Historic Trolley Tour in San DiegoOne of the best ways to explore San Diego is by taking the historic trolley tour. You can jump on and off the trolley at any of the 10 stops throughout the day. Along the way, the driver will share interesting San Diego history and tips about places to see and things to do.

The city of San Diego and the greater San Diego county are home to beautiful beaches, popular attractions, hiking trails, and many more adventures.

Many people come to the city to enjoy SeaWorld’s exhibits and shows or the world-famous San Diego Zoo, but there is much more to explore around town.

You can spend days visiting the museums at Balboa Park, take a sunset dinner cruise in the harbor, or climb aboard an Aircraft Carrier. Read the full San Diego guide here.

Historic Old Town in San Diego

You can start your tour at any of the 10 stops along the route, but the main starting point is at Old Town San Diego.

This State Park is a collection of protected historic buildings that have been turned into a living museum of San Diego life in the 1800s.

While in Old Town, you can enjoy visits to Spanish Adobe style homes, buy souvenirs from stores, or dine at one of the unique restaurants. Casa de Estudillo is especially interesting with its unique style and interior courtyard.

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Tip: Many hotels have shuttles to Old Town. Ask your concierge for schedules and make sure you can get back to Old Town before the last shuttle. You can also find a list here.

USS Midway Museum in San DiegoThe second stop is at the Embarcadero, where you can find attractions like the USS Midway, Harbor Cruises, and Whale Watching excursions. From here, you can walk to the next stop or hop back on the trolley.

Interesting Fact: In San Diego, it’s illegal to shoot jackrabbits from the back of a streetcar. I wonder why they had to make this law.

Stop number three is at Seaport Village, where you can spend time shopping, dining, or enjoying the street artists. Seaport Village is also home to some interesting art galleries and a candle shop.

The fourth stop is at the Marriott, close to the convention center. The marina right at the Marriott is an interesting destination by itself. But from there, you can take the little ones to the Children’s Museum for some hands-on fun.

Horton Plaza in San DiegoThe next stop is at Horton Plaza and the Gaslamp Quarter. Spend some time at the mall or walk around the quarter for some unique shops and dining experiences. Also, in the area, you can find a movie theater, House of Blues, and Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts.

Tip: When you board the trolley for the first time, you will get a sticker to place on your clothes. This is your ticket to hop on and off the trolley. The stickers do not stick to some materials. You can place the sticker on any piece of paper or on a credit card to avoid losing it.

Gaslamp Quarter in San DiegoStop six is also at the Gaslamp Quarter, closer to the waterfront. This site has destinations like the historic district, the Chinese historic district, and the Altitude Sky Lounge at the Marriott. The lounge is a good place to dine, dance, and enjoy the views.

Book your San Diego Activities here.

Stop seven gets you to the Hilton Bayfront, which is at the south end of the convention center. From this stop, you can walk to Petco Park baseball stadium and the Ferry to Coronado Island.

Interesting Fact: The first driver across the Coronado Bridge when it first opened was Ronald Reagan in 1969.

Coronado Bridge in San DiegoThe eighth stop takes you to Coronado Island, close to the beach and the famous Hotel Del Coronado.

The ride from stop seven to stop eight takes you over the Coronado Bridge, which offers amazing views of the bay, downtown San Diego, and the island. The bridge connects downtown San Diego to Coronado Island and crosses over the SD Bay.

Interesting Fact: The Hotel Del Coronado is the country’s largest wooden structure.

Balboa Park in San DiegoStop Nine takes you to the heart of Balboa Park, where you can find many nature walks, museums, gardens, restaurants, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

The last stop is at the Little Italy neighborhood. This area has a lot of history and is full of boutique shops and Italian restaurants.

Interesting Fact: From the early 1930s to the late 1970s, San Diego was the tuna capital of the world.

While here, you can visit the Piazza Basilone Memorial, a tribute to the neighborhood’s soldiers who died during the Korean War. The Piazza has tables, benches, and water fountains, where you can relax and have a picnic.

If you happen to be here on a Saturday, you can enjoy the farmers market.

At the end of your epic tour of San Diego, jump back on the trolley and head back to Old Town to complete the circle.

I loved this tour and would recommend it to everyone exploring San Diego. Just leave your car behind and enjoy the sights. Most major hotels offer shuttle service to Old Town or are a few steps away from a trolley stop.

Historic Trolley Tours offers another tour to the beaches and La Jolla. I did not try it, but I plan to do it during my next trip to San Diego.

You can find an interactive route map here.