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San DiegoCulture & history

Our most recommended San Diego Culture & history

San Diego: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket

1. San Diego: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket

Take a self-guided audio tour onboard the world’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, the historic USS Midway. See the carrier’s 25 restored aircraft from the days of WWII to Operation Desert Storm. Visit areas throughout the Midway, from the crew's sleeping quarters to the pilots' ready rooms. Docents are available throughout the carrier and are eager to share their stories, anecdotes, and statistics, creating a picture of just how important the USS Midway was to the U.S. Navy. Most guests spend 3 to 4 hours exploring this historic aircraft carrier and learning its history. The included audio guide, available in 6 languages, will help you explore the dozens of highlighted areas across the massive ship.  There are family-oriented activities throughout the Museum. Included are 3 types of flight simulators, music videos, short films, climb-aboard aircraft and cockpits, and more. The Museum is located at the Navy Pier in downtown San Diego.

San Diego: Harbor Cruise

2. San Diego: Harbor Cruise

See San Diego's best sights. Learn about the city and enjoy a cruise on the bay. Depending on the option booked, this tour takes you under the Coronado Bridge, past military ships, waterfront landmarks, and marine life for a look at San Diego's scenic beauty and fascinating history. This tour’s luxury ships offer three levels with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, 360-degree views, and an on-board snack bar serving snacks, soda, beer, wine and cocktails (available for purchase). This is a great way to experience San Diego from the water.

San Diego Zoo: 1-Day Admission Ticket

3. San Diego Zoo: 1-Day Admission Ticket

Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo, home to over 4,500 rare and endangered animals, and experience their worlds at the Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, and other areas. The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is known for its naturalistic habitats and unique animal encounters. An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to the zoo‘s rare and fascinating animals, including koalas, Galápagos tortoises, tigers, eagles, flamingos, great apes, and more. Other exotic animals you may encounter include Sichuan takins, Buerger’s tree-kangaroos, arctic foxes, pangolin, and Visayan warty pigs. Explore Africa Rocks to discover penguins, baboons, the mysterious fossa, weaver birds, and other unique creatures. The festive, lively atmosphere makes the San Diego Zoo a great place for family fun and gathering friends. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and exciting animal presentations and shows. The Zoo’s 17 Galápagos tortoises are now at home at the Fetter Family Galápagos Tortoise Exhibit. When keepers are present, you can pet and occasionally feed the tortoises over a short rock barrier. At the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge, you can get closer to polar bears than ever before. Climb aboard an Arctic research helicopter, crawl into a bear den, or measure yourself against the size of a polar bear. The Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey is a 7.5-acre habitat and a first-of-its-kind experience. This area combines the fun of a zoo with the experience of a museum by creating an untamed landscape of animals from the past and present. A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience.

San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Trolley Tour

4. San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Trolley Tour

Join the Hop-on Hop-Off Tour of Old Town San Diego at any of the tour's 12 boarding points and visit more than 100 interesting points in Coronado and San Diego at your own pace. You can begin at any time of the day and listen to the entertaining narration of the onboard conductors along the way. San Diego is known as America’s Finest City, and as you explore the sights of Old Town and the scenic coastline you’ll see why. Opt to begin your tour at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, where you’ll see original adobe homes and artifacts from the earliest Mexican settlements. At the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, you’ll learn about the importance of the U.S. Navy's presence in San Diego. Then continue on to nearby Seaport Village, where you can stop for refreshments and enjoy shopping and entertainment. In the historic Gaslamp Quarter, you’ll find loads of shops and other interesting places located in Victorian-themed buildings. One particular house of interest is the William Heath Davis House. Built-in saltbox style, it is similar to the original home of Davis, who founded New Town San Diego. When you’re back on the trolley you’ll be entertained once again by the conductor’s narration. Continue on to the well-known Hotel del Coronado, one of America’s leading resorts. You may choose to take a stroll through nearby Balboa Park, along El Prado, the promenade lined with Spanish-style buildings. With more stops than any other tour, this hop-on hop-off trolley ride is guaranteed to deliver. In addition to sightseeing, enjoy free shuttle service to and from select area hotels, a map and day planner, and $70 in discount coupons to use at restaurants and area attractions. Hop on or hop off at 12 convenient stops: A - Old Town State Historic Park (4010 Twiggs St & San Diego Ave.) B - Maritime Museum of San Diego/Star of India (1492 N Harbor Dr) C - San Diego Embarcadero (1004 N. Harbor Dr) D - Headquarters at Seaport Village (789 W Harbor Dr) E - Seaport Village (825 W Harbor Dr) F - Marriott Marquis & Marina (333 W Harbor Dr) G - Gaslamp Quarter (480 4th Ave) H - Petco Park/San Diego Convention Center (855 E Harbor Dr) I - Barrio Logan (1113 E.Cesar Chavez Pkwy) J - Coronado/Orange Avenue (1107 Orange Ave) K - Balboa Park and El Prado Museums (2175 Presidents Way) L - Little Italy (1605 India St)

San Diego: SeaWorld Skip-the-Line Park Admission Ticket

5. San Diego: SeaWorld Skip-the-Line Park Admission Ticket

Discover the underwater world at SeaWorld San Diego, with animal encounters, interactive exhibits, and thrilling rides. Get up close to marine life and enjoy educational animal presentations for the whole family to enjoy. Upgrade your ticket to include a dining pass to eat all day at SeaWorld. Experience thrilling rides such as Electric Eel with its high-energy twists and loops, or Manta, with two thrilling launches that send riders soaring in the spirit of the world’s largest ray. For kid-friendly fun, enjoy Tentacle Swirl, Sea Dragon Drop, Elmo's Flying Fish, and so much more. Admire the animals at SeaWorld such as beluga whales, walruses, penguins, sharks, and orcas as you learn about these incredible creatures. Enjoy interactive exhibits such as the Explorer's Reef Touchpools and Sea Lion Point. Explore the Sesame Street Bay of Play where you can meet your Sesame Street friends. If you choose to upgrade to the all-day dining bundle, you can get an entree, a side/dessert, and a drink every 1 hour at Shipwreck Reef Café®, Calypso Bay Smokehouse, Mama Stella’s® Pizza Kitchen, Big Bird's Bistro, Coral Market, Shark Market, Orca West Market, and Pretzel Shop.

La Jolla: 2-Hour Kayak Tour of the 7 Caves

6. La Jolla: 2-Hour Kayak Tour of the 7 Caves

Take a lesson before the tour begins and grab all the necessary kayak equipment. The tour takes place in the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. There are 3 different habitats in the reserve, and on your tour you will have the chance paddle to all three - the rocky reefs, sandy flats, and kelp beds. Paddle to the seven caves of La Jolla and go into the Clam’s cave, which is the largest cave on the tour. See the local marine life on the tour including sea lions, harbor seals, Garibaldi, leopard sharks, and the occasional dolphin.

San Diego: Harbor Sightseeing Cruise

7. San Diego: Harbor Sightseeing Cruise

See the sights of San Diego Bay on a fully-narrated cruise. Pass by Seaport Village, Shelter Island, Coronado Island, Point Loma, and Cabrillo National Monument, among other notable points of interest, while taking in beautiful skyline views. San Diego’s North Harbor cruise takes you past historic ships in the Maritime Museum, Harbor Island, North Island Naval Air Station, and Shelter Island. The South Harbor route includes sightings of the Coronado Bridge, the U.S.S. Midway Aircraft Carrier, the U.S. Navy Surface Fleet, and the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. As you sail, keep a lookout for wildlife such as blue herons, sea lions, and pelicans Listen as your professional crew provides commentary about the rich local and military history, points of interest, and facts about San Diego Bay. This sightseeing cruise also showcases local environmental conservation efforts through video clips and onboard displays.

Los Angeles: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions

8. Los Angeles: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions

The Los Angeles All-Inclusive Pass by Go City gets you into over 40 top attractions in the city for one low price. Save up to 50%* on admission compared to buying individual tickets and pay nothing at the gate. Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific, Dolby Theatre, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, and many more of the best things to do in L.A., Hollywood, and beyond. In addition, when you buy a 3-, 5- or 7-day pass, you also get a ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood. You can take up to 2 weeks from when you first use the pass to use the remaining calendar days on your pass. The free digital guide helps you decide what to do, where to go, how to get there and how to make reservations in advance when required. Simply show your pass straight from your phone (or printed) at the gate or ticket office to get in. Activities, attractions, and tours included with the Los Angeles All-Inclusive Pass: Theme Parks • Universal Studios Hollywood Ticket (3+ day passes only) • Knott's Berry Farm • LEGOLAND California (choice between San Diego Zoo or LEGOLAND) • Knott's Soak City Water Park Outdoor Activities • Hollywood Sign Tour • Celebrity Bike Tour by Bikes & Hikes LA (choice between self-guided or guided tour) • Whale Watch & Dolphin Tour - Beautiful Newport Beach • Huntington Beach: 2-hr SUP board or kayak rental • Huntington Beach: Yoga on the beach • Long Beach Waterfront and Downtown Walking Tour • Santa Monica 3-Hours Bike Rental • Los Angeles 2-Hour Fishing Tour • 2-Hour Beach Bike & Skate Rentals • Highlights of Santa Monica and Venice Beach Bike Tour Tours • Big Bus Discover Hop-on Hop-off Tour • Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood • Big Bus Celebrity Lifestyle and Homes Tour • Dolby Theater Guided Tour • Downtown LA Food and Culture Tour • Glass Bottom Boat Eco Tour • SoFi Stadium Tour • Getty to Griffith Bus Tour • Long Beach Waterfront and Downtown Walking Tour Family-Friendly • Madame Tussauds Hollywood • Aquarium of the Pacific • TCL Chinese Theater - Tour or Movie and a drink (choice between TCL Chinese Theater or Hollywood Museum) • Santa Monica Pier Aquarium • Los Angeles Zoo • California Science Center IMAX Movie • San Diego Zoo (choice between San Diego Zoo or LEGOLAND) Museums and Entertainment • Hollywood Museum (choice between TCL Chinese Theater or Hollywood Museum) • GRAMMY Museum • Battleship IOWA Museum • Natural History Museum • Autry Museum of the American West • Museum of Latin American Art • Cabrillo Maritime Museum • Richard Nixon Library • South Coast Shop & Dine Package • Holocaust Museum LA *Savings based on itineraries on Go City website.

San Diego: SEAL City Tour by Amphibious Bus

9. San Diego: SEAL City Tour by Amphibious Bus

Splash into San Diego Bay with an insightful tour across land and water on this unique sightseeing adventure. Take a seat aboard a hybrid bus and boat and take in many of the most interesting sights in the city. Wind through picturesque San Diego streets before splashing into the water for a cruise of San Diego Bay. Learn about San Diego's main landmarks from your guide. Pass the Embarcadero and San Diego International Airport. Hear about the importance of the military in San Diego and other local icons as you travel along the scenic coast. See the Aircraft Carrier USS Midway, the old schooner "Star of India" and the old Police Headquarters Once you splash into the Big Bay, glide by Navy ships, tugboats, and fishing vessels throughout the harbor. Pass by Shelter Island and listen to stories of early sailors. Take in the wildlife - most notably the seals which hang out in the harbor.

San Diego: City Lights Night Trolley Tour

10. San Diego: City Lights Night Trolley Tour

Your 90-minute night tour boards in Seaport Village and starts off by exploring the West Coast’s premier entertainment district, known as the Gaslamp Quarter, full of vibrant nightlife, bright lights, and Victorian architecture.   Then, make your way to Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the U.S., where stunning buildings, fountains, and statues glow bright at night. From Balboa Park, drive to the top of Coronado Bridge for more spectacular sights, including the lights coming in from Tijuana, Mexico, the bay, and Downtown San Diego. Then, travel to Coronado’s Ferry Landing for a 20-minute stop to take in the stunning beauty of the San Diego city skyline, visible from across the bay and a perfect photo opportunity. From Coronado, make your way back to San Diego to take in the Embarcadero’s bay-front views. You’ll see the Historic County Administration Building, Maritime Museum’s Star of India, the USS Midway Museum, and Navy aircraft carriers from across the bay. The tour ends in Seaport Village.

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What people are saying about San Diego

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 474 reviews

Really well organised tour. Audio tour is free and very good. Must have it to appreciate the history of the ship. Indeed and in general there is lots of information available about the role of the ship. The staff are extremely attentive. Allow 3 hours minimum. Restaurant in the hanger is ok.

Amazing to be on a part of history! Please make sure to go to see the Midway and hear the incredible docents describe the different areas of the ship.

Very cool experience, with lots to see. I would do it again - to see what I missed!!

It’s amazing and the docents are informative, terrific people.

Helps convey the arena our service men served our country.