TourGuideTim Tours, Tips, and Things to Do

A San Diego Vacation offers much more than you would expect

Welcome to San Diego. I want to make sure you have a great vacation or holiday in San Diego. Whether you join us for an award winning sightseeing tour or use our web site to design your own adventure, you are going to find San Diego offers much more than you ever expected.

Inspiring others: I’ve personally met thousands of visitors on my sightseeing tours of San Diego and helped hundreds of thousands who have used this online San Diego travel guide to plan their holiday. I was inspired to create a tour business and provide a free online travel guide while lying in a hospital room recovering from heart surgery, where I enjoyed a view over the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean and watched paragliders flying along ocean cliffs and nightly sunsets.

paragliders launching off cliffs at Torrey PinesWhat I saw was just another example of what has continually surprised me since moving from the East Coast in 1998, and has compelled me to share with others, the amazing natural beauty of San Diego, the fascinating history, and all the things to do.

Surprising Visitors: I love it when I meet tour guests from the French Riviera who say the coastline I’ve shown them in San Diego is more beautiful than their own. I love it when visitors from the East Coast are blown away by the history I share with them that’s taken place in San Diego, and I love knowing I’ve been able to help people I’ve never met find San Diego offers much more than great weather, a nice place to lie at the beach, the world famous San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.

Why we provide the most in-depth travel guide & tours of San Diego

Tim leading a group of professional tour guides on his Coastal Tour.

Tim leading a group of professional tour guides on his Coastal Tour.

The best San Diego tours: I used my detailed nature sharpened by my earlier career as a corporate auditor and Certified Public Accountant to create a rich, in-depth, and memorable tour experience for guests seeking more than just a beach vacation. By earning a great reputation, I’ve been able to persuade other select professional tour guides in San Diego, who typically only do private group tours, to join me in offering you the best publicly available City Tours of San Diego and to fill in for me when I’m not available to do the Coastal Tour to La Jolla and Torrey Pines.

Unlike a typical bus tour available to the public, our sightseeing tours provide both a driver and a guide. That way our guides can give you 100% of their attention so you get more stories, more information and more interaction with your tour guide. We can also make good use of our time by having the driver drop-us off for guided walks so we can take a closer look where the sea lions play on the rocks or where the seals lie on the beach. Meanwhile, if anyone in your tour party has a hard time walking, they can stay with the driver in the comfort of the bus and be driven along the same area.

The best San Diego travel web site: I also created this detailed travel guide for visitors to explore even more of San Diego on their own. Rather than being a superficial web site that gives just a brief summary of the area’s most well known attractions, I provide in-depth detail on a wide variety of attractions, many of which would be major attractions if located in other cities but are instead hidden under the shadow of the more well known San Diego attractions like the San Diego Zoo. I provide tips on how to make the most of your visit to each of the attractions, where they are located relative to the other attractions in San Diego and how to reach them by transit or by car, and try to organize them in a way so that you don’t miss out on finding any attractions that suit your particular interests.

Tips for Visiting San Diego

orange glow of sunshine over the mountains of San Diego and below dark clouds

Sunrise in San Diego

Planning for the Weather: So, here are a few tips for planning your vacation in San Diego. First, no matter what time of year you visit be sure to bring a light jacket or sweater and bring a pair of shorts. That’s because during our summer months, we have warm days but cool evenings, especially if you are near the ocean. Those cool evenings can feel brisk if you are visiting from someplace that is typically hot and humid all summer. And during our winter months, we can have days that reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 27 degrees Celsius. In fact, our winter months are the sunniest months of the year along the San Diego coast.

Amtrak train alongside palm trees and high-rise condos.

View from the platform of San Diego’s main train station (Santa Fe Depot) serving AMTRAK, Coaster, San Diego Trolley, Bus Rapid Transit and TourGuideTim Tours

How to get around San Diego: Another tip is helping you decide whether you need to rent or hire a car for your visit to San Diego. If you are planning to visit attractions in and around downtown San Diego, including the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, SeaWorld, Old Town, Coronado, and the Gaslamp Quarter, all of these attractions can be readily accessed by public transit assuming the hotel or place you are staying is close to a bus or trolley stop. My tour guests always comment on how easy it is to use our transit system, how clean it is, and they also appreciate the low cost for a day pass that works on both buses and trolleys. You can also purchase multi-day passes. However, if you are going to visit attractions further away from downtown San Diego such as the Safari Park or Legoland or if you want to visit our local mountains or desert, I’d recommend a car rental or car hire. These attractions have limited or no public transit service.

How to make time for all the things to do: My final tip for now is to plan ahead. Unlike most cities where there may be a few concentrated tourist areas and it’s easy to find things as you go, San Diego offers hundreds of attractions and guests tell me they are overwhelmed and certainly didn’t plan enough time once they find how much there is to do in San Diego.

Many guests visit San Diego as part of an extended trip that includes San Francisco and Los Angeles. They often plan fewer days in San Diego because they assume it is the smallest city with the least to offer only to say they wished they had planned more days in San Diego instead because it offers more things to do in a much more relaxing environment. By planning ahead you can also get discounts for various attractions. For example you can save a lot of money at SeaWorld if you buy your tickets in advance online, at a visitor center or through your hotel. Another reason to plan ahead is that some attractions close early or get sold out since San Diego is a big destination for major conventions and big companies bringing in employees from around the world for special events in beautiful, sunny San Diego.

Let TourGuideTim help you find things to do

So, I invite you to find more travel tips for San Diego as you look around my travel guide on and to join me or one of my fellow guides to get a more in-depth view of San Diego and its rich history. Come find out why this area attracts so many American pioneers, Nobel Laureates, authors, billionaires and Hollywood legends to live, work, and play in San Diego by joining me for a Coastal San Diego Tour to La Jolla and Torrey Pines.

  • Make Travel Reservations

    • * You get more stories, more information, and more interaction with your guide.
    • * The driver focuses on getting us where we need to go safely.

    • * We don't have to spend time finding parking spots at photo stops or guided walks and you don't have to wait for the guide to go get the vehicle after the guided walk. The driver takes care of all of that.
    • * Guests who have a hard time walking can stay with the driver and still see the attractions from the comfort of the bus while the rest of the guests see things closer up with the guide.