arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin
Guided and Self-Guided

Sightseeing Tours

Let a San Diego Local Show You Around!

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Whether visiting for a day or a whole week, a hop-on hop-off tour is a great way to explore some of the most popular spots during your vacation. For more than 25 years, Old Town Trolley Tours has taken visitors through the city, exploring Old Town, Gaslamp Quarter, Embarcadero, Balboa Park, Coronado and more. Stay on the trolley for the full two-hour tour and learn fun and interesting facts about San Diego or get off at any one of the 11 stops and strike out on your own. When ready to head to the next location, just return to the stop and a trolley will swing by and pick you up.

Tours On and In the Water

With a glimpse of water at every turn, a visit to San Diego wouldn't be complete without a guided tour on the Pacific Ocean for breathtaking views of the city and sea. Excursions can happen via yacht, sail boat, former Navy SEAL RIB boat, catamaran, jet ski, kayak, snorkel, kayak/bike combo, and even on a stand-up paddle board. San Diego Harbor cruises combined with dinner or Sunday brunch are also a popular choice as are the Mississippi style sternwheeler boat tours on Mission Bay. Outings usually last between 1 and 3 hours and include all necessary equipment, as well as well-trained and knowledgeable guides. One activity locals and visitors truly enjoy is whale watching. If you're interested in a closer look at these majestic creatures, a host of sightseeing and tour companies in San Diego offer a variety of whale watching excursions.

Biking Tours

Combine your sightseeing with a bit of exercise by taking a bike tour of San Diego. Choose from road bike rides through La Jolla, Mission Bay, Coronado and downtown San Diego or off-road mountain bike rides in San Diego's North County. The popular La Jolla "Plunge" or "Freefall" trip starts at the top of Mt. Soledad with the downhill ride into La Jolla and the surrounding coastline. Other options include electric bikes for those who want to take it a little easier and a bike/kayak combination for the more active-minded.

Segway Tours

Zipping around a Segway through San Diego is definitely a fun way to experience” American’s Finest City.”. San Diego companies offer a variety of tours including the Downtown Embarcadero, Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, Coronado and La Jolla. You can learn to ride the Segway in just minutes and operators can accommodate groups, couples and families with teens.

Sightseeing Tours

To get an overview of a larger area, enjoy a fully narrated tour of San Diego, Coronado or Tijuana, Mexico, trolley or bus tours are a great option. The professional guides are well-versed in San Diego history and lore, and make the tours fun and entertaining. Some of these excursions also allow you to hop off and on at various stops along the route.

Walking Tours

A treasure-trove of historic landmarks and settings, colorful neighborhoods, captivating natural beauty and outdoor art provide the walking enthusiast with a variety of exciting routes. Destinations include the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, Coronado, Downtown San Diego and more. With excursion names like "Brothels, Bites and Booze in the Gaslamp Quarter" and "Tequila, Tacos and Tombstones in Old Town," you know you're in for something special. There are Scavenger Hunts similar to the Amazing Race format and even tours with professional photographers who will help you take quality pictures home from your trip. Walking tours are generally two to four hours with plenty of opportunities for photos.

Brewery & Winery Tours

Take a trip to Southern California's best wineries, enjoy a wine/food pairing jaunt around La Jolla or go on a brew hopping tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at how some of San Diego tastiest craft beers are brewed. Transportation options include by foot, bus, train or chauffeured limousine, which ensures a safe and fun time for everyone.

High Adventure Tours

For more hands-on action, try an all-inclusive weekend or weeklong adventure where you can fly with a water-powered jet pack, traverse a high ropes course, pilot a glider plane and drive a speedboat. Trips include food, accommodations and transportation between each activity. Enjoy the breathtaking views of San Diego's coastline and inland valleys via helicopter. Excursions range from 30 minutes to 3 ½ hours, with the option to combine a half-hour coastal tour with a 3-hour brunch or dinner cruise.

Self-guided Tours

Can't make a scheduled tour or simply want to explore San Diego on your own? Self-guided narrated outings are available year-round in GPS-guided "storytelling" cars and aboard mini speedboats, which you captain and navigate yourself. Use your cell phone to embark on an Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt. Other self-guided tours can be accomplished by renting beach cruisers, surreys and electric bicycles.

For more information on San Diego guided tours, view one of the articles or visit one of the tour companies below.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Deals just for you


$13 Whale Watching Cruise Special During Migration (Save $23)

Davey's Locker Whale Watching & Sportsfishing
Valid: Jan 17 - ongoing

Enjoy 2.5 hour whale watching cruises with multiple times daily to choose from. Departing from Newport Beach view gray whales on their migration along with finback whales, minke whales, humpback...


Save Up to 55% On San Diego Attractions!

Go San Diego Card by Smart Destinations
Valid: Oct 31, 2016 - ongoing

Money: Savings off combined admission prices Time: Skip the line at select attractions Flexibility: Create your own itinerary from over 40 attraction choices Freedom: Do as much as you want each...

Tours & Sightseeing

$50 Off Surf & Turf Helicopter Tour

Corporate Helicopters of San Diego
Valid: Jan 19 - ongoing

$50 off of 1 hour Helicopter Tour featuring the best of the coastal attractions.

Related Articles and Features

Bird Watching

Best Bird Watching in Imperial Beach

Home to 370 species of birds

Imperial Beach is described as the one of the best places to watch birds in coastal Southern California.


Great Tours for the Whole Family

Let a local expert lead the way

Aboard a bus that changes to a boat and back again or take a whale watching tour. San Diego tours offer a unique way to see the sights and get to know the area.


10 Stop Brew Hop in East San Diego County

East County Craft Beer Itinerary

Getting to East County from anywhere in the county is not hard once you're on the Interstate 8. Here's an eastern loop that starts in the Hotel Circle area of Mission Valley and will take you through El Cajon, Alpine, Julian, Ramona, and Santee. If you want to do the full loop, you'll need the entire day, but you could also break it into just the northern breweries (Ramona and Julian) or just the southern breweries (Santee, Alpine, La Mesa and El Cajon). You might also want to consider booking a brewery tour that will chauffeur you around while you enjoy a few samples at each stop.

Tours & Sightseeing

Exciting 2-Day Itineraries

Enjoy the sights and scene in San Diego

Believe it or not it's easy to see two of San Diego's four major attractions, the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld San Diego, San Diego Zoo Safari Park and LEGOLAND California, in just two days.


Tours to Explore


Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.


Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More





Follow Us


English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China Deutschland Great Britain Japan Mexico Korea USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish