s made it a habit to find and write about places to go to for free in beautiful but expensive San Diego.  In fact, his column over at our sister site is called “San Diego for Free“, and he’s written about our local museums, parks, biking paths and architecture of interest.

John leads off every column with this:

A weekly column dedicated to sharing the best sights and activities in San Diego at the best price – free! We have a great city and you don’t need to break the bank to experience it.

Also at the front-end of each column is the day or time the place is open for free to the public, their website and physical address.

Whether he’s encouraging you to go to the New Children’s Museum with your kids (free to all the second Sunday of every month), The Museum of Photographic Arts  (free on the second Tuesday of each month), the Timken Museum of Art (always free), or check out the free Spreckels Organ Concerts on Sundays, you can be certain he – and probably his own daughter, Eva – have checked them all out.

The Spreckles Organ Pavilion

Seems Balboa Park is one of Anderson’s favorite places, as he wants you to visit its Botanical Building (free most days) and he definitely promotes its multitude of bike trails yet he also counts bike trails around San Diego Bay as one of his choice areas to bicycle. Often he’ll include photos of the areas or places he’s pushing for you to see.

Here is what John said about San Diego’s great natural areas:

San Diego has an amazing breadth of natural features: coast, mountains, deserts, oceans, lakes, rivers, and much more.  If you’re looking for a good way to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with the natural side of San Diego County check out the Canyoneer Hikes from the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Salk Institute

 He wants you to experience the canyon hikes, and explore the peaks and valleys of San Diego County, the “best” beaches and close by federal parks – like Joshua Tree National Park. And he advocates other places, like the Salk Institute for Biological Studies – which he calls a “architectural gem nestled above the Pacific”, and amazing campus art at the Stuart Collection at UCSD .

Anyhow, when you get a chance, go over to our sister publication and peruse John Anderson’s attempts to get you off the couch and into a museum or bike path. All for free.

Here is what the SDFP says about him:

John was an accountant in a former life and now devotes his time to child-rearing, reading, writing, and working to ensure that San Diego is truly America’s Finest City. Interested specifically in environmental issues, John is always interested in learning more and connecting with others that want to improve the health of our world and community. You can find John on Twitter (@walkingmisseva) or feel free to email him at Comments, suggestions, wisdom, and complaints are enthusiastically welcomed.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “SD for Free” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!

It does seem fitting, doesn’t it, that the San Diego Free Press would press for free San Diego stuff?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Patty October 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Love to go to places for free! Another resource that I’ve found and have been using is San Diego Family Fun. They provide deals and free activities and events across all of San Diego County. Their website URL is:


John Anderson October 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Thanks for sharing this resource Patty, looks like they have a ton of stuff!


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