Whether it’s your first time in San Diego or the place feels just like home, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful seaside city. With plenty of exciting sights and sounds to explore, many visitors to San Diego decide to take a bus tour while they’re in town. There are numerous options on the market to choose from, but with a little bit of research you’ll uncover the bus tour that’s perfect for you in hardly any time at all.
Which San Diego Bus Tour Is Right for Me?
Given San Diego’s popularity as a tourist destination for visitors from all over the world, you’ll find that you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to informative, entertaining bus tours. As you think about which San Diego bus tour is the perfect fit for your needs, take some time to consider the following questions.
What do I really want out of my San Diego bus tour?
You’re going to be spoiled for bus tour options in San Diego. You’ll find here basic, introductory tours that provide you a sense of the city’s history, layout, and major attractions. You’ll also find in San Diego a great number of highly specialized tours that cater to particular interests: beaches, amusement parks, beer—you name it, there’s likely a tour that focuses on it. Understanding what it is you hope to experience during your bus tour will go a long way toward helping you pick the one that’s perfect for you.
How long do I want to spend on my bus tour?
Since there are so many guided bus tours available throughout San Diego, it’s unsurprising that they tend to vary significantly in length. You’ll find tours in San Diego that run as short as an hour or two, just as you’ll find hop-on hop-off tour services that’ll carry you around town all day.
Popular San Diego Bus Tours
Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for out of a bus tour, you’ll want to learn more about individual tour companies. Here’s a bit of background about three popular San Diego bus tour operators.
Five Star Tours runs a variety of guided bus tours catering to a range of tastes and interests. Popular sightseeing tours offered by Five Star Tours include the San Diego City Tour, a four-hour outing that covers all of San Diego’s most popular attractions, and the San Diego Beach Tour, a four-hour excursion that takes you to such famous sites as La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Mission Beach, and more. Five Star Tours also operates a number of specially themed tours such as a SeaWorld tour, a San Diego City Lights night tour, and a San Diego-area craft brewery tour.
The San Diego branch of this popular tour company offers you three primary tour options: the Silver Pass, Gold Pass, and Platinum Pass. Each one of these passes provides you a day’s worth of unlimited reboarding at any one of 11 different hop-on hop-off trolley stops. However, the Gold Pass also grants you complimentary admission to the Whaley House, while the Platinum Pass grants you free admission to the Whaley House and Maritime Museum, as well as a host of additional discounts at various other local attractions.
San Diego SEAL Tours run a fleet of Hydra-Terra vehicles—they’re basically boats that have wheels! Your San Diego SEAL tour consists of a 90-minute guided tour that rumbles through the streets of San Diego past some of its most famous landmarks before shoving off into the sea for a scenic cruise past Point Loma, North Island Naval Air Station, and much, much more.
What to Expect on Your San Diego Bus Tour
Once you’ve settled on a San Diego bus tour that fits your interests, needs, and/or schedule, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your upcoming experience. Below you’ll find some additional details designed to help you prepare for your big excursion.
• Every San Diego bus tour has its own distinctive check-in policy. You’ll want to check with your bus tour operator to see how early you need to arrive in advance of your tour.
• In addition to their regular tours, many San Diego bus tours offer special seasonal experiences, like a “holiday lights” or “ghostly graveyard”-themed tour. If these sorts of tours sound appealing to you, and you’re going to be in San Diego around a major holiday, remember to look into their availability.
• Don’t forget that almost all San Diego bus tours will require you to make a reservation in advance of your tour (and many of these reservations will be non-refundable, too), so be sure to plan ahead as much as possible.