Summary of the Best Tours in San Diego


TourGuideTim® tours offer the most in-depth, interactive bus and walking tours in San Diego. However, there are many types of tours in San Diego and we are happy to help promote other San Diego tours so you can find the ones that best match your interests. Our goal is to help you make the most of your vacation in San Diego.

Here’s a brief summary of our tours and others with a good reputation among tourists, concierges and locals and where to get more information.

San Diego City Tour with TourGuideTim

Comfortable mid-sized coach buses used for our City and Coast Tours

Comfortable mid-sized coach buses for the City & Coast Tours that come with both driver and guide

Join our San Diego City Attractions and History Tour to learn the local history and get the best overview of San Diego attractions in and around downtown San Diego, including San Diego harbor, Old Town, San Diego Zoo, Coronado, and the Gaslamp Quarter. This 2.5-hour morning tour includes a Pacific Ocean photo stop at Sunset Cliffs and an optional walking tour past the museums at Balboa Park. Our tours provide more information and interaction than any other bus tour because we have two people running our tours. While the driver focuses on getting us where we need to go, our expert guide can provide you 100% of their attention and answer questions so you can make the most of your vacation in San Diego. Learn more about the San Diego City Tour.

San Diego Coast Tour to La Jolla & Torrey Pines with TourGuideTim

Guests listening to tour guide while looking out at La Jolla Cove

Guests learning about sea lions at La Jolla Cove on the Coastal San Diego Tour

Join us to see some of the most beautiful coastline found anywhere in the world. This 5-hour afternoon tour includes four extended stops ranging from 20 minutes to 1.5 hours where you can join your guide for a walking tour or explore on your own. Our stops include a hilltop overlooking the entire San Diego area and Pacific Ocean, the Torrey Pines Golf Course where our guests receive an exclusive discount on souvenirs, the Torrey Pines Gliderport on the cliffs above Black’s Beach, and the Village of La Jolla, where we’ll see sea lions and seals at La Jolla Cove and Children’s Pool. Since our tours include both a driver and a guide, we provide a lot of flexibility and can accommodate guests who have difficulty walking. Learn more about the San Diego Coastal Tour.

San Diego Ghost Tours with Haunted San Diego

Purple Ghost Bus with Guide in CostumeJoin this combination bus and walking tour to learn the haunted tales of the West Coast’s oldest settlement. This 2-hour evening tour starts in Old Town, the Birthplace of California and takes guests to some of the oldest homes and buildings in San Diego. The tour includes exclusive access into the oldest surviving structure in downtown San Diego and a walk through San Diego’s second oldest cemetery. Like our TourGuideTim tours, Haunted San Diego is locally owned and operated and provides both a driver and a guide so visitors can get the best experience possible. Learn more about the San Diego Ghost Tours.

San Diego Hop-on & Hop-off Tours with the Old Town Trolley

Old Town Trolley Tour bus The Old Town Trolley provides convenience for those who want to explore on their own. Their two-hour sightseeing loop includes nearly 12 stops at popular attractions such as the Gaslamp Quarter, Coronado, Balboa Park, Little Italy, Old Town, San Diego Harbor, and Seaport Village. Guests can stay on-board for the full two hours but most will ‘hop-off’ at the various stops to explore the attractions and then ‘hop-on’ another Trolley, which generally pass by each stop every 30 minutes. The drivers are known as ‘Conductors’ and will share the history of San Diego as you travel between stops. Learn more about the Old Town Trolley.

SEAL Tours with the Old Town Trolley (Duck Tours)

amphibious-tourSEAL Tours, better known by many as Duck Tours, is a sea and land tour, that provides a look at the attractions in and around San Diego harbor. It is a 1.5-hour tour on an amphibious boat. The boat captain spends about a half-hour driving alongside the harbor in downtown San Diego and then enters into the water in an area known as America’s Cup Harbor for about an hour loop between North Island Naval Air Station and Cabrillo National Monument. A tour guide will share the history of the harbor and talk about local attractions like the Maritime and USS Midway museums, the military’s influence on San Diego, and local marine biology research as you enjoy watching a variety of ships traveling in and out of the harbor and Pacific Ocean and sea lions hanging out on buoys. Learn more about the SEAL tours.

San Diego Harbor Tours with Flagship Cruises

harbor-cruiseStep-aboard a yacht for a narrated cruise of San Diego harbor. Tours start in downtown San Diego and take you either north towards America’s Cup Harbor for a good look at nuclear aircraft carriers if they are in port, a submarine base, and Cabrillo National Monument where the first Spanish Conquistadors arrived in 1542 or south under the Coronado Bay Bridge to see the shipyards and Naval Base San Diego, home port to the largest concentration of ships. Both the ‘north loop’ and the ‘south loop’ each take 1 hour to travel about 12 miles. You can also enjoy both loops in one 2-hour tour. This locally owned and operated company also provides dinner cruises and a local ferry service between downtown San Diego and Coronado. Learn more about Flagship Cruises.

San Diego Sailing Tours

San Diego Sailing Tour boat on San Diego HarborSan Diego is sailing paradise with good weather and gentle breezes throughout the year. It hosted the America’s Cup Sailing Races in 1988, 1992 and 1995, with the famous Dennis Conner, a local San Diegan leading the way. The BMW-Oracle team, which brought back the America’s Cup to the U.S. in 2010 after an 18 year absence did their training in San Diego. The scenery around San Diego harbor is beautiful and the history is plentiful. Come experience it with San Diego Sailing Tours, which offers 2-hour tours during the day and during the evening sunset. Tours are limited to six guests and include both a captain and a first mate to ensure you have an enjoyable sailing experience while learning about San Diego. Learn more about San Diego Sailing Tours.

San Diego Segway Tours with We Love Tourists

segway-tourIf you enjoy riding these motorized transporters or have always wanted to try one out, take a Segway tour. There’s the 2.5-hour City Loop that includes the harborfront, Gaslamp Quarter and Balboa Park and the 2-hour La Jolla Tour to go up and down the hills in the beautiful coastal community in La Jolla. Tours include training on how to use a Segway and narration from your guide on the places you’ll see. This locally owned and operated company also provides personal walking tours of SeaWorld and Legoland. Learn more about We Love Tourists.

San Diego Electric Bike Tours with San Diego Fly Rides

Electric bike tour guests on hilltop overlooking Pacific OceanIf you love to ride bicycles but are traveling with someone who’s not as confident in their ability, trying an electric bike tour is the way to go. These motorized bikes look like regular bicycles and are just a little heavier than a normal bicycle. You can peddle as much or as little as you want as you explore San Diego on a tour. Tours are offered for the areas in and around Balboa Park, Cabrillo National Monument, and La Jolla and generally last 2 to 2.5 hours. Bike helmets are provided. If you end up loving your electric bike, you can also check out the bikes San Diego Fly Rides has for sale and have them shipped to your home. Learn more about San Diego Fly Rides.

San Diego Kayak Tours with Hike Bike Kayak

Go out on the water with a naturalist to explore the natural beauty of San Diego. Hike Bike Kayak is a locally owned and operated company that offers small group kayak tours of San Diego Bay, Mission Bay, and La Jolla Cove. Learn about the local sea life such as sea lions, seals, dolphins, and sea turtles. In La Jolla, you might even get to enter a sea cave. Tours last upwards of 2 hours. Wet suites are available if desired. Whale watching tours are available during the winter and tours to see the evening fireworks at SeaWorld are available during the summer. Learn more about Hike Bike Kayak.

San Diego Microbrewery Tours with Brewery Tours of San Diego

San Diego has become the mecca for fans of microbreweries. San Diego breweries have accumulated more medals at national and international beer festivals than any other region. The Brewery Tours of San Diego takes you to these award winning breweries on both afternoon and evening tours lasting from 4 to 5 hours. They have multiple pick-up points so you don’t have to drive and they visit different breweries on different days so you have the chance to try a wide variety of beers. You will also get to enjoy a behind the scenes tour at most of those breweries. Learn more about the Brewery Tours of San Diego.

Temecula Wine Tours with Destination Temecula

Wine tour Mercedes Sprinter busSouthern California’s wine country is in Temecula, an hour’s drive north of downtown San Diego. Destination Temecula picks up guests at their San Diego hotels and takes them on a full day narrated tour to visit three wineries, including a stop for a gourmet lunch, and provides time for guests to look through the shops and galleries in Old Town Temecula. The tour takes roads less traveled as you enter wine country so you can enjoy the beauty of this wine making region. Learn more about Destination Temecula.

San Diego Beer & Wine Tours by Train with Shira

Travel San Diego’s coastline by train to visit boutique breweries or wineries. These 5-hour afternoon tours start in San Diego and travel north on the regional Coaster train. The tours include a behind the scenes look at some of the stops, short walking tours, education on the local wines or brews, games and prizes. Drinking is allowed on the train. Lunch is included. Learn more about San Diego Beer & Wine Tours.

San Diego Food Tours with So Diego Tours

Guests enjoying the historic Old Town Food TourEnjoy food and drink tastings at local restaurants during a walking tour of Old Town or the historic Gaslamp Quarter. The 2.5 hour tours are offered for both lunch and dinner. You’ll enjoy colorful stories of local history as you walk from restaurant to restaurant on the Gaslamp Brothels, Bites & Booze tour and Old Town’s Tequila, Tacos & Tombstones tour. There will be enough food more most people to consider it a full meal. Learn more about So Diego Tours.

Photo tours with San Diego Photography Tours

San Diego Photo Tour in downtown San DiegoSan Diego is one of the most beautiful places in the world. After a San Diego vacation, visitor’s cameras are full of captured memories. If you want to learn new tricks on taking the perfect photograph, join a sightseeing tour where you will not only learn how to better use your personal camera but also learn the history of the areas you visit. Public tours generally last upwards of 4 hours. Both walking and vehicle led tours are available, covering different areas of San Diego, including downtown San Diego and the adjoining harborfront, Cabrillo National Monument, Old Town, Balboa Park, and La Jolla. Private tours are also available. Learn more about San Diego Photography Tours.

Coronado Walking Tours

Coronado is located just across the harbor from downtown San Diego and is considered one of the more idyllic communities in America. It is home to retired Admirals, Navy SEALs, tree-lined streets where no two adjacent homes are the same, and a history covering everything from a tent city to the oldest hotel in California. Take a walking tour around this idyllic town, past the mansions, and the historic Hotel del Coronado while learning about the area’s storied history. It’s a town where 11 U.S. Presidents and many world leaders have vacationed while in office. Guides Nancy and Gerry have been running the tours since 1980. The 1.5-hour walking tour starts at the Glorietta Bay Inn, across the street from the Hotel Del, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 11AM. Learn more about Coronado Walking Tours.

More San Diego Tours

If you are looking for Grayline bus tours, the local operator closed its office in 2012. They were very helpful to TourGuideTim tours when we launched our business in 2010 focusing on a more in-depth, interactive experience and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

Scroll down a list of San Diego tours to find more suggestions of tours that might interest you. You will also see various attractions including Balboa Park and Old Town State Historic Park offer periodic walking tours on some select days of the month. Enjoy!

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