7 Great San Diego Date Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank!

You want to take that special someone out – but you’re a little strapped for cash? That’s OK, we’ve all been there at one point or another!

The good news? Not every date needs to be a $200 dinner at a fancy restaurant.

In fact, some of the best things in our fair city are completely free!

We’ve rounded up seven of the best cheap date ideas in San Diego for a tight budget. So don’t be shy, grab that special someone and get yourselves on the town!

1) Watch The Surfers At Seaside Reef

Photo Credits: Creative Commons

Located just south of Cardiff on the 101, Seaside Reef (Cardiff State Beach) is where you can experience the ‘Pro Show’ every morning and afternoon. Some of the world’s top professional surfers play here daily, testing new moves & boards.

We recommend stopping by Bull Taco at 101 N. Coast Hwy to grab a couple of San Diego’s best. There, two people can easily get full for under $15.

After that, head on down the 101 to Seaside Reef State Park. $10 if you park in the lot, free on the street.

2) Stroll Through Ray at Night

Photo Credits: Jlantzy
Photo Credits: Jlantzy

North Park’s Ray at Night happens every second Saturday from 6-10 p.m. and is packed with quality fun! From art exhibits & food vendors, to live music and more, you’ll both have a blast without blowing your budget.

As San Diego’s longest-running monthly art walk, it’s grown to include local jewelry makers, painters, photographers, musicians and more.

3) Get Cultured At Balboa Park Museums

Photo Credits: Chad Thomas
Photo Credits: Chad Thomas

Every Tuesday at Balboa Park, San Diego residents get into alternating museums free with ID (Military and their families are included in this as well). From ancient man to priceless art, there’s something here for everyone.

There are food vendors available, but we recommend you pick-up Saguaro’s about 2 miles away. Tasty, fresh and hot, one burrito is definitely big enough to share for just $6.

4) Enjoy The Views At Sunset Cliffs

Photo Credits: Chad Thomas
Photo Credits: Chad Thomas

Sunset Cliffs just South of O.B. has great views, a good vibe, and multiple trails to intimate spots. Less than half a mile down the street is the Sea Trader Deli, which has delicious sandwiches for around $6 and an affordable beer/wine selection.

Grab a sandwich and some drinks and head down to watch the surf roll in.

5) Take In A Concert In the Park

Free concerts can be found in nearly every corner of the county, year-round. From Ramona Concerts (Aug-Oct 1st) to Seaport Village’s Salsa Under The Stars at 739 W. Harbor Dr. (Aug-Dec. 16th).

From Blues to Salsa, there’s something for everyone. SwingORama has a detailed calendar to help you find what’s close on any given day.

6) Picnic At The Old Mission Dam

Photo Credits: Chad Thomas
Photo Credits: Chad Thomas

Old Mission Dam is a great picnic spot along a small section of the San Diego River. Part of the Mission Hills Regional Park, it’s located just off Mission Gorge Rd, North off the 8 or South off the 52.

Despite its closeness, you’ll feel a million miles away in this lush-green locale. Plenty of tree shade, easy access to parking and clean restrooms.

7) Ride The Coaster At Belmont Park


Belmont Park is a classic San Diego fun-spot – an everyday carnival but with way better food! There’s the Giant Dipper roller-coaster ($6/ride) and so much more.

Tucked just off the Boardwalk, this is one of the most overlooked activity sites by new residents. Just one visit and you’ll agree there’s great fun and some of the better, more affordable food on the beach.

There you go…no excuse to stay at home! Go enjoy these great cheap date ideas in San Diego and have some fun!

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