Category: Travel and Vacations

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Florida

best places to visit in Florida,

Pristine and world ranked beaches, wildlife, adventurous family-friendly theme parks, and hundreds of museums and entertainment locations, Florida has so much to offer.

How do you choose where to visit for your next Florida trip?

Here is a guide to help! Keep reading to learn what makes these cities the best places to visit in Florida.

1. St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is ranked #1 best places to visit in Florida by U.S. News and World Report for lots of reasons.

To start, St. Petersburg neighbors Clearwater beach, which is ranked one of the world’s best beaches for its white sand and beautiful clear water.

St. Pete has it’s own beautiful top-ranked beaches, too, where you can find vacation spots for every type of traveler. Whether you want lively spring break-style fun, water adventure, or a more quiet and relaxing vacation, you can find it in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg downtown hosts an array of entertainment, shopping, art, and exceptional food. It is an artistic and hip place with something for everyone.

If you like craft beer, then you’ll definitely enjoy St. Pete’s beer scene. And did I mention the food? Well, it’s amazing featuring everything from Latin, Cuban, Cajun, American, Italian, and more.

Downtown is also home to historical architecture and museums including the world famous Dali museum.

And if you’re a baseball fan, you can catch a game at the Tampa Bay Rays stadium in downtown St. Pete.

St. Petersburg is a great place to vacation for the adventurers out there. It is home to many historical sites, including archeological ones like Fort De Soto. St. Pete also features tons of parks and preserves where you can see beautiful nature and wildlife.

Last but not least, if you are a dog owner then St. Pete is the place for you. The town of St. Petersburg was ranked the most pet-friendly city in the country last year!

2. St. Augustine

This one is for the history buffs out there!

St. Augustine, Florida is the country’s oldest city, founded by Spain in 1565. Visiting this beautiful city is like stepping back in time and into a whole new country.

The Spanish architecture and culture is vast and gorgeous. There are tons of historical sites to visits including forts, museums, and the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

The city sits on the Atlantic ocean and features harbors and nearby beaches. You can experience the typical beach vacation while exploring our nations oldest history.

And if you’re into Spanish food, there’s lots of it to be had in St. Augustine!

3. Orlando

While you won’t find white-sand beaches, Orlando has tons of fun to offer. It is ranked #1 in best places to visit in Florida for family vacations.

Orlando is home to the happiest place on earth–Disney World. Disney provides a world of theme parks, shopping, shows, delicious treats, and more. There is something for everyone, not just children.

Check out my tips for planning a Disney trip with children.

Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure provide additional fun and entertainment. They offer movie-themed rides and shows from our favorite films including a real-life adventure through the world of Harry Potter.

We highly recommend doing the Universal VIP tours for a personalized experience without the waits!

Orlando has more than just theme parks, though. There are renowned outlet malls for exceptional shopping, tons of restaurants featuring top-ranked chefs, and exciting nightlife downtown.

4. Siesta Key, Sarasota

Siesta Key beach in Sarasota, Florida, was ranked the country’s #1 beach in 2017 and for good reason. The beach features shiny white sand, clear waters, cleanliness, and preserved nature. It truly is the perfect place to get away to and relax.

Plus, it is one of the larger beaches in Florida. So, you can wander the shoreline for hours and find different things to do in different areas. Whether you want to play sand volleyball or get lost in nature, you can!

Sarasota itself has a lot to offer, too. The shopping, great food, boutiques, Ringley museum, fishing, and more make Sarasota one of the best places to visit in Florida.

These are just some reasons why celebrities choose Siesta Key and Sarasota for their home.

5. Miami

Welcome to Miami! The home of celebrities, famous pristine beaches, the country’s best Cuban food, and more shopping than you can handle.

Miami is full of life, culture, and fun. It is one of the best places to visit in Florida if you’re looking for nightlife, dancing, and vibrancy. It is also a place to find trendy restaurants featuring world-renowned chefs.

And don’t forget about the beaches. Miami’s South Beach is ranked #4 for U.S. best beaches. Fort Lauderdale, another ranked beach, is nearby as well.

Both beaches and surrounding areas feature fun-in-the-sun such as parasailing, watersports, and deep sea fishing.

6. Key West

The southernmost point of the United States can be found in the Florida Keys. Surrounded by clear water, the island of Key West is a place everyone should visit.

Key West features adventure and relaxation. There are beaches everywhere you turn with teal waters and exotic corals. You can find spas, retreats, and resorts, too.

For the adventurer, Key West offers some of the best sea fishing in the country. In addition, there’s snorkeling and scuba diving, watersports, and lots of cute walks or bike ride to be had.

If you’re into history and reading, you can’t pass up seeing Earnest Hemmingway’s home!

7. Crystal River

Crystal River is an underrated vacation spot where local Floridians escape to for their own vacations. It is perfect for the nature-lovers out there who want to escape into wildlife and peacefulness.

Crystal River sits on Kings Bay, which is a spring-fed bay. There are natural fresh-water springs that you can swim in where the water stays cool and crystal clear all year. You can literally see the bottom.

Crystal River also features kayaking, canoeing, scalloping, fishing, and manatee watching. There are wildlife refuges surrounding the town and an early Native American archeological site on the northwest side.

Best Places to Visit in Florida–Where Will You Go?

Whichever place you choose to visit in Florida, you won’t regret it.

Once you’ve decided, check out our tips on vacation planning, packing, deals, and more.

If you’re looking to start saving for that vacation, we can help with that too. We have tons of unique ways that you can earn extra money.

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Las Vegas Vacation

save money on vacation

Las Vegas is one of the world’s top vacation destinations, bringing in billions of tourists each year. And while Sin City has a bit of a shady reputation, it’s actually a great place for families to visit.

Of course, Vegas, maybe more than any other vacation destination, tends to be a bit pricey.

But that’s no match for a thrifty momma! Here are five great ways to save money on vacation.

1) Buy Groceries

Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s finest dining. Chefs like Buddy Valastro, Emeril Lagasse, and Wolfgang Puck each have well-regarded restaurants in Vegas.

Of course, a meal for one at any of those restaurants can be pricey, not to mention a meal for your entire family.

Buying groceries and preparing a meal or two (in addition to snacks) is a great way to save money on vacation. Simple foods like noodles, sandwiches, and fruit snacks are all easy, quick meals.

When you do go out, try and stick to buffets and food courts, as they offer the most value for their price.

2) Skip The Hotel

Lodging is often one of the biggest financial drains, but modern technology has made it far more affordable.

Sure, you could try and make your way through crowded and overheated hotels, spending hundreds of dollars in the process.

Or you could rent through Airbnb or FlipKey and enjoy your own private space, complete with all the creature comforts of home.

Staying at a rented home is a great way to cut back on costs and line your pockets with more cash for your vacation. And in larger cities like Las Vegas, there are tons of great homes to choose from.

3) Plan Activities Ahead of Time

Spontaneity is one of the best parts of a vacation. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive if you’re not careful.

Fortunately, Las Vegas has no shortage of great activities for the whole family. You can save money on vacation by planning your itinerary ahead of time.

Use sites Las Vegas Jaunt to find great deals on food, lodging, and entertainment. You can still take in Cirque de Soleil without breaking the bank!

4) Set an Entertainment Budget

What’s a trip to Las Vegas without visiting at least one casino? If you plan on gambling, avoid the mistake that many others have made before you: give yourself a budget.

Casinos are designed to distract and entice you to play just one more game of chance. Next thing you know, you’ve lost hundreds of dollars.

Have fun, but be responsible. Set a budget and stick to it by carrying cash only in casinos.

5) Use Public Transportation

Even if you’re bringing your own car to Las Vegas, it’s often easier to make use of the city’s wonderful public transport system.

Vegas offers both a high-speed monorail system and a bus system to get visitors around the city. It’s perfectly safe, and best of all, quite affordable.

Save Money on Vacation And Make Great Memories

Creating memories that will last a lifetime doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With these tips, you can save money on vacation like a pro and still have a great time.

Don’t forget to check back with Thrifty Momma Ramblings for more great tips on how you can save money and raise a wonderful family in the process.

10 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Vacation

Last-Minute Vacation

Based on a recent study of when to get the cheapest flights, you should plan to buy your ticket exactly 54 days ahead of time. While this is ideal for the planners among us, it’s not exactly the most fun and spontaneous way to travel.

Whether it’s stress-driven or just the need for excitement, passing up a last-minute vacation can make you feel all sorts of regret.

Even if you get to travel for work, you’re still jetting around in the context of your obligations. To truly relax your mind and body, you need to be able to book a couple of days every few months where you can shake loose your responsibilities.

A little planning could make the experience all the better.

If you’re a serious schedule who is trying to break free of your habits, follow these 10 tips for planning your last-minute vacation.

1. You’ll Have to be Flexible

If you want to save a few hundred dollars, avoid flying on Friday and Sunday. If you have a flexible work schedule, work through a weekend and plan your trip for a Monday through Thursday for better prices.

Several ticketing websites will allow you to see a side-by-side comparison of different prices.

Change the length of your stay by a few days and you could save even more. Places with big tourism industries and daily flights in and out of their airports will have lots of last minute deals. You’ll see more last-minute vacation deals for someplace like Bermuda than for Omaha.

2. Choose Your Flight First

One of the biggest showstoppers for a last-minute vacation is prohibitively expensive airfare. If you happen to live someplace where you can be on a vacation in a couple of hours by tossing your bag into the car, then take advantage of that when you can.

Otherwise, you’ll be at the mercy of the price of a flight.

Lots of deals are found at 14 to 21 days before you plan to leave. Typically flights get more expansive as you get closer to the departure date.

If you’re looking to get to a beach, any beach at all, you could stumble upon a great deal if you keep hitting that refresh button during your lunch break at work.

3. Check Your Passport

Depending on where you’re headed, you might need to bring a passport. If you haven’t updated yours in a while, double check that it’s still valid. You might be surprised to find out that it expired since the last time you traveled with it.

While getting a new passport at the last minute is a serious headache, expedited passport renewal exists for people in that situation. Hopefully, you’re in luck and you don’t have to renew your passport before your last-minute vacation.

You should double check just to be on the safe side. Planning in advance is nice but it’s not always an option.

4. Update Your Medical Details

If you’ve started taking a new medication since the last time you traveled, make sure you’ve got plenty of back-ups before you leave. Even just a few days without your medication could be ruined without it.

Make sure any documentation you need for your meds is handy. Having things confiscated at the airport is no way to start your vacation. Prepare a little bag with just the health and wellness essentials so that you can just toss it into your bag as you’re packing.

If you have a prescription, take a photo of it on your phone so that in the worst case, you might be able to get a small dosage while you’re out of town.

5. Go For The Off Season

If you’re looking to get to a popular vacation spot like Orlando or Martha’s Vineyard over the holidays or on the Fourth of July, you’ll be paying top dollar. You’ll have to book months in advance, pay the highest price for hotels, and struggle to rent a car.

If you go in October instead, you could get a much better deal and end up having no trouble booking any amenities. You’ll also be avoiding all the loud and sweaty crowds of people.

Do something local on the popular end of the season and then enjoy the best vacation spots during the off-season.

6. Ask A Travel Expert

If you’ can’t decide where to go and money really isn’t an issue, contact an agent or a travel expert to help you out.

If you don’t know the difference between the islands of Hawaii or whether you should go to Albany, Georgia over Albany, New York, ask an expert. You’ll get tips on where to stay, places to eat, and things to see. They might even use their personal contacts to get you a good deal or some nice upgrades to your hotel.

7. Non-Refundable Means Non-Refundable

Have you ever tried to get a refund for something that was labeled “non-refundable?” You’re basically up against a brick wall.

While some hotels and flights will give you as much as a 24-hour window to decide last minute you don’t want to stay, others will charge you anyway. Make sure that if there’s a possibility you’ll get a cold before your last-minute vacation that you’ve purchased some kind of insurance or refundable policy.

8. If It’s Too Good to be True, Run

Any deal that seems too good to be true probably is just that. Avoid getting ripped off if you don’t think you’re going to get what you’re being promised. Look for online reviews if possible.

9. Waitlists Work

Getting on a waitlist could get you put on a flight for a super low price. If you can’t afford the going price of a ticket for the Bahamas, make a call to the airline and see if they can offer you a waitlist deal if your schedule is flexibl\e.

10. Pack Today

Don’t save your packing until the last minute. You’ll forget something important like your bathing suit for the beach or your binoculars for a birdwatching tour. Do it with plenty of time so you can think through your baggage carefully.

A Last-Minute Vacation Will Be Memorable

Doing something spontaneously is a great way to make a permanent memory. You’ll have fun doing things you never thought you’d be doing a week before with people you might never see again. Stay loose and let the world show you how to have fun.

If you’re ready to book your next vacation, contact us for more tips on how to save money.

8 Essential Tips for Planning a Family Cruise

family cruise

A cruise with your loved ones is a once in a lifetime experience for many that they will cherish forever. But if you’ve traveled with your family before, you know how hectic that experience can be.

It’s important to have a plan in place so your family cruise sails as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when planning your cruise.

Have a Discussion

Even if you are the primary vacation planner in your family, it’s important to involve everyone in your cruise decision. You don’t want anyone to be unhappy while you’re trying to have the time of your lives.

Talk to your family about where you want to set sail. Do you want to cruise around the Caribbean or Central America? Maybe you prefer a cruise through the Mediterranean? Or perhaps you want an Alaskan adventure.

You might even want to take a river or lake cruise, like what Wayzata Bay Charters offer.

Keep in mind that the destination you are cruising to will heavily influence the duration of your cruise. Make sure that everyone is available for the dates that you end up choosing.

Choose When and Where Wisely

Deciding on where to cruise can be relatively easy, because a lot of people have dream destinations in mind. But figuring out when to go might be more tricky.

It may make sense for you and your family to set sail in the summertime when the kids are off at school and things may be relatively slow at your job. But this is when cruise costs are at their highest.

Depending on the cruise line you book, you may end up saving half the cost if you decide to go in the offseason. But this offseason does depend on where your destination is.

If you’re sailing to a place like Alaska, you may not be able to book a cruise for certain times of the year. Make sure you do your research so you’re not paying an exorbitant amount of money unnecessarily.

Watch Out For Deals

There are always deals and discounts available through cruise lines and travel agents, especially for a family cruise. If you’re traveling with children, you may be able to receive a hefty discount or possibly free travel on certain dates.

You will likely be able to save a lot of money if you’re able to book the cruise far ahead of time. Your flight to the port you will be leaving from will also probably be much cheaper.

This is not always possible, especially for large families, but the earlier you plan your trip, the less it will cost you in the long run. This is a great way to ensure that your vacation stays under budget.

Focus on a Family-Friendly Atmosphere

The important thing to take note of is not all cruise lines are exclusively family-friendly. The reality is that if you attempt to book a lower cost cruise line during Spring Break season, you’re going to run into some partiers.

Do some research into cruise lines that tout a family-friendly atmosphere so everyone in your family feels comfortable. Some of these lines will have special themes or experiences that will keep kids and adults entertained.

The idea behind a family-friendly cruise experience is that everyone has something to do. If your kids get bored while on the boat or at port, it’s going to be hard for anybody to have a good time.

Plan Your Excursions

Excursions are an essential part of the cruise experience, and one that not enough families plan for ahead of time. Did you know that in most cases, you can start booking excursions as soon as your reserve your cruise?

This way you will be able to choose from the wide range of options that your cruise line offers. If you wait until the last minute, you won’t have that luxury.

Common excursion offerings include snorkeling, scuba diving, tours, and more. Choose an excursion that highlights the unique appeal of the locale you will be visiting.

If your cruise line allows it, you may be able to book excursions through a third-party service. This can be a great way to save money. Just make sure that you research the company ahead of time to make sure they are reputable.

Furthermore, you’ll likely need to keep track of time yourself while on a third-party excursion, so make sure you get back to your boat in time. You don’t want to be stuck in port!

Spend Time Together and Apart

The best thing about a cruise is that you’ll have ample time to spend quality time with your loved ones. You should take advantage of that time as much as possible. But being together in close quarters can start to get trying after a couple days.

That’s why most cruise lines offer kid-friendly and adults-only areas of the ship, so every member of your family can get some time to do things for themselves. Give your kids some time to socialize while you relax at a private pool.

Then, meet up later for dinner and catch an evening show. You can be as flexible with your schedule as you want!

Talk About Safety

Cruises are generally very safe, but it’s still important to have a conversation with your family about making smart decisions. Pay attention to the safety debriefing before you set sail.

You may not have cell phone access, so make sure you designate a meeting spot on the boat in case one of you gets lost. Keep track of your family and your belongings when you’re at port.

In some area, tourists are targeted for petty crimes, so you should make sure you stick together when you’re off the boat.

Stay Organized on Your Family Cruise

The key to having a fantastic family cruise is to stay as organized as possible. It’s okay to be flexible, but make sure you have a plan in place so you don’t waste any time!

Do you have any stories about your family cruise? Share it with us in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more money-saving tips.

4 East Coast Cities You Probably Won’t (But Should) Visit This Summer

east coast cities

Did you know that New York City boasts an average of 60 million tourists every year?

But while large cities on the east coast are popular, they can also be expensive. Luckily, there is a wide variety of affordable, lesser-known cities on the east coast that are just waiting to be discovered.

If you’re looking for a unique vacation this summer, you can’t go wrong with one of these smaller east coast cities.

Salem, Massachusetts

Just north of the busy city of Boston is the smaller town of Salem, Massachusetts. Of course, Salem is best known for the famous witch trials that took place in colonial days. You can learn more about this stage in American history at the witch trials museum.

The town is right on the water, which makes it a beautiful place to visit in the summer. That said, the fall foliage also makes it an ideal place to visit in autumn. You can also visit haunted attractions in the month of October.

Asheville, North Carolina

If you need to switch things up from the visiting the beach, you can take a trip to the city of Asheville, which is nestled in the mountains of North Carolina. This small town is famous for its arts community. Activities include outdoor music festivals, artisan shops, and locally-sourced farm-to-table restaurants.

While you’re in town, make sure to check out the Biltmore Mansion. This property is the largest privately owned residence in the United States and is open to tours.

Williamsburg, Virginia

If you enjoy the east coast’s rich history, then Williamsburg, Virginia is an ideal place to visit. In Williamsburg, many of the buildings maintain their colonial style of architecture. You can also tour colonial neighborhoods that are still paved with cobblestone and frequented by horse-drawn carriages.

During the day, re-enactors will educate you and your family about the way of life in colonial Williamsburg. In the evening, you can take a walking ghost tour to get more insight into the town’s haunted history.

Portland, Maine

When people think of national parks, they often think of the west side of the country. But while there may not be as many national parks on the east coast, the ones that are there are fantastic.

In Maine, you can appreciate the unique landscape at Acadia National Park. This park is marked by clear skies and blue waves crashing into the craggy, rocky shore.

If you’d like to try something more rustic, you could always go camping in Acadia National Park. Pack some sleeping bags, some Keto frozen meals, and you’ll be good to go!

Not far from Acadia, you’ll find the small coastal town of Portland, Maine. While not as well known as it’s Oregon counterpart, Portland, Maine is a great place to get seafood and explore shops.

Get Ready to Explore East Coast Cities

With a trip to any of these four east coast cities, you’ll be sure to have a fantastic yet affordable summer vacation.

Did we forget to mention your favorite city? Let us know where you love to travel to in the comments!

England vs. Ireland: Where Will You Take Your Family Next?

England vs. IrelandFamilies that vacation together, stay together! The only question is where will you travel next! If you’re looking for your next vacation spot choose between England vs. Ireland.

Not only are both of these locations stunning but they also many fun, interactive sites that everyone in the family can enjoy. Learn about what makes these two countries special, and find out which one is the perfect destination for your next trip.

England Vacations

Nearly 36 million people visit England every year on vacation. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and it’s no secret why.

Whether your family likes to visit historical sites, eat delicious food, or spend a relaxing say in the countryside, England has it all.

Spend a day at the Natural History Museum in London. It contains some of the most amazing artifacts and fossils in the world. Did we mention it has delicious food as well?

You can also visit some of the more popular sites. These include Harry Potter World, the Ironbridge Gorge, Blackpool, Warwick Castle and more. England is home to dozens of famous locations. Which one will your family visit first?

If you’d rather avoid the crowds, just head to the Lake District instead! Lakeland Holidays outlines dozens of activities that will take your family vacation from bland to grand. Here you can go boating on the lake, shopping in the center, or hiking.

These are just a few of the best attractions that England has to offer. If you’re looking for a well-rounded trip, England’s your place!

Ireland Sites

However, if you’re looking for a relaxed and beautiful trip, Ireland is the place to go. With its rolling hills and stunning cliffsides, your family will be entertained for days.

It’s even better when you bring your dog as well. Here are our 8 tips for traveling with pets. Ireland is the perfect trip to bring your family pets. The wide-open ranges will give them room to run around, and fewer crowds.

Want to get out of the countryside for a day? Ireland also has some stunning towns and villages as well. Spend the day in Dublin and Killarney. There you’ll be able to interact with locals and get the true authentic Irish lifestyle.

If you’re lucky you might even be able to see some Irish dancing.

However, Ireland is very large, so just keep in mind that you might not be able to see everything. Here are our tips for traveling safely when you’re on vacation.

While you’re there don’t forget to visit authentic Irish pubs and castles!

Time to Choose between England vs. Ireland

Whether you’re traveling to England or Ireland, your family vacation is going to be great! Both sites are extremely popular for their own unique reasons.

When choosing between an England vs. Ireland vacation, find the site that best suits your family and their needs. You can’t go wrong with either of them.

Planning a trip? Let us know! Comment below with some of your travel tips!

9 Awesome Things to Do in Downtown San Diego

downtown san diegoPlanning to visit San Diego?

If you’re worried you’ll only find sunny beaches and the usual high rise of skyscrapers, think again. Home to over 1.4 million people and 34.9 million annual visitors, there’s a lot to see and do in the city.

It’s home to historical architecture dating back to the Spanish conquest. The weather down there is the most comfortable you’ll experience in the whole country too.

Don’t waste your time and money wandering around with no direction. To help you craft the perfect itinerary, here are 9 awesome things to do in downtown San Diego.

The Spanish Village

Visiting the Spanish Village is among the best things to do in downtown San Diego. You’ll find it in Balboa Park, right between the Natural History Museum and the Zoo. It’s home to the works of over 200 artists and 37 studios and galleries.

It started back in 1935. Back then it was an artist colony and haven for the California Pacific International Exposition. Since then the US military used it during World War II and afterward went back into the hands of native artists.

USS Midway Museum

This aircraft carrier has the honor of being the longest-serving ship of its kind in history, serving the US Navy for over 50 years. When it first launched in 1945, it was also the largest ship in the world.

The ship has gone through a long history of war until its decommissioning in 1992. It is now a permanent resident of downtown San Diego.

Visitors can go on self-guided tours through the living quarters, flight control towers, the flight control deck, and more. The ship is popular enough that it made its way into popular shows like The Bachelor and American Idol.

Little Italy

If you want a luxury vacation then you have to go to Italy. If you want a similar experience while exploring other things to do in downtown San Diego, you can do so in Little Italy.

Little Italy was once an Italian neighborhood and fishing village. This is the best place to eat because of the numerous Italian restaurants and it’s also home to several art galleries.

San Diego Zoo

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim and his companion Yakov Lapitsky filmed the media site’s first video here. It’s also the zoo where the animals from the Madagascar films came from before they went on their wild adventures.

The zoo is popular for being one of the first establishments of its kind to feature cage-less and open-air exhibits. This emulates the natural habitat the animals came from.

If you’re looking for a Giant Panda, this is the zoo to go to. This zoo is one of the few places where they managed to breed and maintain healthy members of the species.

The Gaslamp Quarter

This is right in the center of downtown San Diego and is a historical site that goes on for 16 and a half blocks. If you’re looking for fun nightlife activities and metropolitan hot spots, this is where you need to go first.

It is home to 94 historic buildings. Many of these originated during the Victorian Era and are still open to this day. These historic sites now find new functions as restaurants, art galleries, and boutique shops.

People looking for San Diego homes for sale often do so because they want to live close to this particular corner. San Diego can be one fun place to relocate to and the Gaslamp Quarter is a great example why.

Balboa Park

You can’t say you tried all the things to do in downtown San Diego until you explored every nook and cranny of Balboa Park.

This massive place covers 1,200 acres of land and is home to 15 attractions and popular venues, 16 museums, and 17 gardens. Of the numerous museums, the highlights include the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Museum of Man, and the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

Some of the places included here, such as the zoo and Spanish Village, are within the park’s perimeter.

California Candle Gallery

A rare and unique store, the California Candle Gallery can craft fresh and colorful candles right before your eyes.

The company uses a special, patented process that helps them cut through several layers of colored candle wax. This lets them cut and mold candles into any image.

If you’re looking for a great souvenir, then this is the shop to look for. You can find it in the heart of the next highlight, Seaport Village.

Seaport Village

Are you looking for live music and fine dining with a grand view of the Pacific Ocean?

With over 14 acres of top-of-the-line establishments, the Seaport Village is the place to go for fine dining and a weekend of shopping. You’ll also get to walk down the waterfront boardwalk and visit a hand-painted carousel dating from 1895.

This is also the recommended spot to visit for romantic dinners and relaxing evenings. If the Gaslamp Quarter is too noisy for your tastes, this can be the best alternative for a soothing vacation.

Whale Watching

Do you want to enjoy the different things to do in downtown San Diego but also aim to stay thrifty during your travels? One affordable but nevertheless enjoyable experience is to go whale watching.

This activity lets you and others ride out to the open ocean for three and a half hours. The trip alone is enough to let you relax and enjoy the coastline view.

During the excursion, you may catch a close-up view of sea lions, dolphins, and the majestic grey whales. They often appear during the winter season, which is when they migrate from Alaska down to Baja California.

Stay Thrifty Enjoying the Things to Do in Downtown San Diego

Looking for something a little more casual, perhaps? Do you want to find the best camping grounds or do you need tips to save money while exploring San Diego?

We can help you with all those details and more. Our goal is to help you enjoy life while staying thrifty.

Have further questions about the main tourist spots in San Diego? Looking for other thrifty tips and tricks? Feel free to contact us now and we’ll do our best to answer any and all your inquiries.