San Diego Private Driving Tour: Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, and Old Town
Discover the compelling character of California’s second-largest city, renowned for its fascinating Mexican heritage, resplendent gardens, historic streets and fine stretch of Pacific Coast. On your private half-day driving tour, you will:
- Enjoy hotel pick-up and drop-off by your private driver-guide, who will escort you throughout the day.
- Visit stunning La Jolla Cove and enjoy marine life and the bay. Take a photo stop at Soledad Mountain with amazing views on downtown San Diego, Tijuana, MX and Mission Bay.
- Walk around San Diego Old Town and the Spanish Mission. If you book the morning tour, enjoy a great lunch at one of the authentic Mexican restaurants on San Diego Avenue.
- Learn about Balboa Park, San Diego’s World Fair location. Visit the Botanic Garden and Rose Gardens.
- Visit Seaport Village, and stroll along the city’s waterfront, where you will be able to see the USS Midway.
- Your tour finishes with a walking tour in San Diego’s nightlife area, the Gaslamp Quarter. You are welcome to stay here at the conclusion of your tour, or your guide will happily drive you back to your hotel.
In 1867, when Alonzo Erastus Horton stepped ashore from a San Francisco steamer, he trod on land that would, one day, be the heart of San Diego. Awed by what he found, Horton declared it "the prettiest place for a city I ever saw." Since then millions of visitors have echoed the sentiments of this early explorer, the single most influential arrival in San Diego - although not the first to discover its beauty.
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claims to have discovered San Diego Bay in 1542, some 200 years before Europeans settled the area. In truth, however, the indigenous Kumeyaay peoples had been living in the area for as long as 12,000 years prior to any European ‘discovery’ with the Southern Californian coastal region’s first Americans, now called the San Dieguito, calling it home in around 9000 B.C. Today this once uncharted paradise belongs to an urban population of around 1.4 million people.
On your fascinating private San Diego half-day highlights tour, you will discover the city’s deeply embedded Mexican heritage and will explore the legacy of San Diego’s place in the Mexican Empire from 1821. You will understand what the American-Mexican war, 27 years later, meant for California and the USA. San Diego’s Italian community, established in Waterfront Park in the early 19th century, has also helped shape the culture of the city with its Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market, pizzerias, ice cream parlours and gourmet food stalls. Unsurprisingly, San Diego is gaining a reputation for its diverse and taste-rich food scene.
On the San Diego half-day highlights tour, you will visit many of the city’s major historical sites, neighbourhoods and parks, including Balboa Park, the elegant architecture of the Gaslamp Quarter, the Old Town’s rich culture and the beautiful coastal stretch of some of San Diego's beaches. Through the local insight of your private guide, you will be introduced to some of San Diego’s lesser-known corners with plenty of opportunities to grab some fabulous photographs of the city’s most picturesque landmarks, be it quaint Victorian streets, bloom-filled gardens, or the stunning cliff-strewn coastline that are home to seals, marine birds and rugged sea caves.