FAQ for Coastal San Diego Tours

Answering your San Diego Coastal Tour Questions

Here are answers to common questions. Additional details and answers are provided when you book through Zerve.

Who is Zerve?
Zerve helps tour companies with bookings and basic questions at all hours of the day so our guides can focus on serving our guests. If you run into any problems, don’t hesitate to contact our tour guides directly at 1-858-412-0846 or guide@tourguidetim.com and we will answer or respond as soon as possible.

Where does the tour start?
Outside the Santa Fe Train Depot in downtown San Diego. It is the main train station in San Diego serving AMTRAK, regional Coaster, San Diego Trolley and Buses.

Where can I park my car?
Map of Parking near the train station.

Is public transit available or is my hotel within walking distance?
Map of nearby hotels, attractions, and transit services.

Is hotel pick-up available?
Hotel pick-up and drop-off is available throughout downtown San Diego. A list of hotels where pick-up can be provided is available when you book through Zerve.

What kind of tour bus do you use?
We use comfortable, climate-controlled buses with enough room to stretch out and large windows so you can enjoy the views.

Do you offer morning tours?
We run our Coastal Tours in the afternoon because that is when you have the best chance of enjoying incredible views (instead of the morning fog), watching paragliders fly off the ocean cliffs in a coastal breeze (that generally start in the afternoon), and seeing seals and sea lions playing on the beaches (after their morning dive for food).

How to maximize your day – Some guests like to sleep in when on vacation, eat a late breakfast, and stroll around downtown San Diego or along the harbor. Others take a morning harbor cruise, visit Coronado, explore the nearby Maritime Museum, or stop by the adjacent Museum of Contemporary Art before heading over to the Santa Fe Train Depot for the start of the tour.

After the tour ends at 5PM, guests are back in downtown just as the dinner scene and night life heat up in the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, and nearby Old Town. You can learn more about these various attractions by using my San Diego travel guide, starting with the Downtown San Diego Attractions.

What is the difference between the 4-hour tours and 5-hour tours?
Four hour tours from 1pm – 5pm are for those who have limited time. Otherwise, we recommend the five hour tour from 12pm – 5pm. The longer tour provides a more relaxed pace at each of the stops and provides time for a late lunch in La Jolla. The five hour tour provides flexibility for people who might want to learn more about the area, get a souvenir, take more photos, or explore on their own…for example, on occasion we have guests who ask to visit the Birch Aquarium while everyone else visits Torrey Pines, which is one of the many options we can accommodate. The five hour tour provides a closer look at Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Mission Bay on the return to downtown San Diego. It also provides the flexibility to drop off any guests who might be staying at hotels we pass by in those areas. Generally it is the same price for either tour but for a limited time during late winter and early spring, we are offering $5 off the 4-hour tour. If you have any further questions about this, don’t hesitate to contact our guides directly at 1-858-412-0846 or reservations@tourguidetim.com

What should I plan to do for lunch?
[This is only available on our 5-hour tour] For guests who skip the Torrey Pines portion of the tour, you will be able to enjoy lunch as early as 1PM. For others, plan on a late lunch at about 2:30. This seems to work well since many guests enjoy a large or late breakfast when on vacation. Some guests will even skip lunch. There are many restaurants to choose from in La Jolla. We can provide some recommendations or point you in the right direction based on what you would like to eat. Most people who join us for the walking tour will go to Girard Gourmet, which is an excellent bakery that also serves a variety of prepared hot meals, soups, sandwiches, and salads. Guests love this choice because of the wide selection of food that is quickly prepared using fresh natural ingredients from the chef’s own garden at a reasonable price. Most guests will spend about a half hour for lunch and then join us for a one-hour walking tour. However, we do have the flexibility to have the driver pick you up if you want to stay for a longer lunch and bring you to meet the walking tour in progress.

You can also get lunch or snacks to bring with you before the tour. Sandwiches and snacks are available inside the train station and across the street (across Kettner Boulevard), where there is also a Starbucks.

How much walking is involved during the tour?
As much or as little as you want. Since we have both a driver and a guide, those who want to limit their walking can see the sights with the driver while the rest join a guided walk.

If I live in San Diego, will I get much out of the tour?
Absolutely! Just ask the staff and volunteers at the Visitors Centers in Downtown San Diego or La Jolla. Most of them are natives or have lived in San Diego for years and know a lot about the touristy things to do in San Diego. Even with all their knowledge of the area, they LOVE the tour. They all comment about learning so many new things and even seeing awesome viewpoints they were not aware existed. We’ve even had native La Jollans take the tour and be surprised at how much they didn’t know.

Will I like the tour guide?
Absolutely Guaranteed. One of our guides is the owner of the tour business and only uses guides who represent him well. You’ll find plenty of online reviews noting we go to great lengths to make sure every guest is not just satisfied but happy about their experience in San Diego.

For example, here’s a video introduction to Victor. He is a rare native of San Diego, serves as a docent at Cabrillo National Monument and a canyoneer with the Natural History Museum.

If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at reservations@tourguidetim.com or 1-858-412-0846.

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  • Coastal Tour Reviews on TripAdvisor

    I don't usually do bus tours...but I was blown away...by things that you will almost certainly not find in a book or if you explore by yourself. - Anna from Oxford, UK

    I take tours in almost every city...this tour was one of the best tours I ever had" - Tatyana from Chico, CA

    Highlight of our Trip to San Diego...The scenery was beautiful. Everyone in our group from the grandparents to the teenagers enjoyed our tour" - Karen from Hurst, TX

    Should be six stars! My wife and I and our twelve year old daughter were in San Diego for a week in April and this was the highlight of the week. Tim was very personable, beginning with answering my emails before our tour and even giving us his cell phone if we had any questions. - Bert from Charlotte, NC

    If you only do one thing in San Diego--take this tour! He has so many interesting stories about the history and the personalities in La Jolla, we were all captivated for 5 hours - Jane and Melissa from Lexington, KY

    Second time around with TourGuideTim...We enjoyed our first tour with Tim so much last summer that we did it again over spring break...and once again we left San Diego saying that the tour was the highlight of the week. Tim's flexibility (having the driver drop us off at George's On The Cove for lunch, for instance), his knowledge (especially of all the interesting houses we passed, which fed my retire-in-La-Jolla dream...), his excellent driver and comfortable small bus, and Tim's pleasant demeanor made it a really wonderful experience. - Mortimerfan from Scranton, PA

    Wonderful Tour We had read the reviews on Tripadvisor and also got a great reference from the concierge at the Del Coronado. The trip lived up to our expectations...the tour is just the right size we got to meet some very nice people. Thanks Tim! - Jan from Milford, MA

    Victor was our tour guide for this half day. My husband and I cannot say enough good things about our experience with Victor and his company in general...Lots to see...Victor is a wealth of information...a perfect experience... - Mary from Ottawa, Canada

    Once Again With Tour Guide Tim! Today I had the pleasure of taking the Coastal San Diego Tour with Tour Guide Tim for the SECOND time! Took the tour with Tim last year and loved it so much that I made a point of taking the tour again...Simply, a great way to spend an afternoon while visiting San Diego. Don't miss it! - CAAGMU (Catherine from NY)

    Superb! ...This is the original tour and worth every penny. Driving and walking with Tim and driver Dennis helping you any way they can, driving my mother in law when she grew weary. A huge thank you for a simply superb tour - JLONTOOSH (David) from Scotland, UK

    Best Tour in San Diego. Period! I travel frequently, and have been on several city tours, but without a doubt this is the best touring experience I ever had. Tim, Victor and Dennis were excellent. From the booking till the drop off, I had a phenomenal experience. - itee5 (Noredia) from Chicago, IL

    We typically do not do bus tours ...but decided to give Tim's tour a try based on the reviews...We're really glad we did the tour! Tim's encyclopedic knowledge of San Diego and La Jolla was very impressive. And he has clearly put a great deal of thought into how to structure the tour in order to get the best usage of time along the route...Tim was able to do a bit of customization in order to give each person on the tour exactly what he or she wanted - 02Alaska09 (Gregg from Austin, TX)

    Best Tour I Have Ever Gone On! I never, ever went on a tour just from the internet, however people raved about this tour...This tour was the highlight of our experience in San Diego...He was thoughtful, brilliant, funny, interesting, thought provoking, fun , sweet, respectful, and very aware of what people would like to know... - Marybeatles (Mary) from Long Island, NY

    Our concierge clued us in to him and so I am doing the same for you. I will remember what we saw today for years to come....It was great from beginning to end. We loved the walking tours, the information, and the pace of the tour. - Kathleen M. from Frankfort, IL

    Want to read more reviews? Visit TripAdvisor and Yelp.