Escape the Ordinary: Cheap Weekend Getaways from San Diego That Won’t Break the Bank

Cheap weekend getaways from San Diego


Cheap weekend getaways from San Diego are a great place to visit and explore, with plenty of activities to do whatever your interests. If you’re looking for a cheap weekend getaway from San Diego, consider visiting some of the nearby cities like Los Angeles or Las Vegas. Both of these places offer plenty of entertainment and attractions at an affordable cost. The beaches in San Diego are also great for a weekend escape, with warm temperatures and plenty of fun activities such as surfing, swimming, fishing, and beach volleyball.

You can also find great deals on accommodation in San Diego’s many hotels and resorts. For a more unique experience, try camping or glamping at one of the area’s many campgrounds or state parks. Whatever your budget may be, there’s sure to be a great weekend getaway from San Diego that won’t break the bank! 

We selected some of the best destinations for a trip from San Diego on a budget.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a great destination if you’re looking for a weekend getaway in San Diego. 

Palm Springs is known for its golf courses and resorts, but it also has an abundance of restaurants and hotels in its Palm Springs area. You can play a round of golf or relax by the pool.

The city’s atmosphere is relaxed with plenty of outdoor activities to do if you’re not golfing or relaxing at one of its many hotels or resorts.

Palm Springs is also home to celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Frank Sinatra, who have made it their home away from home over the years or at least until they come back.

It is a great destination for a perfect weekend from San Diego since it’s a two-hour drive from downtown San Diego.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is located in California, near Las Vegas.

If you are planning a weekend road trip from San Diego to Death Valley on a budget here are some tips:

1. Budget for gas: The distance between San Diego and Death Valley is about 300 miles, so plan for gas expenses.

2. Consider camping: Death Valley has several camping options, including free dispersed camping areas. This can save money on accommodations.

3. Bring your food: Bring food and drinks for your trip to avoid buying expensive meals. You can stop at grocery stores along the way to refill your cooler. 

4. Look for free activities: Death Valley has plenty of free activities, including hiking, stargazing, and exploring the unique landscape.

5. Research the best time of year to visit Death Valley to avoid peak season prices. Also, make sure to bring all necessary gear and supplies to avoid purchasing them at higher prices in the park. 

6. Carpool or travel with friends: Splitting gas and accommodation costs can help you save money on your trip.

Remember to also stay safe and follow park guidelines while on your trip!

The landscapes are amazing. You can see them from the road or if you go off-the-beaten path as we did.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is a great place to visit. It has so many different things to do, and getting there from San Diego is easy. 

There are many different places for you to stay, and you can choose the one that’s best for your budget and interests. Grand Canyon National Park is a great destination during the summer, but it’s also very popular in other seasons too. 

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are in California, just north of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The parks are located within Santa Barbara County, which is part of the Central Coast region.

President Benjamin Harrison established Sequoia National Park on July 1, 1890, through a,n executive order. 

The park is named after Sequoia sempervirens, a giant redwood tree that once grew in abundance here before being cut down for timber and firewood by early settlers.

It covers over 1 million acres (4%) of land area with over 6500 recorded specimens including the General Sherman Tree located at 89 feet tall with a circumference of around 250 feet across.


 A day trip to Temecula from San Diego can be a great budget-friendly vacation option. It is a very short drive. Temecula is known for its wineries, but there are many other things to do in Temecula that won’t break the bank. There are several hiking trails around the city, including the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. There is also Old Town Temecula, where you can walk around and visit the local shops and restaurants. Additionally, there is the Temecula farmers market where you can find locally grown produce and other goods. To save money, consider packing your meals and snacks rather than eating out, and try to limit any shopping to just a few small souvenirs. With careful planning, a day trip to Temecula can be a fun and affordable getaway for a day trip since the drive is only one hour long.

Joshua Tree National Park

If you are planning a weekend trip to Joshua Tree National Park from San Diego while sticking to a budget, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider camping as opposed to booking expensive accommodations. The park’s campgrounds are affordable and offer stunning views of the desert sky. Secondly, plan ahead and bring your own food and drinks to save money on eating out. There are ample picnic areas throughout the park. Lastly, make sure to take advantage of the many free activities in the park like hiking and stargazing. There are also reasonably priced ranger tours available. With a bit of planning and foresight, it’s easy to have an unforgettable experience at this iconic national park without breaking the bank.

It’s a 3-hour drive from San Diego so it’s the best national park for a weekend trip from San Diego.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a national park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

It was established by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1864 and later transferred to the Department of Interior by an act of Congress. 

The park covers an area of 1,190,818 acres (4,769 km2), making it the fifth-largest national park. 

The central part of Yosemite contains Vast Reservoir (the source for all flowing water), which is surrounded by granite cliffs up to 7,000 feet high that tower over Yosemite Valley.

The park’s varied topography and rugged terrain accommodate such diverse plant life as Big Trees (Sequoia sempervirens) and Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum).

It also has alpine tundra above 8,000 feet in elevation at high altitudes that support Arctic-like temperatures during winter months when there are no leaves on trees or plants due to lack of sunlight but bear flowers instead.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a city in the U.S. State of California, on the Pacific coast, about 230 miles west of Los Angeles and 120 miles northwest of San Luis Obispo. 

The estimated population as of July 1st, 2019 was 114,917 people.

The region that now makes up Santa Barbara County was originally inhabited by Chumash Indians who lived along the coast for more than 8,000 years before European contact began in 1542 when Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo explored this area for Spain.

One of the best things about Santa Barbara is that many of its attractions are free. You can take a self-guided walking tour of the city’s historic architecture or enjoy the beautiful beaches, parks, and gardens. The Santa Barbara County Courthouse, the Mission Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art are all free to visit.

You can find plenty of affordable options if you want to explore the local cuisine. The Santa Barbara Public Market is a great place to try a variety of local foods and artisanal products. You can also find affordable eats at local taco stands, food trucks, and farmer’s markets.

Accommodations in Santa Barbara can be expensive, but some affordable options are available. You can find hostels, motels, and Airbnb rentals that are budget-friendlier than hotels. Additionally, if you visit during the off-season, you may be able to find better deals on accommodations.

Overall, Santa Barbara can be a great destination from San Diego on a budget. With free attractions, affordable food options, and budget-friendly accommodations, you can enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer without breaking the bank.

Big Sur

Big Sur is a rugged and sparsely populated area of California that’s known for its beaches, redwoods, and hiking trails.

It’s also home to lots of wildlife including bald eagles.

The area has been popular among tourists since the early 1900s, when it was discovered by Hollywood filmmakers looking for locations for movies like The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and Giant (1956).

Today it remains one of California’s most popular tourist destinations with many visitors coming from all over the world every year.

Sedona, Arizona

If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of San Diego, Sedona is a beautiful town in Arizona.

It’s known for its hiking trails, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities.

Sedona has several spas and health facilities where visitors can relax after a busy day at the resorts or museums nearby.

Sedona has many spas and health facilities where visitors can relax after a busy day at the resorts or museums nearby.

There are also several restaurants to choose from if you want to stay overnight. If you’re looking for a nice escape from San Diego, Sedona is worth checking out.

Las Vegas, Nevada

If you’re looking for a vacation that includes gambling and shows, Las Vegas is the place to go.

The city has thousands of hotels and casinos so there is something for everyone. You can also see The Grand Canyon while you are in town.

The city has a lot of fun nightlife and there are shows you can go to every night. The experience of Las Vegas is unique and it guarantees a fun weekend.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is a large city in Arizona. It’s home to many attractions, hotels, and restaurants, making it a great place for a weekend getaway.

There are plenty of things to do in Phoenix from museums to parks, you’ll never be bored.

If you want something more active than walking around town, consider taking advantage of their many sporting events and festivals throughout the year.

Ojai, California

Ojai is a small town in Southern California with a population of about 7,000. It’s located an hour’s drive from Ventura and Santa Barbara and has many attractions for tourists to visit while they’re there.

The main attraction in Ojai is the quaint downtown area with shops, restaurants, and galleries like The Corkscrew Gallery (a gallery dedicated to local artists), which features an eclectic mix of artwork by local artists including painters, sculptors, and photographers.

This can be a great place to spend an afternoon browsing through different pieces or buying something new for yourself since it has a lot of boutiques.

Ojai is a great destination for a relaxing weekend.


This is just a list of the best weekend getaways from San Diego. There are many other options available for those who want to explore.

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