Wallet-Friendly San Diego Summer Date Ideas

San Diego is an exceedingly charming destination. And one of the things that makes it so endearing? Its abundance of park space, beaches, and public areas make it a very budget-friendly city in which to have a good time. You just don’t need to splash out a lot of cash to enjoy yourself here. To that end, we thought we’d put together an overview of some date ideas that will easily fill your fun meter without breaking the bank. 

Chat Over Coffee

(Photo: @betterbuzz)

San Diego’s coffee culture is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Having a warm conversation over a couple of cups of coffee is a timeless way to enjoy that special someone’s company without redlining your debit card. We’re big fans of Better Buzz Coffee around here —  not just for their perfectly-roasted, organically grown beans, but for their commitment to maintaining a fun environment for customers to indulge. 

801 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 (1.7 miles)


Take Some Liberty

(Photo: @libertypublicmarket)

Liberty Public Market is one of those places that could really only happen in “America’s Finest City.” Located on the site of the former San Diego Naval Training Center, Liberty Station is the place to go for unique shops, a public market featuring fresh foods as well as fantastic restaurants, and even a movie theater. Today, it’s a de facto “town square” of sorts for the city, drawing millions of visitors every year. Don’t miss it while you’re here!  

2820 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106 (4.4 miles) 


Enjoy Balboa Park 

(Photo: @balboapark)

Balboa Park is a crown jewel of San Diego. At 842 acres, it’s one of the largest urban park spaces in the country — making it an even bigger green space than New York’s Central Park. It’s also home to some of San Diego’s most acclaimed museums, as well as the stunning Japanese Friendship Garden. While you and your date are there, be sure to visit the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, and take in a free concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion

1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 (4.8 miles)


Have Some Tacos On the Beach

(Photo: @mikestacoclub)

Tacos are the quintessential grab-and-go street eats, and San Diego has the bar-none best tacos in the entire US — so much so that you really can’t go wrong anywhere in the city. Mike’s Taco Club in Ocean Beach has a menu that’s packed full of hot, juicy, made-fresh favorites, and all at prices that will encourage you to sample a little of everything. So load up on some tacos, head across the street to the beach, and watch the waves crash on the shore as you crush some serious taste. Check out the “Best Tacos in San Diego” post from our sister property Days Inn San Diego Hotel Circle if you’re still hungry for more.  

5060 Newport Ave, Ocean Beach CA 92107 (5.6 miles)


Watch Out For Windmills

(Photo: @belmontparksd)

Taking on a few rounds of mini-golf is always a good way to enjoy an afternoon on a budget. And Belmont Park in beautiful Mission Beach has a course that will get you on some teeny greens for just $10. And when you’ve sunk your last putt, you’re welcome to experience the boardwalk-style fun in the rest of the park. So, go head: play some games. Win some prizes. Have some cotton candy. And enjoy a sunny day out on the beach. 

3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109 (5.8 miles)


Pick Up a Pizza and Watch the Sunset

(Photo: @silvergirlphotography_)

One of the greatest things about San Diego is our melting-pot culinary culture. In addition to having the best south-of-the-border flavors, our long-established Italian community has brought some spectacular continental cookery to “America’s Finest City.” In particular, Rosaria’s Pizza in Point Loma makes a pretty premium pie for a very reasonable price. So pick your toppings, grab one to go, and then head to nearby Sunset Cliffs just a block or two away. If there’s a better way to watch the sun go down than sitting on a blanket with a date and a fresh, hot pizza? We haven’t found it yet.  

4719 Point Loma Ave, San Diego, CA 92107 (6.1 miles)


Seal Of Approval

(Video: @lajolla.ca)

If you’d like to check out some marine life in its natural habitat, a famous colony of seals and sea lions lives near the Children’s Pool in La Jolla. Be sure to bring your camera to capture these playful animals. While you’re there visit The Cave Store, a popular La Jolla gift and souvenir shop. The store offers self-guided tours of the cave by reservation for just $10, so call ahead and set up a time to go spelunking.   

850 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037 (11.2 miles)


Hike at Torrey Pines

(Photo: @torreypinesreserve)

Torrey Pines State Reserve is one of San Diego’s most beautiful natural places, and the hiking in the preserve only gets better when the weather cools down. You and your companion can expect to discover centuries-old sandstone formations sweeping elegantly across the terrain just adjacent to truly spectacular views of the water. You’ll also find one of the rarest trees in existence: the Torrey Pine — which grows only two places on the planet. 

12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037 (16.4 miles)


Pull Up to an Old-Fashioned Drive-In

(Photo: @theclubhouseib)

There is perhaps no more nostalgic slice of Americana than the classic drive-in — and San Diego is home to one of the best still in operation anywhere. The South Bay Drive-In will only run you a ten-spot for an adult ticket, and shows classics and contemporary films alike on their massive outdoor screen — just the way it used to be. So pull in, sit back, grab some popcorn from the snack bar, and revel in the Hollywood magic. You can even bring in your own food and drinks if you like!

2170 Coronado Ave, San Diego, CA 92154 (18.9 miles)


Stay at Days and Save

Budget-conscious travelers know: you won’t find a better stay for a friendlier price than at Days Inn San Diego Hotel Circle. We’re centrally located, have fantastic guest amenities, and offer competitive rates all summer long. You’re always welcome to head to our outdoor pool on weekends to enjoy poolside movies at our Splash Cinema. Also, check out our Special Offers page for some fantastic San Diego travel deals!