Old Town Trolly / Tours, San Diego
We didn’t do this one but I’m including it as many of our members ask about hop-on, hop-off transportation, and these can be particularly useful for cruise-ship passengers needing a quick, one-day overview of the city. OTT offers a variety of tours but the most popular is their general HOHO service with 11 stops including Coronado Island. Tours are narrated, and last about 2 hours if you do the full circuit without getting off.
This particular tour is seeing very good reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp, and incidences of trolleys too full to take on additional passengers at the stops appear to be infrequent. A couple of notes:
• Trolleys come by the stops every 30 minutes or so but don’t run late into the evenings so don’t plan on using them to get back to your hotel after a late dinner in Old Town or at the storied Del Coronado
• They do not go DIRECTLY to the San Diego Zoo - not that you’d want to waste the ticket price on an all-day activity
• Wheelchair accessibility is possible with advance notice
• Strollers must be collapsible and stored up front; please don’t try to make them accommodate one the size of a truck?
• Children under 4 are free, and there are no senior discounts
• 2-day tickets are available and do not have to be used on consecutive days
• Trolleys are not heated and do not have seatbelts
• No pets except for service dogs
• Tickets can be purchased in San Diego (at the Old Town OTT depot and Coronado Visitor Center, for sure) but the website is maddeningly vague about where. Contact OTT for locations if you do not wish to order in advance from the website.
And lastly, DO NOT CONFUSE these trolleys with San Diego public transport; the city calls their light-rail trams “trolleys” as well
This narrated tour of San Diego lasts about two hours, however taking advantage of the eleven "on and off stops," the tour can last longer than a day and they offer a two day package as well. During the summer the tours run from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and in winter time from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
A tour can begin at any of the eleven stops if you have purchased your ticket on line, which I suggest. Regular price for a ticket is $34.00 and only $30.00 if purchased on line and the ticket can be printed from your own computer. The bus arrives at each stop about every thrity minutes. However, if you have the use of a car, I'd sugguest beginning and ending the tour from the Old Town stop as there is plenty of free parking, if you get there early.
Through the years the number of stops have changed so, check their website for updated information.
At present, these are the stops to expect:
Old Town State Historic Park
San Diego Convention Center
Coronado Ferry Landing
Hotel del Coronado
San Diego Zoo-Balboa Park-El Prado Museums
The SEAL Tour offers a view of the Bay of San Diego via a combination of land and water routes. The tour lasts about an hour and a half and seems a good solution for those who have little time to spend in town. The bright blue vehicle has an odd look to it and was the butt of many jokes when it first arrived in San Diego, but it has survived and whenever I see one driving down the road or floating on the Bay, the people riding in it look happy.
Tours depart from Seaport Village daily and run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm during the winter and 10:00 am to 5:00 pm in summer.
The Adult ticket is $34.00. However, if you buy on line the price is only $30.00. Also, if you buy the Seal and Old Town Trolley Tour package on line both will be only $54.00, which is a pretty good deal and would cover not only the hot spots of the area but a view of the Bay and it's activities from the water..
500 Kettner Boulevard
Both times I have visited San Diego I have taken the Old Town Trolly Tour, and each time I saw different sights. In my mind it is simply the easiest and least expensive way to see the most of San Diego in the shortest amount of time. One of the great things about taking the trolly is that you can get off at any one of a eight designated stops. They are: Old Town, Seaport Village, Horton Plaza, Balboa Park, Coronado and the San Diego Zoo.
You can disbark as often as you wish, and stay as short or as long a time as you want, just so you don't miss the last trooly of the day. I recommend that you start as early in the day as possible. You still won't have time to see it all in one tour.
The Balboa Park Tram is provided as a free public service by the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department - thank you :-).
The free tram provides access to Balboa Park’s museums and attractions. Trams pick up from Tram Central every 8–10 minutes. Riders may also board at one of the numerous designated pick-up areas around the Park. Make your first stop the Balboa Park Visitors Center in the House of Hospitality where you can pick up a bi-monthly Events Guide and a detailed map.
The tram operates seven days a week: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm. with extended hours during summer months.
We arranged a US$28 all-day Trolley bus tour of San Diego from our resort. The bus departs the Old Town area and makes about 6 stops at various points of interest on its circular route of San Diego and Coronado Island. Passengers can disembark at any of the stops and look around at their leisure before catching the next bus to continue on the trip.
With the Paradise Point Resort being located a short distance away from the downtown area, it seemed that we were always taking taxis (at US$20 per trip) to get to and from the tourist attractions in the city. It soon adds up!
Our flight to San Diego was via Toronto on Air Canada, and we ended up having about a 5-hour wait there on both legs of the trip, as well as a 5-hour flight between the two cities.
Tour Old Town San Diego at your own pace. Make an all day experience by get off at any stop, explore, stay as long as you like, then reboard angin to make one complete loop.
Web site www.trolleytours.com
Try not to confuse Old Town Trolley Tours with the San Diego Trolley. It costs a bit more to ride but the driver gives you a narrated tour of the things you'll see.