San Diego, California

Known as a place of infinite beauty, affectionate locals and endless sunshine, San Diego has become one of America's favorite cities. Located in the southwest corner of California, close to the border of Mexico, San Diego has a distinct cross-cultural feel, part sun-drenched Mediterranean atmosphere, part south-of-the-border zest and part quintessential California beach town.

The history of San Diego is rooted in its Spanish and Mexican past. San Diego was declared the capital of upper and lower Baja only four years after Mexico gained its independence in 1821. Less than thirty years later, the United States declared war on Mexico and within two years the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo was signed creating the current borders between Mexico and the United States.

The city continues to prosper with a population exceeding one million. World-renowned attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, the Salk Institute, Sea World, La Jolla and the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge have created a strong tourism industry for the area. But undoubtedly what attracts visitors from around the world is the city's breathtaking natural beauty, superb coastline and near-perfect weather.

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Points of Interest

  • Old Town
  • Balboa Park
  • La Jolla
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Sea World
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Harbor Cruise
  • San Diego's Countyside & Wine Tasting
Learn about these Points of Interest

More about San Diego, California Points of Interest

  • Old Town

    Site of the first Spanish settlement in California in 1769, this historic district offers the finest in theater, shopping, dining and free live entertainment - all within easy walking distance.

  • Balboa Park

    The nation's largest urban cultural park, this 1200-acre park is home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the world famous San Diego Zoo.

  • La Jolla

    Surrounded by ocean bluffs and soft sand beaches, this affluent, hilly, seaside resort outside of San Diego offers fine shopping and dining as well as year-round sunshine and watercolor sunsets.

  • San Diego Zoo

    More than a world-famous zoo, this is a sanctuary for thousands of animals, a landscape of rare plants from all climates and a living classroom that entertains and educates.

  • Sea World

    This gigantic adventure marine park offers close-ups with penguins, dolphins and sharks, sea lion and killer whale shows, rides and water coasters and the opportunity to feed sea mammals!

  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    This stunning 1,800-acre preserve where animals from around the world wander freely in surroundings similar to their natural habitats, features an aviary, a petting zoo, a railway, and animal shows.

  • Harbor Cruise

    Take a harbor cruise that offers up San Diego's history and highlights including a submarine base, the Coronado Bridge, the famous Hotel Del Coronado and area wildlife sightings.

  • San Diego's Countyside & Wine Tasting

    Explore San Diego's wine country which is know as the Valley of the Sun and is only 30 minutes from downtown San Diego.

13 EXCURSIONS

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San Diego Harbor Cruise

2.15 hours | San Diego | SAN-240
  • Harbor Cruise

Take in the beauty and history of your port city of San Diego with this two-hour, narrated cruise aboard the Adventure Hornblower, one of the largest, fastest, most stable tour boats in Southern California! Enjoy the sights from within the climate-controlled indoor area or take your place on a viewing platform on deck as your knowledgeable captain provides informative anecdotes of highlights you encounter including: historic sea vessels, naval aircraft carriers, a navy submarine base and ship building facilities. Take in the windswept beauty of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and the Cabrillo National Monument. Marvel at the breathtaking San Diego skyline, the two-mile long Coronado Bridge and the elegant Victorian-style Hotel del Coronado. Have your cameras ready to capture images of See sea lions, marine birds and on rare occasions you might be lucky enough to see dolphins in the bay or even whales out in the horizon during their migration in the winter.

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Easy Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$29.95

San Diego City Lights by Night

2 hours | San Diego | SAN-210
  • Balboa Park

See San Diego's top attractions and historic highlights illuminated at night. Climb aboard a sightseeing trolley with a relaxed atmosphere and popular music accompanying the whirlwind tour. Your 1.5-hour ride includes San Diego's downtown waterfront, the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, Coronado and the Navy's aircraft carriers. Stop to photograph the twinkling skyline.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$44.95

Old Town Trolley Tour (Wheelchair Accessible)

2 hours | San Diego | SAN-206
  • Old Town
  • Balboa Park

Orient yourself with the diverse history and charms of San Diego with this guided, two-hour, open-air trolley tour about town. Take in views of San Diego Harbor, the Embarcadero and Seaport Village. Drive past the popular Horton Plaza and through the Gaslamp Quarter, featuring grand Victorian-era buildings that are home to the city's finest restaurants, pubs shops and nightclubs. Cross the soaring 2-mile Coronado Bridge to the relaxed beach town of Coronado Island - home to world-class resorts, a stunning beach, an 18-hole golf course and the famed Hotel del Coronado. Marvel at the verdant landscape of the 1200-acre Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park which is home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the world famous San Diego Zoo. Pass through San Diego's most active neighborhood Little Italy and then tour the site of the first Spanish settlement "Old Town".

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Wheelchair Accessible, Easy Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$49.95

Old Town Trolley Tour

2 hours | San Diego | SAN-205
  • Old Town
  • Balboa Park

Orient yourself with the diverse history and charms of San Diego with this guided, two-hour, open-air trolley tour about town. Take in views of San Diego Harbor, the Embarcadero and Seaport Village. Drive past the popular Horton Plaza and through the Gaslamp Quarter, featuring grand Victorian-era buildings that are home to the city's finest restaurants, pubs shops and nightclubs. Cross the soaring 2-mile Coronado Bridge to the relaxed beach town of Coronado Island - home to world-class resorts, a stunning beach, an 18-hole golf course and the famed Hotel del Coronado. Marvel at the verdant landscape of the 1200-acre Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park which is home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the world famous San Diego Zoo. Pass through San Diego's most active neighborhood Little Italy and then tour the site of the first Spanish settlement "Old Town".

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Wheelchair Accessible, Easy Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$49.95

Old Town Ghosts and Gravestones Tour

3 hours | San Diego | SAN-220
  • Old Town

Climb aboard the all-black "Trolley of the Doomed" if you dare! This spirited, 3-hour, evening adventure takes guests through the birthplace of California, Old Town San Diego, and tells the tales of its ghostly spirits, notorious characters, and historic neighborhoods, cemeteries and haunted buildings. Your journey begins at El Campo Santo Cemetery and ends with a private tour of the Whaley House and its grounds-all sites of reported paranormal activity. Disembark in Old Town, the site of the first Spanish settlement in California in 1769. Today, it offers galleries and shops as well as live entertainment, mariachis and a cluster of museums. The enclave is lined with old-world-style shopping and Mexican restaurants serving up frothy margaritas (at your own expense). Your excursion includes discount offers at Café Coyote restaurant and the Old Town Market. After enjoying independent exploration, board any trolley and take in the views as you ride to port.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$49.95

The San Diego Seal

1.5 hours | San Diego | SAN-660

Get ready for 90 minutes of pure fun. The sights and sounds of sunny San Diego are yours to discover from the comfort of the San Diego Seal - an open-air amphibious vehicle driven by an experienced captain and specially designed to be used on land and in the water. Your tour is fully narrated, and you'll learn about San Diego's interesting maritime past and present. Begin at Seaport Village with land travel past such landmarks as the U.S.S. Midway, Lindbergh Field, and Little Italy. Before you know it, you're splashing into the San Diego Bay itself and commencing the water-tour portion of the day. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls the area home - from sea lions to pelicans - as you enjoy views of Point Loma, which features the Cabrillo National Monument, the Point Loma Submarine Base, Naval Air Station North Island, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Back on dry land, you'll round out the tour passing the Maritime Museum and the cruise terminal as you conclude your time exploring 'America's Finest City.'

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$59.95

City Drive & La Jolla Highlights

4 hours | San Diego | SAN-200
  • Old Town
  • La Jolla

Sample the highlights of San Diego during this 4-hour, guided excursion via air-conditioned motorcoach. Take a city drive to see the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and downtown San Diego. Drive to the seaside village of La Jolla, considered the "Jewel of Southern California." Stop to explore San Diego's historic "Old Town" offering the finest in theater, galleries, shops and free live entertainment. Enjoy a brief stop in the magnificent 1200-acre Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park. Then choose to head back to your pier or be dropped off near Horton Plaza for further exploration and shopping.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$59.95

Balboa Park Discovery (Wheelchair Accessible)

6 hours | San Diego | SAN-196
  • Balboa Park

Experience museums, culture and history during this full-day excursion to San Diego's breathtaking Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park. Board a colorful, historic trolley for narrated tour of downtown San Diego past such sights as the historic Gaslamp Quarter and Seaport Village. Step off your trolley at Balboa Park for a self-guided visit to this 1200-acre park that is home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo. Your excursion includes admission to four museums of your choice! Art, science, natural history - there's something for everyone. Stroll the grounds and enjoy the views. Watch fine artisans at work. Take in an IMAX movie. Marvel at the beauty the park's various themed gardens. Shop in museum shops and enjoy a meal at one of the park's many restaurants.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$89.95

Balboa Park Discovery

6 hours | San Diego | SAN-195
  • Balboa Park

Experience museums, culture and history during this full-day excursion to San Diego's breathtaking Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park. Board a colorful, historic trolley for narrated tour of downtown San Diego past such sights as the historic Gaslamp Quarter and Seaport Village. Step off your trolley at Balboa Park for a self-guided visit to this 1200-acre park that is home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo. Your excursion includes admission to four museums of your choice! Art, science, natural history - there's something for everyone. Stroll the grounds and enjoy the views. Watch fine artisans at work. Take in an IMAX movie. Marvel at the beauty the park's various themed gardens. Shop in museum shops and enjoy a meal at one of the park's many restaurants.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$89.95

Local Connections: An Exploration of San Diego's Culinary Roots Crafted by Bill Esparza

4.25 hours | San Diego | SAN-260
  • Old Town

Experience the joys of San Diego's unique cuisine on this Local Connections foodie experience crafted by Bill Esparza, a James Beard award-winner and leading expert on Latin American cuisine. Your culinary journey begins at ¡Salud! for "street-style" tacos followed by a stop at Por Vida, a Mexican coffee shop serving "agua frescas," which are fresh fruit juices. Drive past the vivid folk murals that adorn the concrete support piers on your way to lunch at Aqui es Texcoco. Here, you'll savor the authentic flavors, recipes and traditions of Mexican-style lamb barbecue and try a sampling of pulque, a beverage made from fermented sap of the agave plant. Your last stop is Old Town San Diego for free time before returning to port with a camera and stomach filled with San Diego's gastronomic delights.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal

From

$99.95

San Diego Zoo

6 hours | San Diego | SAN-180
  • San Diego Zoo

For a fun self-guided adventure featuring feathers and fur, embark on this full-day excursion to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo! Home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals and 700,000 exotic plants, this 100-acre zoo is a living classroom that entertains and educates. Tour the zoo via double-decker bus, aerial tram or simply stroll the lush grounds. Marvel at the new 7 1/2-acre multi-species habitat featuring elephants, California condors, jaguars and more. Learn about animals that lived in the past and about the zoo's conservation efforts. Enjoy specially designed viewing areas in the Children's Zoo created just for kids! Marvel at the internationally famous giant panda family. Four of these magnificent black and white bears make their home here. Indulge in a meal at zoo restaurant or shop for souvenirs at the gifts shops.

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Moderate Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$109.95

Temecula Wine Tasting

5.5 hours | San Diego | SAN-310
  • San Diego's Countyside & Wine Tasting

Make a grape escape to Temecula for wine tastings at two idyllic wineries tucked in one of California's premier wine tasting regions. With over 35,000 acres of rolling hills and a Mediterranean climate, Temecula is ideal for growing all but the more delicate varietals. From San Diego, you'll travel through a landscape of hills and mountains known as the Peninsular Ranges. Your first stop on your wine tour is the Vitagliano Vineyards & Winery, a family owned and operated establishment specializing in Tuscan style wines. Descend the steps to a small lake with grass lawns and stone architecture flanked by tall trees for a boxed lunch and a tasting of six wines. Back on your coach, you'll continue on to the award-winning Mount Palomar Winery, specializing in Bordeaux style and Italian style wines. Soak up the sweeping views while indulging in six tastings before returning to San Diego.

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Easy Activity, Shopping Opportunities

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$134.95

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

7 hours | San Diego | SAN-185
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Experience the thrill of an African Safari without traveling to Africa during this full-day self-guided excursion via air-conditioned motorcoach to the famous San Diego Zoo Safari Park - a 1,800-acre wildlife sanctuary that is home to 3,500 animals - many of which wander freely! Walk, take the popular guided Africa Tram Safari (included in your ticket price) or for an additional fee, take a cart, jeep, caravan or tram to tour areas such as Asian Savanna, Condor Ridge, Tiger Territory, Elephant Valley, Safari Base Camp, African Plains, Lion Camp and Gorilla Forest. Also for an additional fee, you can board a tethered helium-filled balloon that rises 400 feet, offering panoramic view of lions, rhinos, giraffes, wildebeest, and gazelles. Watch elephant feedings. Hand-feed colorful rainbow lorikeets and stroke gentle deer and antelope at the Petting Kraal. Visit safari-themed play areas designed for kids. Enjoy bird and zebra shows and participate in animal encounters throughout the park. Indulge in a meal at a park restaurant and browse gift shops for souvenirs.

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Strenuous Activity, Shopping Opportunities

From

$139.95