8 Best Tours In San Diego: Explore The Coastal City - Updated 2024

best tours in san diego
| 3 min read

San Diego, California, U.S.A, is one of the great cities this state and country have to offer! A coastal city with so much history and culture packed into the town, San Diego is an excellent choice in stops along your U.S.A adventures! From tasting the local food, learning about the beginnings of the city, or enjoying a ride on the water, here are some excellent tours to choose from during your time in San Diego.

1. Seal Tour (from USD 54.0)

San Diego (California, USA), Embarcadero -- 2012 -- 5393
Source: Photo by user Dietmar Rabich used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you and your fellow traveling buddies, whether it is your family or some friends, want to have a tour of San Diego in the non-traditional sense, take a seal tour! This tour takes you around the city both on land AND water, without ever switching from a car to a boat–it’s all the same! Pass by sights on the water of San Diego, gaining a new perspective of this great city, and drive back on land for some seaside sights as well. This 90 minute tour teaches you all about San Diego in a new and exciting way.

San Diego Seal Tour 2017

Address: Meeting point is located at the Seaport Village and departs 3 to 5 times a day. Tours start at 42 USD.

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San Diego Seal Tour

Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes

891 reviews

2. Eat your way through the Gaslamp Quarter (from USD 85.0)

Feeling a little hungry while in San Diego? Why not eat AND learn about the city? The “Brothels, Bites, and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego’s Questionable Past” is perfect for you if you are looking to learn about this city filled with history and also looking to taste the local flavors in the heart of the nightlife area. A 2.5 hour tour covers the Gaslamp Quarter and the intriguing history of the section of San Diego.

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Food, Wine, and History Tour of San Diego

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

535 reviews

3. Culinary Tour of Old Town (from USD 85.0)

If you’re STILL feeling hungry and thirsty after a tour in the Gaslamp Quarter, you can always take the “Tequila, Tacos, and Tombstones Culinary Tour.” This 2.5 hour walking tour takes you through San Diego’s Old Town district as you learn about the city, taste amazing food, sip on some tequila drinks, and learn of rumored ghost sightings throughout the city.

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Tequila, Tacos & Tombstones: Old Town Food & Drink Walking Tour

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

158 reviews

4. Get a "birds-eye-view" of San Diego

See San Diego from above!
Source: Viator

If you are afraid of heights, I’d suggest skipping this tour. BUT, if you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, take a look at this incredible sightseeing tour! An open cockpit 1920’s style biplane takes you over San Diego to see breathtaking views of the city. You and one other companion ride up front while the driver behind you does all the work, allowing for unobstructed views of San Diego.

Open Cockpit Biplane Sightseeing Ride in San Diego

Address: Meet at Montgomery Field in San Diego. Tours vary in time and prices start at 110 USD.


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5. Dinner Harbor Cruise

San Diego Harbor, January 2011 - panoramio
Source: Photo by user Kevin.Daniels used under CC BY 3.0

If you are looking for a romantic evening while in San Diego, check out the Harbor Dinner Cruise! Watch the sunset on the “Spirit of San Diego” ship, and enjoy a relaxing and delicious dinner while onboard for this 2.5 to 3 hour tour.

San Diego Harbor Dinner Cruise

Address: North Harbor Drive, San Diego. Prices start at 84 USD.


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6. La Jolla Sea Caves (from USD 79.0)

If you are looking for a great day trip while in San Diego, check out the La Jolla Sea Caves by kayak! Explore the sea caves and kayak over to the kelp beds at the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. Don’t forget your swim gear!

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La Jolla Sea Caves Tandem Kayak Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

920 reviews

7. USS Midway Museum (from USD 32.0)

The USS Midway Museum is one of the highlights of visiting San Diego. Learn about American naval history at the museum, and be able to skip the lines with this special deal! Visit one of the largest carriers of the US navy fleet, and over 60 different exhibits at the museum.

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Skip the Line: USS Midway Museum Admission Ticket in San Diego

Duration: 2 to 5 hours

1721 reviews

8. San Diego City Tour Bus (from USD 89.0)

St Diego Skyline Panorama 2013
Source: Photo by user Tuxyso used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Start your adventures in San Diego with a tour of the city on a coach bus so you can get acclimated to the city and learn all about the history and sights to see during your stay. See the Gaslamp Quarter, La Jolla Park, Balboa Park, and Old Town on this four hour tour to take in the city and appreciate the architecture, history, and culture of San Diego. Don’t worry–there’s air conditioning on the bus!

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San Diego Best Sightseeing City and Coastline Tour

Duration: 4 hours

175 reviews

Sail to happiness in San Diego!

Sandiego 1 bg 071302
Source: Photo by user [Unknown] used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

San Diego is a perfect city to experience all the West Coast of the United States has to offer. From eating your way through the districts, to learning about the history of the city, or enjoying all the things that the water has to offer, San Diego is a city to put on your list of travel locations. Happy adventuring!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Clare Fitzgerald is a recent graduate of Franklin and Marshall College where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and an honors Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She continues to pursue...Read more

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