Timken Museum of Art
It's a small collection, and the museum's modern architecture is distinctly out of place in Balboa Park, but the always-free Timken (tel. 619/239-5548) houses 600 years of art history. Masterpieces by Rembrandt and Rubens, as well as works by such seminal American painters as Eastman Johnson and John Singleton Copley, are among the holdings.
Organ Pavilion Concerts
Organ recitals have been staged at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion (tel. 619/702-8138) in Balboa Park almost without interruption since 1915. With 4,518 pipes, this is one of the world's largest outdoor organs. Free concerts are presented every Sunday at 2pm.
Chicano Park Murals
More than 70 works of art grace the support structure of the Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan's Chicano Park, National Avenue at Crosby Street (tel. 619/563-4661). The images celebrate and honor Latino culture, and are considered the largest and most important collection of outdoor murals in the country.
Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage and Meditation Gardens
This retreat in Encinitas, 215 W. K St. (tel. 760/753-2888), with its distinctive lotus-shaped towers, was built by a yogi in 1937. Its cliffside meditation gardens overlook the Pacific and offer incredible vistas. Visitors are welcome free of charge, and no one will give you a spiritual sales pitch.
Mission Beach/Pacific Beach Boardwalk
A stroll along this beachside pathway provides lovely ocean views, but you may not even notice as you watch the nearly nonstop parade of beach denizens that passes by.
Old Town State Historic Park
This free park north of downtown (tel. 619/220-5422) re-creates life in early San Diego with costumed docents and museum exhibits in some of the town's original adobe structures.
Hotel del Coronado
San Diego's most iconic structure, 1500 Orange Ave. (tel. 619/435-6611), this fanciful Victorian resort is a National Historic Landmark. Take a self-guided tour through this grande dame, which also fronts one of the area's best beaches.
U.S. Olympic Training Center
You can take a free self-guided tour around this facility in Chula Vista, 2800 Olympic Parkway (tel. 619/656-1500), one of three Olympic training centers in the United States. Guided tours are also available free of charge on Saturdays.
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