Sightseeing in San Diego

June 27, 2014

Sightseeing in San Diego allows you to discover the history, scenic beauty and vast amount of things to do in the area.

There are many guided tours and sightseeing adventures available, including walking, boat, and trolley tours. Sometimes, these are the best way to explore the region as you can let a local guide you to the hidden gems and legendary haunts of San Diego. Distinct regions in the area, such as Old Town and the Gaslamp Quarter, offer plenty to keep you entertained while Coronado will give you a glimpse of San Diego’s beach scene. You can also hop aboard a boat cruise for a view of the coast or to watch whales and birds. No matter how you choose to explore San Diego, bring a camera and snap away at the beautiful scenes!

front of cruise boat with passengers looking over San Diego skyline on Hornblower Cruises in San Diego, California, USABoat Tours

Hop on one of the San Diego boat cruises to see breathtaking views of “America’s Finest City.” Both Hornblower Cruises and Flagship Cruises offer harbor cruises of San Diego’s Big Bay, lasting one or two hours. On your excursion you’ll pass more than 50 storied landmarks, and have excellent views of Seaport Village, Shelter Island, Coronado Island, Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument. San Diego dinner cruises are another way to see the sights of the Southern California coastline, as are San Diego SEAL Tours. On board the amphibious SEAL crafts you can explore the area by land and sea. Of course, if you want to get a glimpse of sea life, whale watching tours will take you to the open ocean and bring you up-close to legendary gray whales. All of these outings let you see a unique side of San Diego.

close up of red trolly in old town in San Diego, California, USATrolley Tours

Take advantage of San Diego’s hop-on hop-off trolley tour to easily see the sights at your leisure. With so many things to see in San Diego, it can be hard to do it all. With the Old Town Trolley Tour, though, you can hop around through areas including Old Town, Gaslamp Quarter, Embarcadero, Balboa Park, Coronado and more. You can stay on the trolley for a full two-hour tour of the city, or stop at one of the 11 stops to explore on your own. The best part is when you’re ready to head to the next location, just return to the trolley stop and continue your day of exploring.

exterior ground view of Hotel del Coronado along sandy beach in San Diego, California, USA

Walking Tours

To get a real feel of the charm of San Diego, California set off on foot and make your mark on the city. There are a wide variety of historic landmarks to see, colorful neighborhoods to explore, and outdoor destinations with natural beauty awaiting you. Areas worth your time include Gaslamp Quarter, the vast Balboa Park, Mission Beach, and Coronado Island. Guided walking tours are available too, including excursions with names like "Brothels, Bites and Booze in the Gaslamp Quarter" and "Tequila, Tacos and Tombstones in Old Town.” Are you a beer connoisseur? San Diego is home to the nation’s largest craft brewing industry so go on a brewery tour and try the flavor of local brews.

aerial view of La Jolla beach at sunset with cliffs in San Diego, California, USA

La Jolla Sunset Cliffs

Hit the Highway

Take to the road and explore San Diego’s scenic coastline. One stretch of highway worth touring is Historic Highway 101. It hugs the Pacific Ocean, offering picture-perfect vistas at every turn. Enjoy the throwback vibe of Victorian homes and 1950s style gas stations, as well as local cafes and miles and miles of sandy beaches. A few of the towns you can tour through include Oceanside, Del Mar, La Jolla and Encinitas.

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