What makes this tour special
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.
- Meet your private guide outside Petco Park in 'Park at the Park' and learn about the beloved home baseball team
- Admire a fine collection of museums in Balboa Park, a 490 hectare (1,200-acre) urban green space.
- Discover how a fort and mission, established in 1769, expanded into a settlement under Spanish, then Mexican rule.
- See the fine, historical streets and grand Victorian architecture of the Gaslamp Quarter
- Be awed by the Old Town’s rich Mexican culture
- Grab a bite to eat in Old Town's buzzing food scene (price not included in tour)
- See the beautiful coastal stretch of upscale La Jolla and its opulent mansions
- Learn how intertwined the Mexican culture is in San Diego
- Gaze over Pacific waters that are home to seals and marine birds
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 people, with San Diego - or Sandie as the locals call it - the second largest Californian city.
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 La Jolla - plus more. Through the local insight of your private guide, you will be introduced to some of San Diego’s lesser-known corners with plenty of opportunity to grab some fabulous photographs of the city’s most picturesque landmarks, be it quaint Victorian streets, bloom-filled gardens and the upscale mansions of La Jolla’s monied elite, or the stunning cliff-strewn coastline that are home to seals, marine birds and rugged sea caves.