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California

Signature City San Diego

Program No. 16955RJ
Walk Torrey Pines State Reserve, explore the San Diego Zoo, savor the cuisine of Little Italy and sail San Diego’s harbor as you explore the best this seaside city has to offer.
Length
6 days
Rating (4.9)
Activity Level
Starts at
1,399

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2023
Starting at
1,699
Feb 26 - Mar 2, 2023
Starting at
1,399
Itinerary Note

Wellesley Class of 1971

Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
1,699
Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2023
Starting at
1,699
May 7 - May 12, 2023
Starting at
1,699
Sep 17 - Sep 22, 2023
Starting at
1,699
Oct 22 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Nov 5 - Nov 10, 2023
Starting at
1,699
Jan 7 - Jan 12, 2024
Starting at
1,949
Jan 21 - Jan 26, 2024
Starting at
1,949
Feb 18 - Feb 23, 2024
Starting at
1,949
Apr 14 - Apr 19, 2024
Starting at
1,949
May 12 - May 17, 2024
Starting at
1,949
Sep 1 - Sep 6, 2024
Starting at
1,949
Oct 27 - Nov 1, 2024
Starting at
1,949
Nov 17 - Nov 22, 2024
Starting at
1,949
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2023
Starting at
2,199
Feb 26 - Mar 2, 2023
Starting at
1,799
Itinerary Note

Wellesley Class of 1971

Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
2,199
Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2023
Starting at
2,199
May 7 - May 12, 2023
Starting at
2,199
Sep 17 - Sep 22, 2023
Starting at
2,199
Oct 22 - Oct 27, 2023
Starting at
2,449
Nov 5 - Nov 10, 2023
Starting at
2,199
Jan 7 - Jan 12, 2024
Starting at
2,469
Jan 21 - Jan 26, 2024
Starting at
2,469
Feb 18 - Feb 23, 2024
Starting at
2,469
Apr 14 - Apr 19, 2024
Starting at
2,469
May 12 - May 17, 2024
Starting at
2,469
Sep 1 - Sep 6, 2024
Starting at
2,469
Oct 27 - Nov 1, 2024
Starting at
2,469
Nov 17 - Nov 22, 2024
Starting at
2,469

At a Glance

From the world-renowned San Diego Zoo to sparkling beaches, bustling boardwalks and a picturesque harbor, San Diego is a city where life is lived outdoors. Experience the best of this sun-kissed California jewel, as you sample San Diego’s rich Genoese and Sicilian culture on an exclusive expert-led walk through Little Italy, marvel at the architectural masterpieces and manicured landscapes of Balboa Park and discover one of the wildest stretches of land on the Southern California coast — Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to one mile, stairs, some hills, standing indoors and out, getting on and off a motor coach without assistance.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore San Diego’s harbor on a study cruise and learn about the city’s fascinating maritime heritage and how it came to be home to the largest Navy and Marine Corps complex in the U.S.
  • See San Diego’s natural side with a walk at Torrey Pines State Reserve and a visit to Cabrillo National Monument.
  • Take a behind-the-scenes exploration at the San Diego Zoo and the historic Hotel del Coronado.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Anthony Davi
Anthony Davi is a New Yorker of Sicilian descent who has lived in San Diego for several decades. In 1997, he formed Little Italy Tours to share his love of his ancestor’s for visitors to experience Italy in San Diego. As a documentary producer, Davi created a mini-documentary for the San Diego Symphony about the music of Italy and stories of Little Italy. Davi speaks a bit of the old Sicilian dialect and his passion for all things Italian resonates throughout his programs.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Anthony Davi
Anthony Davi View biography
Anthony Davi is a New Yorker of Sicilian descent who has lived in San Diego for several decades. In 1997, he formed Little Italy Tours to share his love of his ancestor’s for visitors to experience Italy in San Diego. As a documentary producer, Davi created a mini-documentary for the San Diego Symphony about the music of Italy and stories of Little Italy. Davi speaks a bit of the old Sicilian dialect and his passion for all things Italian resonates throughout his programs.
Profile Image of Linda Canada
Linda Canada View biography
Linda Canada is a transplanted San Diegan with a love of local history. She holds an undergraduate degree in history from UCLA and a law degree from Loyola University Los Angeles. In addition to writing for publication about local history, Linda speaks to many local groups and visitors about San Diego and its colorful past. She curates exhibitions at museums and has served as the archivist for the Girl Scouts of San Diego and Imperial Counties and the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
San Diego Then and Now
by Nancy Hendrickson
Charting San Diego’s growth from a small village to a gorgeous beach city, this heavily illustrated regional portrait pairs 100 archival photographs with full-color shots of the same scene today.
A Natural History of California
by Allan A. Schoenherr
Abundantly illustrated, this natural history takes California apart, region by region, telling about its variety of landforms, habitats and wildlife. This updated second edition features new species, park details, information on the impacts of a changing climate on the state and new stories about people's interactions with the wild.
San Diego: An Introduction to the Region
by Pryde, Philip R.
This accessible, comprehensive history covers the geology, agriculture and natural features as well as the social and urban development of San Diego and surrounding areas. Includes maps and illustrations.
Moon San Diego
by Ian Anderson
A practical guide in the Moon series, packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history and destinations throughout San Diego.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to California
by Peter Alden
A compact, easy-to-use guide to 1,000 California trees, wildflowers, mammals, insects, birds and other flora and fauna.
San Diego Legends: Events, People and Places that Made History
by Innis, Jack Scheffler
As the title suggests, this is a compendium of the history makers of San Diego and the places and events that have contributed greatly to making San Diego what it is today. This book gives a nice nice background of the city for curious visitors.
I Cover the Waterfront: Stories from the San Diego Shore
by Max Miller
Special reporter for the San Diego Sun Max Miller set down his impressions of the San Diego waterfront -- from the departure of the Sardine Fleet to the hunt for elephant seals for the zoo to the sailing of the California fruit liners -- capturing the romantic spirit of the harbor and deep-sea life.
San Diego's Navy: An Illustrated History
by Bruce R. Linder
The generously illustrated book tells the intriguing story of how a reluctant Navy department slowly realized San Diego's attributes and then took bold action to consolidate its position. This discerning history provides a sweeping and long overdue view of the city and base that has influenced the lives of countless thousands of American Navy men and women and their families.
California: A History (Modern Library Chronicles)
by Kevin Starr
Arguing that America’s most populous state has always been blessed with both spectacular natural beauty and astonishing human diversity, Starr unfolds a rapid-fire epic of discovery, innovation, catastrophe, and triumph. For generations, California’s native peoples basked in the abundance of a climate and topography eminently suited to human habitation. By the time the Spanish arrived in the early sixteenth century, there were scores of autonomous tribes were thriving in the region. Though conquest was rapid, nearly two centuries passed before Spain exerted control over upper California through the chain of missions that stand to this day. The discovery of gold in January 1848 changed everything. With population increasing exponentially as get-rich-quick dreamers converged from all over the world, California reinvented itself overnight. Starr deftly traces the successive waves of innovation and calamity that have broken over the state since then–the incredible wealth of the Big Four railroad tycoons and the devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906; the emergence of Hollywood as the world’s entertainment capital and of Silicon Valley as the center of high-tech research and development; the heroic irrigation and transportation projects that have altered the face of the region; the role of labor, both organized and migrant, in key industries from agriculture to aerospace.
21 Reviews
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4.9 Average
(5) Review left 11/19/2022

If you've never been to San Diego this is a great introduction to the city and what it has to offer in history, architecture, climate and folk art.

(4) Review left 10/24/2022

Great program for anyone who desires to travel, especially the lone traveler. Road Scholar offers the best of the excursion, safety, the best of great locations at one price.

(5) Review left 5/21/2022

A successful program! We traveled to all areas of San Diego Bay and learned many aspects of the region's history. The visit to the chicano paintings was special.

(5) Review left 5/19/2022

We enjoyed this Signature City San Diego program and can definitely recommend it.

(5) Review left 5/15/2022

A really nice program.

(5) Review left 3/28/2022

San.Diego has a lot of interesting history. This program has you visit many of these places and San Diego has done a good job of caring for its history. If you haven’t been to San Diego before, you will enjoy this city. If you have been here before, you will enjoy the places you will be revisiting.

(5) Review left 3/26/2022

Thanks to this Road Scholar tour, San Diego is now one of my favorite places in the US to visit. I plan to return here many more times because I feel like we just scratched the surface. This tour introduced me to Little Italy, gave me an extensive tour of the USS midway and it’s contribution to our Armed Forces, treated me to a wide variety of delicious cuisine, provided so many activities outdoors including the San Diego zoo, a lovely walk in Torrey Pines reserve, a visit to old town, and even some wonderful jazz music by local musicians. Our leader Jackie was phenomenal – – one of the best I’ve had on all my scholar tours! I can’t recommend this tour highly enough!

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 3/09/2022

Thoroughly enjoyable experience which touched on aspects of history, natural areas, and culture of San Diego. Ticked off several items on my bucket list.

(5) Review left 3/07/2022

Visualize San Diego as a wheel hub and we the participants the hub! We were close to everything, including the water and beautiful views. Excellent transportation was provided when we were going to surrounding locations. Food was exceptional.

(5) Review left 3/05/2022

This program provides a very comprehensive look at the City of San Diego in four full days. It is an active program with a lot of variety. The hotel is located on the Bay in a very walkable area. Included meals were all excellent, and there were opportunities for some meals on your own. You will learn a lot about the history and the allure of San Diego in this program.

(5) Review left 2/05/2022

Great trip and fabulous places to eat. Speakers all excellent. If you stay at Spring Hill Suites ask for a room with a view of The Midway. They have great view and more windows. Fast before you go because food is great and you’re sure to over indulge.

(5) Review left 12/30/2021

This trip was excellent during the Thanksgiving week - I was cautious when I first arrived but the hotel & employees were excellent in keeping safety protocols. Our Leaders Jackie & Lilly, were well prepared to take us on our daily adventures, along with the passionate docents waiting to share their knowledge of this beautiful city. All of my RS trips have been excellent, but I would certainly consider taking this adventure again! Thank you Jackie & Lilly!

(5) Review left 10/17/2021

Road Scholar takes the stress out of trip planning and transportation. We don't need to stand in line for special events, as RS already arranged the tickets! RS provides outstanding experts to make sure we understand the significance of the places we visit.

(5) Review left 2/19/2020

Would highly recommend this tour.

(5) Review left 2/17/2020

I have now been on two Road Scholar trips and have thoroughly enjoyed both. Our leader was knowledgeable, prompt and had a great sense of humor. The location was ideal and close to everything. The participants were fun to be with and brought different life experiences. Hope to be able to go on another trip.

(5) Review left 2/07/2020

We have been to San Diego before, but going with Road Scholar gave us a totally new insight. It is worth joining the program even if you have been to San Diego before.

(5) Review left 2/01/2020

Excellent program. Offers a collage of opportunities to explore San Diego, its history, culture and character. If you haven't been to San Diego, just go.. you'll love it!

(5) Review left 1/31/2020

If you are looking to visit this large metro area for the first time this program will provide you with a great adventure. You will learn and understand the history, culture, and experience great sites and sounds of San Diego in a sort time. Plenty of time though to experience all of the world famous SD Zoo. And if you plan to stay on after the program ends you will know the places to return to and spend more time at, like the museums in Balboa Park.

(5) Review left 6/01/2019

San Diego is a vibrant city with a beautiful waterfront setting in a year round mild climate. This program took us out onto the water and into the neighborhoods....as well as onto the USS Midway, through the Birch Aquarium, and along the beautiful beaches of La Jolla. Our accommodations, downtown near the waterfront, allowed us to sit on the 5th floor outdoor deck and enjoy a view of the Bay each evening as the sun went down.

(5) Review left 3/21/2019

I have been to SanDiego many times before. This program took me to places I have never been.

(4) Review left 2/04/2019

Enjoyed my first trip to San Diego! Valerie did a great job in leading us to various sites in the city. I especially enjoyed The USS Midway Museum and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.