San Diego City Attractions and History Tour

Slideshow of pictures for the San Diego City Tour
City Tour

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Time: 9AM-11:20AM
Departs: Santa Fe Depot
Price: $38

Reservations Required.
Limit approx. 20 guests.
Expert tour guide +
Professional driver +
Comfortable bus =
More interaction &
better experience.

Take our tour to answer the questions in the slideshow above that will start momentarily.
You can also email our guides at:

San Diego City Tour Summary

Join our San Diego City Attractions and History Tour for the best overview of what there is to see and do so you can make the most of your vacation in San Diego. Even if you have been to San Diego before, this tour covers a lot of areas and is sure to result in new ideas while providing interesting history and tidbits about places you may have already seen.

Our guides are regarded as the best of the best, which attracts guests who ‘don’t normally do tours’. Each guide is dedicated to maintaining that reputation and will strive to make sure every guest has a wonderful experience.

What you will see on our City Tour of San Diego

photo of our tour bus, guide, and drivers at Sunset Cliffs

Drivers Lenny and Denis scouting out a tour route with guide Victor on one of our tour buses.

Downtown San Diego – including Gaslamp Quarter, East Village and Petco Park, Little Italy, USS Midway Museum, San Diego Maritime Museum, Convention Center, Seaport Village, and Horton Plaza.

Pacific Ocean – including a stop for photos at Sunset Cliffs and a drive through Ocean Beach, a community still reminiscent of the typical 1960’s California Beach town portrayed in Hollywood movies.

Old Town – the original San Diego now home to the most popular historic state park in California, excellent historical museums, and great Mexican restaurants.

Uptown – early communities in San Diego from craftsman homes in Mission Hills to the gay and lesbian community and notable restaurants in Hillcrest.

Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo – including a 15-minute walk from the water fountain outside the Natural History Museum past the lily pond and Spanish Colonial buildings housing over a dozen museums to the Visitors Center and bathrooms for those who need them.

Coronado – including a drive over the iconic San Diego – Coronado Bridge to see the Hotel Del Coronado, Navy Seal Amphibious Base, and Mexico on a clear day.

What you will learn while Sightseeing in San Diego

San Diego Tour Guides

Excerpts from TripAdvisor

“Tim is an expert at making everyone feel welcome. He warmly welcomes all questions and is very entertaining without the high strung banter that so many tour guides are prone to use.”
– Catherine, Long Island, NY

“I was so impressed with not only the tour itself, but with Victor our guide. He was knowledgeable, fun and just a delight in general.” – Sandy, Bakersfield, CA

Recommendations for things to do and how to make the most of your vacation in San Diego.

History of San Diego from the time the first Spanish Conquistadors arrived in 1542 and interacted with the Native Americans.

San Diego’s communities and how they have been shaped by the local valleys and canyons to provide a small town feel in a big city. (Guests are generally surprised to find San Diego is full of hills and mountains.)

What it is like to live in San Diego…what makes it tick, how much it costs to live here, its demographics and more.

Interesting Tidbits – For example, did you know you can rent a spot in San Diego Harbor and live in a boat with spectacular views of the San Diego skyline for as little as $130 a month and yet the homes nearby are worth millions?

Why Choose TourGuideTim for San Diego Tours?

As the most well-known, locally owned San Diego bus tour provider, concierges and tourism officials engage us to serve their high profile clients from boards of directors of major corporations to international tour operators looking to include San Diego on their itineraries. However, our goal is to provide a great San Diego experience to anyone who wants to learn and go home saying ‘Wow, we had a wonderful time in San Diego with the help of TourGuideTim!’

Guests enjoying our Coastal Tour

TourGuideTim also offers the famous Coastal San Diego Tour to La Jolla and Torrey Pines, which has been the highest rated bus tour in San Diego among TripAdvisor reviewers since its inception in 2010. It is a full afternoon tour that includes options for extended guided walks or exploring on your own.

What makes our tours different is that unlike most tours where your guide also drives the bus or van, our tours provide both an expert guide and a professional driver. You have two people making sure you have a great experience. This allows a lot more flexibility. For example, our regular drivers Denis and Lenny can drop us off at one end of Balboa Park so Tim or Victor can lead you on a walking tour past the notable museums housed in Spanish Colonial architecture and rated one of the top parks in the world and then drive any guests who may have a hard time walking through the Park to pick us up at the other end. This also allows our guides to interact more with guests, answer questions, and provide a lot more information than you would be able to receive if your guide also had to worry about driving.

Meet our San Diego Tour Guides and Learn about the Tour on Video

Watch this brief welcome from our guides, which links to additional videos so you can get a feel for what to expect. (How many tour companies do you see providing videos of their guides?)

Answering your San Diego City Tour Questions

Where do I meet the tour?
Meet outside of the Santa Fe Train Depot at 1050 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101 at 8:45AM. (Main train station in San Diego serving AMTRAK, regional Coaster, and San Diego Trolley). Look for the TourGuideTim signs (with the logo as shown at the top of this web page) in the area where the buses and cars pick up and drop off visitors to the train station. You can also spot your tour guide wearing a white TourGuideTim visor.

Where can I park my car?
Print out this custom Map of Parking near the train station.

Is public transit available to reach the train station or is my hotel within walking distance?
Yes. Print out this custom Map of nearby hotels, attractions, and transit services.

Is hotel pick-up available?
Hotel pick-up may be available in some areas, especially for those who may have trouble walking. Read more about hotel pick-up possibilities.

Do you visit Cabrillo National Monument?
No but we plan to with an extended version of this City Tour. We will pass by the street that leads out to the Monument and we will talk about its history and what to do if you visit on your own. (Our guide Victor is a docent at Cabrillo.) We are in the beginning stages of developing a longer afternoon tour, which would be similar to the City Tour but include walking tours at Cabrillo National Monument, Old Town State Historic Park and other locations seen on our City Tour. It would likely be a 5 hour tour for $68, which would include the cost of admission to the Monument. Even if we don’t have this tour ready by the time of your visit, please let us know by emailing if this type of tour would appeal to you to help us gauge the level of interest among tourists. Thank you!

What kind of tour bus do you use?
We use a few different buses that hold between 24 and 27 passengers. We limit the number of guests to about 20 so you have enough room to stretch out or if you are traveling alone, you don’t have to sit next to a stranger. Seats are comfortable. The bus has air-conditioning and heating. The windows are big so you can enjoy the views.

What happens if it rains?
It is rare to have rain in San Diego but if it does, you will still have a great experience on our comfortable, climate controlled, buses and we’ll provide umbrellas if you want to get out at the photo stops and for the walk at Balboa Park.

More Questions?
If you still have questions, contact your guides directly at or by cell phone at 1-231-846-8687 (1-231-Tim-Tour).

City Attractions & History Tour

Pictures of places you will see on our San Diego Tour
san-diego-art-museum-2 Surfer in Ocean Beach with the Pier in the backgroundaircraft-carrier-museum old-town-entrancesan-diego-zoo lilly-pond little-italyhotel-del-coronado coronado-bridgesunset-cliffs petco-parksan-diego     maritime-museum