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Must-See Murals, Sculptures and Public Art in San Diego

San Diego is a vibrant cultural city that hosts an incredible array of public art. From the colorful murals decorating local neighborhoods to the thought-provoking sculptures in its public parks, the city is a canvas teeming with artistic expressions. The art here is not confined within the four walls of a gallery. Rather, it spills out onto the streets, inviting both locals and tourists to engage, interpret, and appreciate. Come, let’s embark on an enchanting journey through some of San Diego’s must-see murals, sculptures, and public art pieces.

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Ultimate San Diego Botanical Garden Guide

San Diego, a city renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, is home to one exceptional, must-visit botanical garden, the San Diego Botanic Garden. The garden, spanning over 37 acres, is a paradise of rare plants from across the globe and is a haven for nature enthusiasts.

While the city hosts only this single botanical garden, it is important to note that San Diego is also dotted with numerous nature preserves and state parks. These places, although not conventional botanical gardens, offer their own unique blend of flora, fauna, and natural beauty. They serve as perfect escapes for those looking to immerse themselves in the wilderness and explore the rich biodiversity of the region.

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San Diego Festival Guide

If you’re looking to immerse yourself further in the vibrant culture of San Diego, attending one of the city’s numerous festivals is a must. San Diego’s festival scene is as diverse and colorful as its murals, offering a wonderful array of experiences for every interest. Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a foodie, an art lover or just looking to have a good time, there’s a festival for you. In the following guide, we will provide information on some of San Diego’s most popular music festivals, such as the Pride Parade and Christmas Lighting, and their dates, locations, and what you can expect from each one. Get ready to mark your calendar and join in the celebrations!

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San Diego Neighborhood Guide

San Diego, a city renowned for its pristine beaches and year-round sunshine, boasts a variety of distinct neighborhoods, each with their own unique charm. Downtown San Diego is the city hub, teeming with sophisticated dining spots, boutique shopping, and vibrant nightlife. La Jolla, known as “the jewel” of San Diego, offers upscale living with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Pacific Beach is the go-to neighborhood for surfing enthusiasts and sun worshippers, filled with trendy bars and casual eateries. If you prefer a quieter family-friendly environment, Carmel Valley provides top-rated schools and ample outdoor recreational spaces. Explore the rich Hispanic culture in Barrio Logan or enjoy a tranquil small-town atmosphere in Point Loma. Each neighborhood in San Diego offers its residents a unique lifestyle, making this city a wonderful place to call home.

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Local’s Guide To Visiting San Diego

A city with many faces, San Diego boasts sprawling green spaces, fine sand beaches tickled with turquoise Pacific waters and a rich history hidden within the skyline. Known as the Birthplace of California and America’s Finest City (among a plethora of other names), San Diego’s history as we know it begins in the Native American period. Over the years, the city was shaped by Spanish and Mexican influences before growing into the modern cityscape we know it as today.

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Scenic San Diego Views

The minute you get a glimpse of just one of the many scenic San Diego views, you’ll understand why the beachy beauty has earned the nickname “America’s Finest City.” Surrounded by white sand beaches with magnificent waters, the Southern California haven is the epitome of travel bliss: endless activities, clear skies and brilliant views.

Almost everywhere you go in the city promises classic scenic San Diego views, but we must admit we have our favorites. The Old Town Trolley – San Diego team knows the ins and outs of the city — trust us to help you do and see it all. When you’re not touring with us, you can be sure you’ll see even more of the best views of San Diego by visiting the parks, peaks and places below.

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Must-Visit Parks in San Diego

Raise your hand if you’re dying to visit some of the best parks in San Diego, CA. It’s only right that “America’s Finest City” features breathtaking San Diego parks and historic sites such as Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, the Cabrillo National Monument, Kate Sessions Park and more.

There’s an amazing array of San Diego parks that offers guests new sights to see, events to experience and worlds to explore. Whether you’re in the mood for a scenic spot to relax and watch the sun disappear over the skyline or need a family-friendly park with a playground your kids will love, here’s Old Town Trolley – San Diego’s take on the best parks in San Diego.

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Things to Do at Night in San Diego

Known for its year ‘round outdoor lifestyle and laid back vibe, this special city, nestled in the country’s southwest corner, has more to offer than a constant supply of vitamin D. Whether you’re hanging with the seals in La Jolla Cove, enjoying a sundowner at Coronado’s Hotel Del Coronado, checking out the city night lights aboard Old Town Trolley Tours or hiking the cliffs at Torrey Pines, San Diego has something for everyone.

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Planning a Girls Trip to San Diego

Time spent together creates endless lifelong memories. Grab your best girlfriends, book that ticket and head on over to San Diego. Let the sun’s rays and laughter ignite your smiles and the adventure elevate your afternoon excursions. Southern California is the perfect setting for your ultimate girls trip. Here the weather only helps to enhance the experience. Whatever your pleasure – it’s here. Evenings in a fancy beachfront spot, afternoons on a social cycle of your choice, morning sessions in the surf and everything in between – San Diego doesn’t disappoint.

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Romantic Date Ideas in San Diego

San Diego is a thriving city constantly welcoming visitors from around the globe. With its endless sunshine, ocean waves, countless trails and picturesque shoreline, visitors flock to America’s finest city for relaxation, reinvigoration and rest. Some come for the laid-back atmosphere while others come for the outdoor activities. Some come for those destination celebrations while others come to check out the sights. Many bring their special someone to share in their joy.

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Ultimate Guide to San Diego on a Budget

San Diego – southern California’s gem only a stone’s throw from the Mexican border is known for sun, sand, sea and vitamin D access year ‘round. Visitors may come for the beaches but they stay for the fish tacos. Whether you’re hitting the sand at Mission, La Jolla, Ocean or Coronado – in every grain of sand, you’re bound to feel the magic of the city.

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15 Instagrammable Spots In San Diego

Known as America’s finest city, San Diego is home to beautiful beaches, eclectic fare, farmers’ markets bursting with goodies, a year ‘round outdoor lifestyle and every summer plays host to the International Comic-Con. Filled with colorful characters, epic landscapes, incredible sunsets and enough fish tacos to go around, this city by the sea invites visitors to sit back, relax and enjoy life.

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The Best Shopping In San Diego

We know why you want to visit San Diego. When a place is nicknamed ‘America’s Finest City,’ you absolutely, positively must verify whether that claim is true. Chances are when you get there, you’ll arrive at the same conclusion most do upon first visiting this great city; Yes, it is as fine as they say it is! When it comes to pleasing visuals, San Diego has no shortage of them. If it isn’t the gorgeous 70-mile expanse of coastline that runs through quaint, rustic beach towns like beautiful La Jolla or the sparkling skyline at night as it hugs San Diego Bay then its the incredible colonial Spanish architecture and Mexican influence almost everywhere you look.

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Hop On Hop Off San Diego Tours

Hello, I’m David Thornton, General Manager of Old Town Trolley of San Diego and CASTmember since 2001.

As you explore the scenic coastal landscape, you’ll learn why San Diego is called “America’s Finest City.” Since 1989, Old Town Trolley Tours has provided sightseeing tours highlighting the best of San Diego.

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Hometown Pass

Welcome to San Diego!    

Introducing the Old Town Trolley Hometown Pass Program. Residents of San Diego county can take advantage of our tour for FREE when accompanied by an adult paid guest.* It’s free to join and easy to use. 

Sign up today and rediscover the magic of San Diego with the Old Town Trolley Tours Hometown Pass.

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Cruise Excursions

Welcome to San Diego!

Known as “America’s Finest City”, San Diego offers a wide array of things to do and see for visitors of all ages. Let Old Town Trolley show you California’s second largest city, where blue skies, exciting attractions and 70 miles of beaches come together to create a vacationer’s paradise. For over 25 years, Old Town Trolley Tours has been providing sightseeing tours highlighting the best San Diego attractions. Hop aboard one of our trolleys and you’ll experience Transportainment®, a delightful combination of transportation and entertainment. The Attraction that takes you to the attractions, Old Town Trolley Tours is the best way to see the city, highlighting the best of San Diego.

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Hidden Gems In San Diego To Visit On Vacation

San Diego is filled with activities in the sand, sea and surf. Often referred to as America’s Finest City, this coastal town is saturated with year round sunshine, its residents are characterized as having outdoor lifestyles and adventure can be discovered at every turn. For those planning a visit, there are a few must-sees on everyone’s travel itinerary; and then there are the off the beaten path hidden gems that are rarely included.

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Things To Do In La Jolla and San Diego Area Beaches

Everyday is a good day to hit the beach in San Diego. Mild temperatures, sunny skies and a magnificent coastline are just the beginning. San Diego beaches offer something for everyone – secluded serene spots where the sand goes on for miles, dramatic cliffs perched above crashing waves, rocky tide pools, coral reefs teeming with sea life, beaches for surfers, families, and everything in between. And surrounding each beach is a town that offers a bunch of fun things to do.

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Things To Do in San Diego With Kids

Get MORE out of your summer in San Diego aboard the iconic Old Town Trolley and see the best first!

Looking for the most efficient and entertaining way to visit many of the things to do in San Diego with kids? Look no further because Old Town Trolley Tours offers parents a relaxing way to tour all the best San Diego attractions for kids. Parents don’t have to worry about searching for directions to the Children’s Museum, driving to the San Diego Zoo, or finding parking while traveling from all of San Diego’s best attractions.

No matter what time of the year you visit, family fun abounds in San Diego. The weather is as close to perfect as it can get, the locals are friendly, and the area is bursting with things to do.

Our hop on and hop off trolley tours allow the parents to concentrate on having fun with their kids instead of worrying about logistics. We make the tours in San Diego for kids very entertaining by providing neat facts about all the best places to visit. Your kids will thank you for giving them a fun-filled vacation and you’ll thank Old Town Trolley for taking care of the logistics. Also, kids under age 4 ride totally free!

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Best Beaches In San Diego

Did you know that San Diego has 70 miles of pristine coastline? Add that to year-round sunshine and mild temperatures, and you have a California coastal city with some of the best beaches in the world. With 70 miles along the Pacific Ocean, San Diego (California’s second largest city) is divided into six beach regions including Coronado, La Jolla, Mission Bay and Beaches, North County Coastal, South Bay and Point Loma, Harbor Island and Shelter Island.

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Getting Around San Diego On Vacation

open all day

In the beautiful city of San Diego, there is an abundance of things to do and see. When you begin planning your visit, make sure to include plans for how you’ll get from one attraction to another. San Diego offers a myriad of options when it comes to transportation. Read on for the top choices to get around in San Diego.

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Fun Facts About San Diego

Everyone knows that San Diego has the most beautiful beaches, the most perfect weather and is home to some of the most laid-back, friendly folks in the nation. But there are a lot of other really cool and interesting facts about America’s Finest City that you may not know. Read on for fun facts about San Diego.

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How To See San Diego in 2 Days

San Diego is California’s second largest city – home to many beautiful sights, exciting attractions and historical points of interests. Old Town Trolley Tours, with many stops and more than 100 sights, offers a great way to see all the best of San Diego in 2 days.

Here’s a list of the San Diego attractions we recommend you spend more time at and the best order to see them in:

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Little Italy

K Stop K

Throughout the nation, Little Italy neighborhoods symbolize the tremendous contribution that Italians have made to the culture and history of the United States. Covering a gorgeous and walkable 48-square-block area of northwest downtown San Diego, this ethnic enclave is the largest of its kind in the country. Hosting several festivals throughout the year, the neighborhood boasts street-side cafes, art galleries and a beautiful urban park.

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San Diego Visitor Center

Welcome to San Diego! Before heading out to discover all that the city has to offer, stop into the San Diego Visitors Info Center. Our friendly staff of local experts will help you plan out your visit with valuable insight into the attractions, history, points of interest, dining, entertainment and sights that you won’t want to miss. We have brochures, maps and discounted tickets to many area attractions and tours.

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Harbor Cruises

The best way to see the Big Bay, as it is referred to by the locals in San Diego, is hopping on board a Harbor Cruise. While cruising in the North Bay, visitors will hear an informative narrative about the San Diego bay and experience picturesque views along with historic sights like the North Island Naval Air Station, the United States Naval Submarine Base and Point Loma.

Those that choose the South Bay cruise get the opportunity to see the Coronado Bay Bridge, the bustling Navy Shipyards and the surface fleet.

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Old Town Community

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Adjacent to the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the Old Town Community exudes colonial beauty and the flavors and heritage of its early settlers. Several restaurants serve up Mexican and Californian cuisine, while quaint stores and boutiques provide unique shopping experiences. Up the hill is Heritage Park, a protected county park and the setting for seven of San Diego’s most splendid Victorian homes that were relocated and restored to their original grandeur.

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We take great pride in providing an itinerary that showcases all the great aspects of each city during our tours. The most popular stops on our San Diego tour include Balboa Park, the Star of India Maritime Museum, the Gaslamp Quarter, the Embarcadero Marina/USS Midway Museum, and the Hotel del Coronado.

Our San Diego tour is 25 miles long and is approximately 100 minutes from start to finish, but our hop-on, hop-off tour is designed for you to hop off at any stop, explore a San Diego attraction or neighborhood, and hop back on when you are ready to resume your San Diego sightseeing experience.

You may start your Old Town Trolley Tour at any of our convenient stops. Click on Map and Stops to see a list of our stops with information about the attractions and points of interest at each stop.

The San Diego Tour travels through Little Italy, the Gaslamp Quarter, Old Town, Balboa Park, Coronado, and downtown.

Our San Diego tours run 363 days per year (364 in leap years). We’re only closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego operates the city’s largest fleet of sightseeing vehicles, and this allows us to pick up and drop off more frequently than any other trolley company. The frequency of the trolleys depends on the time of the year, traffic, and weather conditions.

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre natural wonderland filled with unforgettable experiences for people of every age. Yes, our San Diego tour goes to Balboa Park.

This charming island is located off the coast of San Diego and is popular for its idyllic ambiance, picturesque scenery, and rich history. If you’re looking for a unique and engaging way to explore Coronado Island, the Old Town Trolley tour is an excellent option. Driving across the bridge is exhilarating, and you’ll get panoramic views of the city from a high vantage point. This tour is an exciting, informative, and entertaining way to see the island’s iconic landmarks, including the famous Hotel del Coronado, Coronado Beach, and the gorgeous mansions overlooking the bay.

San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, with great weather, a thriving restaurant scene, and many attractions to visit. However, if you have mobility issues or simply don’t want to do a lot of walking, it can be tricky to find things to do. That’s where the Old Town Trolley tour comes in handy. This guided tour of San Diego’s top landmarks allows you to sit back and relax while learning about the city’s history, culture, and architecture. Whether you’re interested in history or culture, or simply having a good time, this tour will take you to some of the city’s must-see attractions.

San Diego is one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in California. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there’s something for everyone, from stunning beaches, world-class museums and cultural landmarks to a bustling nightlife and a welcoming atmosphere. But, for those of you who only have one day to discover it all, is it even possible? The answer is yes, and the quickest and easiest way to do it is by taking the Old Town Trolley Tour.

The Old Town Trolley Tour is a hop-on, hop-off tour that covers all the major landmarks in San Diego. You can catch the trolley at any one of its stops and hop on and off as many times as you like. The journey will take you to some of the most famous places in San Diego, such as Balboa Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, and the USS Midway Museum. You’ll also see the world-famous San Diego Zoo, the vibrant Little Italy District, and the charming Old Town. With many stops, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see the most iconic places in the city.

The Whaley House Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Diego. It’s not only a beautiful Victorian mansion, but it’s also famous for its paranormal activity. With its dark past, the museum probably has more history and intrigue than any other spot in the city.

Day tours at the Whaley House are perfect for families with kids and those who prefer historical tours. During the day, the mansion is well-lit, and you’ll have a chance to admire the beautiful architecture and learn about the Whaley family’s history from knowledgeable guides.

If you’re looking for a more thrilling experience, the evening tours are for you. The Whaley House has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in America. Beneath this beautiful facade lies a darker side. Visitors report various paranormal experiences at the house. Some see ghostly visions, while others hear footsteps in empty rooms. Will you be lucky enough to witness these paranormal activities?

Whether you choose a day or evening tour, you won’t be disappointed. The day tours offer a more traditional historical experience, while the evening tours are perfect for thrill seekers and those interested in the paranormal.

Balboa Park spans an area of over 1,200 acres, which means it could take a while to see everything. Typically, it would take you at least an entire day to see the main attractions and explore the park. This could be longer or shorter depending on how much time you spend at each attraction and how much walking you want to do. It is possible to visit Balboa Park on the Old Town Trolley Tour, as it includes an overview of the park’s history, significant landmarks, and distinct architectural styles. Therefore, if you only have limited time to visit Balboa Park, you can hop on the Old Town Trolley Tour and learn about the park’s history while getting a glimpse of its beauty.

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