FAQ for Coastal San Diego Tours to La Jolla & Torrey Pines

Is there Free Time during the tour?

I provide flexibility for guests. Stay with me the full afternoon or spend from 1.5 to 3 hours on your own. For 1.5 hours, you can skip the Torrey Pines portion of the tour OR go off on your own during our 1.5 hour stop in the Village of La Jolla and La Jolla Cove. For 3 hours, you can do both. This is ideal for guests interested in browsing the boutique shops and art galleries or enjoying a long lunch.

Reserve your San Diego Tours to La Jolla & Torrey Pines Tour through Brown Paper Tickets

What should I plan to do for lunch?

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. I can provide some recommendations or point you in the right direction based on what you would like to eat. Most people who join me 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.

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 come the tour does not start until Noon?

Sunshine – La Jolla has a tendency to attract some fog and ‘marine layer’ during the early morning and evening. It’s not nearly on the scale of what one experiences when visiting San Francisco during the summer but it is best to visit during the afternoon when you have the best opportunity for comfortable temperatures and spectacular views.

Coastal Breezes – Light coastal breezes arrive during the afternoon hours giving us the best chance (about 90%) of watching paragliders soar off 300 foot / 90 meter ocean cliffs.

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 by 11:45AM 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.

How much walking is involved during the tour?

The first three stops (Mount Soledad, Torrey Pines Golf Course, and Torrey Pines Gliderport) involve short walks of less than 100 yards (90 meters) on a flat area with stops to enjoy the panoramic views. At the Gliderport stop we walk on packed sand up a very slight incline. Guests are welcome to stay on the bus and still enjoy a nice view.

The longer stop in La Jolla Cove and the Village of La Jolla involves a nearly 1 mile walk over an hour’s time frame and does include a hill or set of stairs. I can accommodate guests who don’t want to walk that far with such options as having the bus driver drop you off to meet the group part way into the walking tour where we’ll enjoy the coastline or drive you past the coastline so you can enjoy it from the comfort of the bus. There is plenty to do for people of all levels of fitness.

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. I’ve even had local tour guides and destination planners say it’s been the best tour they’ve taken in their long careers in the travel business.

Where can I park near the starting point of the tour?

Print out the attached Map of San Diego Train Station Parking within easy walking distance of the main train station in San Diego. Both street parking and parking lots are available and described in detail on the map.

I would recommend looking for the 9 hour street parking zones first, which costs less than $5 and can be paid by credit card. From the train station, start by driving south on Kettner Boulevard from Broadway to West Harbor Drive. Turn right on Harbor Drive and another right on Pacific Highway heading back towards Broadway. If you don’t find any street parking along the way, you will reach the parking lots at the corner of Pacific Highway and Broadway, which charge $13 for a 12 hour period and accept credit cards

Can I walk or take transit to the starting point?

Print out the attached map of San Diego hotels and transit options near our starting point at the Santa Fe Depot.

Most downtown San Diego hotels serving the Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, East Village, Little Italy, the cruise ships and harbor attractions are within a 15 minute walk.

The starting point is also easy to reach by transit. Previous guests who have stayed in the following areas found it easy, convenient, clean, and fast to reach the Santa Fe Depot by transit. A day pass on buses and trolleys costs $5.

Old Town Hotels: Take the San Diego Trolley (Green Line) south from the Old Town Transit Center to the Santa Fe Train depot. It is a 9 minute ride.

Mission Bay Hotels: Includes the Catamaran, Bahia, Hyatt, Dana Inn, and Paradise Point. Take either MTS bus #8 or #9 to the Old Town Transit Center, where you can catch the Green Line south to Santa Fe Depot. The full trip time on bus and trolley is approximately 30 minutes. Guests also have the option of being dropped off along West Mission Bay Drive near their hotels when the sightseeing tour returns towards Downtown.

Pacific Beach Hotels: Includes the Cyrstal Pier, Tower 23, and Pacific Terrace. Take MTS bus #30 to the Old Town Trolley Station, where you can catch the Green Line south to the Santa Fe Depot. The full trip time on bus and trolley is approximately 45 minutes. These guests also have the option of being dropped off along Mission Boulevard near their hotels when the sightseeing tour returns through Pacific Beach on the way back to Downtown.

Mission Valley Hotels + the Handlery and Town & Country Resorts: Take the San Diego Trolley Green Line past the Old Town Transit Center and continue south to the Santa Fe Depot.

Hotel Circle Hotels: Take Bus #88 to the Old Town Transit Center, where you can catch the Green Line south to Santa Fe Depot. The full trip time on bus and trolley is approximately 30 minutes.

Coronado Hotels: There are two options. You could walk or take bus #904 to the Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace to catch a 15 minute ferry ride to the downtown Broadway Pier. The train station is two long blocks east of the Broadway Pier. Or, take Bus #901 north, over the Coronado Bay Bridge and into Downtown San Diego. The last stop is at ‘Union and Broadway’. From here, continue farther down Broadway going west 5 short blocks to reach Kettner Boulevard. The train station will be on your right side.

La Jolla Hotels: Yes, a number of guests in La Jolla and Torrey Pines do drive or take transit to reach downtown so they can join the tour back to La Jolla and Torrey Pines. Guest in La Jolla can take MTS bus #30 to the Old Town Trolley Station, where you can catch the Green Line south to the Santa Fe Depot. The full trip time on bus and trolley is approximately 1 hour.

North Coastal Beach Hotels: Includes areas such as Sorrento Valley, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside. Take the regional Coaster trains to the Santa Fe Depot.

For all other areas, visit our transit website.

Reserve your San Diego Tours to La Jolla & Torrey Pines Tour through Brown Paper Tickets

Will I like the tour guide?

Absolutely Guaranteed. Your guide is the owner of the tour business. If you don’t enjoy the afternoon, don’t hesitate to ask for a refund.

However, it’s better to figure out if you will enjoy the afternoon with the guide ahead of time by reading the guest reviews or watching my videos online. You will see in the reviews, guests comment on the well-paced, calm delivery of the interesting information I share with them. Some have been even kind enough to say in their review that taking this tour is like having a friend taking you around.

I’m not one to give corny jokes. I’m also not someone who is bouncing off the walls with too much energy nor someone who talks in monotone boring people into wishing the tour was over. The good energy I strive to provide results in an enjoyable afternoon that most say passes too quickly and is reflected in the guest reviews I receive.

Also, when making a reservation, once in a while you will see Victor’s name as the person who will be filling in for me to give a tour. Victor is a rare native of San Diego who has helped give my tour in the same manner I give the tours. He also serves as a docent at Cabrillo National Monument. You can watch a video of Victor.

If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at reservations@tourguidetim.com or 1-231-846-8687.

Help others find things to do and see! Share your ideas.

Connect with Facebook

Or, fill in the form below:

  • Join our great San Diego Tours or Create Your Own Adventure!

    "Having trouble dreaming up the perfect trip...TourGuideTim has you covered...use his comprehensive website to design your own adventure." - Los Angeles Times
  • Translate Travel Guide

  • Search for San Diego Attractions

  • Follow-us to Explore San Diego

    TourGuideTim on Facebook     TourGuideTim on Google+ TourGuideTim on Twitter TourGuideTim on Pinterest TourGuideTim on YouTube