Affordable San Diego

With great deals on airfares available from across the country and reasonable gas prices at the pump, now is the perfect time to book a trip to San Diego. A San Diego getaway doesn’t require a lot of money. Now more than ever, savings-savvy travelers can stay in great hotels, dine in trendy eateries and enjoy the region’s many family friendly attractions without breaking the bank.
Guests can take advantage of special discounts and package deals that offer up to 50 percent in savings at many San Diego attractions. Plus, visitors can always find special offers and cost-saving coupons at

  • For half-price ‘day of’ performance tickets to San Diego theater, music and dance performances, guests can visit the convenient ARTS TIX booth located at downtown San Diego’s Horton Plaza. ARTS TIX is a public service of the San Diego Performing Arts League.
  • Valid for seven consecutive days, the Passport to Balboa Park provides visitors with admission to 13 museums in Balboa Park including the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum for Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and more. The Passport costs $39 for adults (a $85 value) and $21 for children (a $41 value). The Zoo/Passport Combo pairs the Passport to Balboa Park with one-day “best value” admission to the San Diego Zoo including a 50-minute bus tour and Skyfari tram ride. The Zoo/Passport Combo costs $65 for adults (a $130 value) and $36 for children (a $61 value).
  • With the Go San Diego Card, visitors can enjoy more than 55 San Diego attractions, activities and tours, including the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND California, Birch Aquarium at Scripps, a PETCO Park tour, San Diego Harbor Excursion cruise, bike and boogie board rentals and a wine tasting at the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center in downtown San Diego. Prices start at $60 for a one-day card, with lower per-day rates for children and multi-day cards.
  • The Southern California CityPass allows travelers to visit many of the major attractions in Southern California with considerable savings. Guests can enjoy admission into SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Zoo or its Wild Animal Park, Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland and Disneyland’s California Adventure Park. The CityPass is valid for 14 consecutive days and costs $259 for adults (a $365 value) and $219 for children (a $306 value).

Travelers can find major shopping opportunities throughout San Diego County, and savvy shoppers should head straight to the outrageous deals available at the area’s outlet centers.

  • Located next to Viejas Casino in San Diego’s East County, Viejas Outlet Center features 57 outlet stores and bargains galore. In the evenings, guests can also enjoy free laser-light and music shows at the Center’s outdoor amphitheater.
  • Nestled beside the picturesque Flower Fields of Carlsbad California in San Diego’s North County, Carlsbad Premium Outlets is home to more than 90 name-brand discount outlets that offer everyday savings of 25-60 percent.
  • Strategically located on the world’s busiest border crossing—San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, The Shops at Las Americas is the county’s largest outlet mall with more than 125 fashion-brand outlet stores.

San Diego offers a variety of affordable and entertaining transportation options to visit and tour the region.

  • Many of San Diego’s favorite places can be reached easily and inexpensively by riding a San Diego MTS Bus. One-way fares are $2.50 per passenger, and kids ages 5 and under ride free every day. On Family Weekends, every Saturday and Sunday, two children ages 12 and under ride free with any paying passenger over the age of 18.
  • The red San Diego MTS Trolley is a fun and cost-effective way for travelers to get around town. The trolley travels to destinations around the County, including the international border, downtown San Diego, Mission Valley and Fashion Valley shopping centers, Little Italy, Old Town and select East County communities. Day Tripper passes allow for unlimited use on the trolley and the region’s buses for as little as $5 per day.
  • Old Town Trolley Tours offers full-day tours, featuring a running narration of San Diego history along with entertaining anecdotes. For the cost of a $32 per adult and $16 per child, guests can enjoy on- and off-privileges at 10 different stops, including Old Town, the USS Midway Museum, Seaport Village, Coronado, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park and more. For guests not getting off at any stop, the tour lasts two hours.
  • During April–October, visitors can purchase a City Sightseeing San Diego ticket, valid for two days, and enjoy a narrated tour on a red, double-decker bus with on- and off-privileges at the USS Midway Museum, PETCO Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza, Balboa Park, Old Town and the Ferry Landing in Coronado (a pass for the ferry from downtown San Diego to Coronado is included in the ticket price). The cost is $30 for adults and $20 for children.

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