San Diego Historical Walking Tour: Downtown's Rich History
6 Ratings
San Diego
Discover the rich history of downtown San Diego on a group walking tour. Explore the city's founding in 1542, iconic landmarks, and modern-day industry. Don't miss out!
Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
  • Gaslamp Quarter - Josh will meet you in the lobby of the historic San Diego Trust and Savings Bank Building (now a Courtyard Marriott) to share information on how San Diego became the birthplace of California. You will learn about Spanish explorers, the first settlement of Old Town, the Mexican-American War, and becoming the 31st state in the U.S.
  • Horton Plaza Park - After passing through the Gaslamp Quarter you will learn about the growth of the city and the visionary creation of downtown San Diego in the late 1800s (including international recognition and the development of the San Diego Zoo).
  • Santa Fe Depot - The tour will stop outside of the historic Santa Fe train station to learn how the east coast and west coast were connected by train. Train access led to an age of prosperity and rich elites visiting San Diego, especially with the opening of the famous Hotel Del Coronado.
  • USS Midway Museum - The tour will end outside of the USS Midway Museum to discuss San Diego’s role in world wars and the modern day military industry. Please note the tour does NOT include entrance to the USS Midway Museum and the tour will NOT go inside the museum.
What's Included
  • Gratuities
What's Not Included
  • Entrance Tickets to the USS Midway Museum ($31 for adults on your own after the tour)
Additional Information

This is a collective pedestrian tour to explore the attractions of San Diego’s city center. The excursion covers the comprehensive chronicles of San Diego, starting from its establishment in 1542 up to its contemporary industrialism. The trip includes data on San Diego’s pioneers and futurists, the Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza Park, Santa Fe Depot, and the USS Midway Marine Museum.

530 Broadway
Josh will be wearing a tour guide name tag and will meet you in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Downtown. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes early to ensure the tour starts on time.
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
(6 Ratings)
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1 star
Jan 17, 2024
Excellent Tour - Our group of five thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Josh's knowledge about the City of San Diego and its unique history is very impressive. We would highly recommend this tour to others. Thanks, Josh!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jan 15, 2024
Great Walking Tour of San Diego. - Josh was a fantastic tour guide with wonderful knowledge of the history of San Diego. He’s very personable and I would definitely recommend taking his walking tour of San Diego!!!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jan 14, 2024
Great history of the city. Do it early on your trip to SD - Josh was awesome. His knowledge of the city was impressive. We learned so much about the history of the city. Josh shares how San Diego began and tells the story through modern day. We wish we had done this earlier on our trip so we would have known more about where we exploring. He also gave us some fantastic restaurant and cocktail spot recommendations. Book this trip and do it at the beginning of your trip. Thank you for a great tour, Josh!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Dec 9, 2023
Excellent walking tour! - We went on this historical walking tour and it was awesome. We met Josh at a hotel in downtown San Diego and he walked us through downtown to the USS Midway Museum. Throughout the 1-1.5 hour walk, he would explain the history behind each historical building/monument, which we learned and enjoyed so much. He also recommended where to go for food/drinks which we did (the tacos were fantastic, and the Old-Fashioned at the US Grant was grand!). Josh is very passionate about the city and he was friendly and patient with us throughout the walk. Highly recommended!!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Sep 16, 2023
Enlightened to San Diego’s history - We loved our tour with Josh. He has clearly done a ton of research on the history of San Diego and made it very interesting. We had no idea there was such history here. It was only about an hour long, but we enjoyed every bit of it and were impressed how personable Josh is and how he pulled together the various things that happened in history to bring San Diego to the point it is today. He even inspired us to do a little bit more exploring on our own! I would most definitely recommend this tour to anyone who likes history and architecture. It doesn’t take long and is super affordable. A great use of your time!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Aug 25, 2023
The BEST historical tour of San Diego! - LOOK NO MORE AND BOOK THIS TOUR! I just moved to the city, so I wanted to take a tour to learn a few interesting facts about my new home, but little did I know that it was going to surpass all my expectations. First off, Josh is exactly what you want in a tour guide, a huge history buff with impeccable storytelling skills who is super nice, very knowledgeable and really funny! The tour begins at this really cool place that at first you don’t think much of it, until Josh reveals the history of it,( I won’t ruin the surprise you’ve got to experience it yourself 😉) and proceeds to walk you through the history of the foundation of San Diego. Then the walking tour starts in the heart of the city and you hear all about the creation of the downtown area, the role that the Gilded Age played in its expansion, the role of the military in the city and up to the modern times of what today is San Diego. Throughout the whole tour Josh points out little details in the landscape, landmarks, surroundings and buildings that take you back to the time in which they were installed which, if it wasn’t for this tour, I probably would have not noticed on my own. It is such a wonderful, easy, informative and very enjoyable experience for such a good price and it will definitely become a must for when I have visitors in town. Please do yourself a favor and don’t miss out on this tour. You won’t regret it!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Select Date and Tickets
up to 10 guests
1 Adult
April 2024