Coastal San Diego Tours including La Jolla & Torrey Pines

Excerpted Reviews of
Coastal San Diego Tours

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

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

I take tours in almost every city…this tour was one of the best tours I ever had” – Tatyana from Chico, CA

Read the full reviews on
Trip Advisor

More than a tour…It’s an Experience

We get the best reviews for San Diego bus tours because we provide more information, more stories and more interaction for a better experience. How do we do this? We provide you the best San Diego guides who don’t have to worry about driving while they are providing you a guided tour. Our tours provide a comfortable bus and driver who takes care of the driving while the guide makes sure you are having a great experience.

That’s why we not only earn great tour ratings on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Viator but lengthy, detailed reviews you will not typically find for other tours. We’ve earned TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as well as Viator’s ‘Best Local Operator 2014’. Here are some selected reviews to help you see the different reasons why people love our tour. Book now and if you change your mind later, unlike most other tour companies, just let us know at least 24 hours before the tour and we’ll provide you a full refund.

Coastal Tour    or call/text    858-412-0846

You can also email the guides at

Private San Diego Tours and Group Tours are also available.

Let us bring San Diego alive for you!

Guide in front of guests looking out from 300 foot cliffs over Black's Beach Tour guide explaining to guests what they are looking at in La Jolla Cove

San Diego Coastal Tour Summary

Join our San Diego Coastal Tour to La Jolla and Torrey Pines and enjoy some of the best coastal scenery found anywhere in the world, while learning about the area’s wealth of history. This area north of downtown San Diego is where a coastal hillside and seaside cliffs meet the Pacific Ocean and La Jolla Ecological Reserve. Learn why American pioneers, Nobel Laureates, authors, billionaires and Hollywood legends have been attracted to this beautiful, natural environment that is home to one of the most expensive real estate markets in America.

Places we will explore on our Coastal Tour

We make four stops during the tour of San Diego’s coastline where you can join us for walking tours or explore on your own. Don’t worry if you or someone in your party has a hard time walking. One thing that separates us from other tours is we have a driver and a guide. Those who have a hard time walking have the option of staying on the bus with the driver to enjoy the sightseeing from the comfort of the bus or be driven further down the street so they can enjoy a shorter walk and breathe in the fresh coastal air.

Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial & Panoramic Viewpoint – We’ll take a 25-minute stroll to enjoy the 360 degree views from one of the highest points along the Southern California coastline. On the clearest days we can see upwards of 100 miles. We’ll share with you what you are looking at from all sides of the hill, talk about the unique geology and topography of the area, and visit a one-of-a-kind veterans memorial with pictures of veterans, including a number of U.S. Presidents, actors, and other notable figures. You’ll even get to see and learn about the main employment area of San Diego. (It’s not in downtown San Diego.)

Torrey Pines Golf Course – We’ll make a 25-minute stop at the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, home to the annual Farmer’s Insurance Open and the dramatic finish to the 2008 U.S. Open. There is a great viewing deck to take pictures, a Pro Shop where you can buy souvenirs with a discount available to TourGuideTim guests, and pictures of famous golfers we’ll show you when they were very young, playing in annual the Junior World Golf Championships at Torrey Pines. We are proud to be the recommended tour by the Torrey Pines Golf Shop. The U.S. Open is coming back to Torrey Pines in 2021 so make any golf friends jealous that you visited Torrey Pines during yoru visit to San Diego.

Torrey Pines Gliderport – We’ll make a 15-minute stop to watch fearless people paragliding off 300-foot (90-meter) ocean cliffs. You can also watch them land right back where they started due to the famous uplift at Torrey Pines that attracts gliders from all over the world. If they are not flying, we’ll take a closer look at the famous Black’s Beach below and enjoy the beautiful, peaceful setting that you will remember for a very long time.

La Jolla Cove & the Village of La Jolla – We’ll make a 90-minute stop where most guests choose to spend 30 minutes or so getting a late lunch or looking around the shops and then taking a one hour walking tour through the Village and down along the coast to see the seals, sea lions, pelicans, cormorants playing on the local rocks and beaches. During the walking tour, you will learn about the sea life and the early pioneering women who helped shape La Jolla into the community it has become today. However, as described further below, guests have the flexibility to skip some or all of the walking tour if they want a longer lunch or time to look around the shops.

We will also pass by and learn about Windansea Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, and SeaWorld.

Stories we will share while Sightseeing in San Diego

What makes real estate so expensive in La Jolla – As we pass by multi-million dollar homes throughout La Jolla, we will learn why the real estate in La Jolla is among the most expensive in the world, famous residents past and present, and what it is like to live in this wonderful paradise.

Guests enjoying our Coastal Tour

Amazing feats and firsts – Learn about famed aviators Charles and Anne Lindbergh setting flying records during their honeymoon in San Diego, Mercury Space Astronaut Scott Carpenter’s adventure living underwater in the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, famed architect Louis Kahn constructing a building for polio vaccine inventor Jonas Salk on the cliffs of Torrey Pines, children’s book author Theodor Geisel writing his Dr. Seuss books from his inspirational viewpoint on Mt. Soledad, restaurateur George Millay’s creation of SeaWorld, and much more.

Innovation coming out of San Diego – This is the only tour that takes guests through the main employment center of San Diego. We’ll pass through the area that former President Bill Clinton uses as a model of cooperation that he wants to see emulated in communities throughout America. This area is home to the highest concentration of Nobel Prize winners developing the next medical breakthrough, engineers who design the chips that go into just about all the smart phones sold in the world, inventors of Predator unmanned drones, and much more. We’ll also see the University of California at San Diego, which spends more money on research and development than just about any university in the country.

Military presence in San Diego – It was the military that help put San Diego on the map. It’s what brought many people to San Diego; it’s what help create the innovation industry we have today, and it continues to have a large presence today. We’ll see a number of notable military installations and learn a lot of the local military history from WWII to the present.

Natural history and beauty of San Diego – Whether you are visiting in the middle of winter or summer, you’ll get to enjoy looking at more variety of flowers, plants, trees, seaside cliffs, canyons, and hillsides than anywhere else. We’ll help bring this visual beauty to life with explanations and stories about their presence that makes visitors fall in love with San Diego. We will also explain why you are able to enjoy the unusual opportunity to watch seals, sea lions, pelicans, and cormorants playing along the beaches of La Jolla.

Slideshow of pictures for the San Diego Tours to La Jolla & Torrey Pines
Coastal Tour

Or call


Time: 12PM-5PM
Departs: Santa Fe Depot
Price: $60 – $68

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

Flexibility on our Coastal San Diego Tour

Most guests stay with the guide for the full afternoon. However, we are very flexible since we offer both a driver and a guide to manage our tours. Here are some examples:

Enjoy a longer lunch or browse the shops and art galleries – Skip part or all of the walking tour in La Jolla and explore on your own with the help of a TourGuideTim tourist map. You can then meet up with the tour for the return towards downtown San Diego or have the tour driver pick you up to catch the end of the walking tour.

Skipping the Torrey Pines stops – Skip the Torrey Pines stops and spend an hour looking around the Birch Aquarium, which is the public outreach program of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Or, if someone in your party prefers to shop or just sit at the beach, they can generally be dropped off in La Jolla and meet back up with the group after our visit to Torrey Pines. The guide will mention the flexibility during the tour but don’t hesitate to bring it up.

Answering your San Diego Coastal 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 11:45AM. (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.

San Diego Tour Guides

Excerpts from TripAdvisor

“Driving and walking with Tim and driver Denis helping you any way they can, driving my mother-in-law when she grew weary. A huge thank you for a simply superb tour.”
– David, Glasgow, Scotland

“My husband and I cannot say enough good things about our experience with Victor and his company in general…Victor is a wealth of information…We’ll be back.” – Mary, Ottawa, Canada

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 various stops. We may adjust the sequence of the tour stops to take advantage of breaks in the rain.

What else should I know?
Wear comfortable shoes. Bring a light jacket or sweater if you get cold easily as there is sometimes a cool coastal breeze on Mt. Soledad, even in the summer. You are welcome to bring a light snack or plan on a late lunch. You will be able to leave your belongings on the bus at our various stops.

More Questions?
If you still have questions, contact your guides directly at or by mobile phone 1-858-412-0846.

Why Visit the American Riviera with TourGuideTim?

Tour guests visiting from the French Riviera, the Greek islands, and Majorca have said they find La Jolla to be a more wonderful place than their own. Some guests come back multiple times bringing other family and friends to enjoy the experience. Many guests say they ‘don’t normally do tours’ but are attracted to learn more about this special area of the American Riviera.

La Jolla expands over a wide area with many spots hidden from travelers and even San Diegans because of the area’s awkward geographical shape and varied topography. Many of the best spots are just off the main streets and visitors don’t have the insight we provide on our afternoon tours. La Jolla and Torrey Pines are areas that need to be revealed, not just driven through.

Overlooking the beach in La Jolla Cove

Developing the first in-depth tours for San Diego

This hidden gem stays under the radar because many locals don’t want to let this secret out of the bag. Some new residents require real estate brokers to sign non-disclosure agreements to maintain their privacy and not bring attention to the community. It’s also a little bit further away from all the tourist hotels and well known attractions in and around downtown San Diego like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. So, no San Diego bus tours were providing an in-depth look at this beautiful area.

Our owner, Tim, worked with local community leaders, historians, and long-time residents to reveal this coastal area’s amazing beauty and history in a subtle manner so it doesn’t disrupt the community. As a result, the Coastal Tour with TourGuideTim has been the highest rated sightseeing bus and walking tour in all of San Diego, based on TripAdvisor reviews, since the tour’s inception in 2010.

Tim has been lucky to add another great guide, Victor, who earns the same raving reviews when filling in for Tim on the Coastal Tour. Victor grew up surfing the beaches of La Jolla and volunteers as a docent and canyoneer for Cabrillo National Monument and the local Natural History Museum.

Meet Tim on one of his first tour videos

Want to tour with us to other San Diego attractions?

Due to popular request, we also have a San Diego City Attractions and History Tour to complement our Coastal Tour. This tour covers attractions and neighborhoods closer to downtown San Diego, including Balboa Park, Coronado, Old Town, Gaslamp, Sunset Cliffs, and Ocean Beach. The City Tour goes from 9am – 11:20am so you can do both tours on the same day or take them on different days. When you purchase the Coastal Tour, you will receive an email confirmation that will include an $8 discount for the City Tour.

Coastal Tour   or call/text    858-412-0846

Pictures of places you will see on our Coastal San Diego Tour
Beach and coastal bluffs at La Jolla Cove waves crashing the rocks at La Jolla CoveSea lions basking on the rocks at La Jolla Cove Mother and baby seal resting on beachPutting Green at Torrey Pines Golf Course paragliders launching off cliffs at Torrey PinesCoastal Cave in La Jolla Cove brown pelicans flying in formation past La Jolla CoveCross in the center of the veterans memorial Ronald Reagan's picture plaque at the memorialcoastal view atop mount soledad     inland view from Mount Soledad