San Diego tours and excursions
San Diego tours
The Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, William Heath Davis House Museum, 410 Island Avenue, Downtown, offers two-hour guided walking tours of the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego's oldest neighbourhood, every Saturday. The tours leave from William Heath Davis House Museum. It is possible to book private tours for groups.
San Diego's Boosters of Old Town, Robinson Rose Historical House and Museum, 4002 Wallace Street, offers guided tours of the Old Town's 19th-century historic neighbourhoods and national park - often by guides dressed in period clothing. Attractions include an early American pioneer cemetery, one of the Old Town's oldest churches and a haunted house. Some tours include lunch and a fashion promenade.
San Diego has built its reputation on its oceanfront locale, so it stands to reason that a visit would not be complete without a guided tour of San Diego Bay. There are several options, including whale-watching excursions during the gray whale migration in winter and romantic dinner tours complete with dancing and a gourmet dinner. When in season (mid December through March), Hornblower Cruises and Events offers three and a half hour whale-watching tours. One- or two-hour harbour tours are also available. Tours depart from the B Street Pier beside the Cruise Ship Terminal, Harbor Drive.Tel: +1 619 6868700.
San Diego excursions
Not surprisingly, Disneyland, 1313 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, is still one of Southern California's most popular attractions, especially since it is within easy driving distance of both San Diego and Los Angeles. In addition to its old favourites, such as Main Street USA, where visitors can walk through replicas of early American stores, and Fantasyland, which celebrates some of Disney's greatest character creations, there is an exciting entertainment park. California Adventure is an innovative combination of old-style American amusement parks and 21st-century Disney technology. Its Golden State attraction integrates modern-day concerns about ecology and wildlife preservation with the public's old-fashioned love for entertainment and adventure. The Paradise Pier is a reminiscent journey back to the days of the original American amusement park, with 1950s version rides and Coney Island-style entertainment. A third attraction is Disney Downtown, which includes 12 state-of-the-art cinemas, a jazz bar and restaurants featuring North American cuisine. The easiest way for visitors to reach Disneyland from San Diego is by Greyhound bus (www.greyhound.com) or by Amtrak rail (www.amtrak.com). Both companies provide a direct service to Anaheim and stop in Disneyland. By car, Disneyland is situated on the I-5 north to Anaheim.Tel: +1 714 781 4565.
Less than one hour south of Downtown on I-5 is the Mexican border town of Tijuana (or TJ). Of late, Tijuana is struggling to maintain its status as a viable tourism destination due to the much-publicised shootings and kidnappings caused by Mexico's drug wars. Visitors are cautioned to travel in groups and be extra-conscious of their surroundings. Tijuana has several cultural and historical attractions including the Tijuana Cultural Center's museum and the curio shops and restaurants along Avenida Revolucion. The San Diego Trolley goes to the border, where sidewalks lead to shops and restaurants. Taxis are available on both sides of the border. Passports are necessary for re-entry to the USA. Equally important, visitors should remember that most US insurance policies do not cover driving in Mexico. Insurance can be purchased from roadside vendors on the US side of the border, prior to entering Mexico.