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Best Local Tour Guides in San Diego

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Altitude Helicopters logo
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Altitude Helicopters

San Diego, CA 92154
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Business Description

Altitude Helicopters is a family owned business in San Diego featuring a team of "extremely experienced helicopter pilots and technicians." The company was founded in 1994 in Italy and has since expanded to the US. A selection of city tours is available, including deluxe, prestige, and VIP tours ranging in price per person. The company also features a flight school for pilots-in-training and international students.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (30)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (12)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Bite San Diego logo
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Bite San Diego

San Diego, CA 92101
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Business Description

Bite San Diego is a company offering walking food tours that also feature history, insights, and stories about the city of San Diego. Regularly scheduled, public tours and private tours for groups and corporate teams are available. Private tours can accommodate between 10 and 100 guests and are fully customizable, from the date, starting time, and participating restaurants and shops.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Brew Hop logo
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Brew Hop

San Diego, CA 92101
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Business Description

Brew Hop was founded in 2007 in San Diego to offer customers "premier regional brewery" tours. All packages are customized according to individual groups' tastes and desires, including desired pick up and drop off locations. "The Tasters" is a two-and-a-half brewery tour including luxury transportation, a VIP tour host, gratuities for bar staff, and beer samples at each brewery. "The Connoisseur" is a five-hour tour featuring three to four local breweries plus all the components of the Tasters tour.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Brewery Tours logo
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Brewery Tours

San Diego, CA 92106
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Business Description

Brewery Tours is owned and operated by Breanna Frazier, who holds a degree in business administration and marketing from Loyola Marymount University. The company offers brewery tours in the San Diego area, featuring a fleet of Mercedes-Benz passenger vans and a team of talented drivers. Both private and public tours are available, with private tours priced at different points per hour depending on the tour, and four-hour public tours priced at a flat rate per person.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
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Detail
––
Brewery Tours of San Diego logo
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Brewery Tours of San Diego

San Diego, CA 92107
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Business Description

Brewery Tours of San Diego was founded in 2007 by a husband and wife team and offers public and private brewery tours. Public tours are available seven days per week in the afternoons and evenings. Private tours are also available and priced according to number of guests and number of desired stops. Private tour pricing includes round-trip transportation, a guided tour of one brewery, beer tasting at each brewery, bottled water, one meal, a souvenir glass, plus taxes and gratuities.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (22)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Compass Balloons logo
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Compass Balloons

San Diego, CA 92007
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Business Description

Compass Balloons is a hot air balloon company offering tours in San Diego and Temecula. The company's pilots are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and have decades of flight experience. Public and private tours are available to watch the sunrise and sunset and for special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries. Customers can also purchase gift cards for individual and group tours.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Icon Helicopters logo
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Icon Helicopters

Carlsbad, CA 92011
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Business Description

Icon Helicopters is owned by professional pilot David Vernick, who has over 10 years of experience and is a US Air Force test pilot school instructor and a San Diego police and sheriff instructor. The company provides tours of San Diego in luxurious helicopters featuring leather seats, air conditioning, digital stereo music, and smooth and comfortable rides. Tours range between 30 and 120 minutes, including the two-hour Winery Tour and the half-hour Sunset Tour. The company can also be chartered for private tours and transportation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
San Diego Wine & Vineyard Tours logo
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San Diego Wine & Vineyard Tours

San Diego, CA 92101
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Business Description

San Diego Wine & Vineyard Tours is a San Diego company providing local tours in and around Southern California's wine country. Customers typically visit three to four wineries and enjoy a gourmet meal along the way. Other tour components include round-trip transportation, access to a wine expert throughout the tour, behind the scenes look at local wineries, vineyard walking tours, and over 24 tastings of red and white wines. The company offers both private and public tours, and gift certificates are available.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (230)
Google
3.3 / 5 (3)
Facebook
1.0 / 5 (3)
Scavengers logo
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Scavengers

Carlsbad, CA 92008
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Business Description

Scavengers is a San Diego company combining the city's "infamous" craft beer scene and world-renowned coastline into a "beer and barbecue adventure" tour. The company features a fleet of open-air vintage Swiss Safari vehicles where customers can sip on ice-cold beers as they travel from brewery to brewery. All tours can be customized based on clients' desired locations. Groups of over six people are subject to a 25% deposit at the time of booking.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (116)
Google
4.6 / 5 (20)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (7)
Segway Outdoor Media logo
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Segway Outdoor Media

San Diego, CA 92101
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Business Description

Segway Outdoor Media is a San Diego advertising and tour company. Advertising services focus on providing outdoor marketing solutions to exhibitors and sponsors of the San Diego Convention Center. The company's creative promotion teams interact directly with customers to maximize the effect of mobile billboards. Past clients include United Healthcare, Acuvue Oasys, Elster, and Syneron.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
So Diego Tours logo
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So Diego Tours

San Diego, CA 92101
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Business Description

So Diego Tours is a San Diego company made up of a "professional, creative, entertaining, and hospitable" team who work with local companies to offer customers an "authentic San Diego experience." Tours include the "Brothels, Bites, and Booze" which takes customers to visit the infamous San Diego red light district as well as restaurants and bars, and the "Tequila, Tacos, and Tombstones" tour. Both options cost a flat fee per person. Custom food, beer and wine, and scavenger tours are also available.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Where You Want To Be Tours logo
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Where You Want To Be Tours

San Diego, CA 92101
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Business Description

Where You Want To Be Tours is a San Diego company founded in 2003 to offer "unique and out-of-the-box outdoor adventures" for corporate team-building events and the general public. Most requested tours include the team-bonding urban challenge scavenger hunts, biking tours to hidden San Diego locations, culinary food tours, and interactive bus adventures. The typical tour takes approximately three hours, but private tours can also be customized to fit individual customers' needs.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
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Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

If you're looking to get the most out of your vacation experience, then hiring a tour guide can be a smart choice. Learning about new places and seeing how the locals live are just a few of the reasons travelers hire tour guides. There are local tours catering to almost any interest, too, from browsing art galleries to adventuring in the great outdoors. Whether you'd like to tour with a group or prefer one-on-one guidance from your own private escort, you've got plenty of options to choose from. Here are answers to common questions about what to expect on different kinds of tours and how to choose the best local tour for your travel plans.

What is a tour guide?

Tour guides provide information that helps travelers learn more about the place they're visiting. Guides can give tours of museums, scenic locations, historical monuments, and many other points of interest. Some give walking tours, while others hold tours on a bus or boat.

What is the difference between escorted and guided tours?

Escorted tours are an all-inclusive experience led by a tour director who oversees the trip from beginning to end. They often include transportation, hotel stays, sightseeing activities, tickets to attractions, and meals. Guided tours are provided by various local representatives and don't typically escort travelers to each destination, allowing for more flexibility throughout the day.

What is a guided city tour?

Guided city tours are for travelers who want to professional guidance as they explore a city. They're often given by locals who are knowledgeable about the area and can help visitors find restaurants, shops, and other interesting places off the beaten path. These tours can also take travelers to the most popular attractions a city has to offer.

What happens on a guided tour?

On a tour, guides describe the location in detail, explain its importance, and answer questions visitors may have. Local guides may tell personal stories about what it's like to live there, giving travelers a unique perspective they can't get anywhere else. Guides also look out for the safety of guests and make sure the group stays organized so no one gets left behind or lost.

Why are guided tours good?

For many travelers, exploring a new place on their own can be a bit overwhelming. Guided tours remove the guesswork by showing visitors the top sights in a streamlined and efficient way. These tours can also steer people away from dangerous areas and help provide a sense of safety for visitors.

What is a private tour guide?

Private tour guides give tours to one party at a time, allowing for more customized service and flexible scheduling. Guests can choose which sites they'd like to see and how much time to spend at each destination. Private tours are often taken by families who need special accommodations for small children, the elderly, or the disabled.

Can you hire a personal tour guide?

Personal tour guides essentially offer the same services as a private tour guide. It's possible to hire a personal tour guide in many areas, particularly in places known as popular tourist destinations. Hiring a personal tour guide can be more expensive than a group tour, though, so it's not always ideal for travelers on a budget.

Are self-guided tours worth it?

Self-guided tours arrange an itinerary for travelers to follow, but don't usually include transportation between sites or a hired guide. They're best in places with well-established travel routes, such as set trails in national parks. This type of tour can be rewarding for the adventurous traveler who enjoys exploring an area independently.

Are guided tours worth it?

Guided tours can be worth it depending on the destination and your travel goals. They're  beneficial if you're not sure which places are worth visiting or if you'd like to check out a variety of destinations in the most efficient way. Guided tours also bring peace of mind by keeping you away from potentially dangerous areas.

How to find a local tour guide?

Local tour guides don't always advertise their services online, so many travelers may be unsure about how to hire one. Reputable tour guides can often be found by asking hotel staff, other travelers, or local tourist agencies for recommendations.

How much do local tour guides cost?

The price to hire a local tour guide varies widely depending on the destination, length of the trip, and whether the tour is given to a group or privately. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $100 per hour. There may be additional costs for transportation and baggage handling.

How much should we tip our tour guide?

It's generally a good practice to tip 10 to 20% of the cost of the tour. For bus tours, tip the driver a minimum of $1 per person per day. Tipping isn't normally expected for guides at government sites and national parks.

What is a ghost tour?

Ghost tours allow travelers to learn about locations with a history of hauntings and paranormal activity. Not all ghost tours are frightening; there are many options suitable for children. Tours often include access to ghost-hunting equipment, such as infrared cameras and dowsing rods. Popular destinations for ghost tours include graveyards, old hotels, parks, and historic downtowns.

What is an architectural tour?

An architectural tour can be an exciting way to learn about the most iconic and beautiful buildings in a city. These tours are available on foot, by bus, or by boat. Architectural boat tours are especially popular in waterfront cities such as Chicago, Miami, and San Diego.

How do winery tours work?

Winery tours include a tour of the vineyards and a demonstration of how the wine is made in the production area. Afterward, visitors are given samples of wine to taste, and meals may also be provided on some tours. Tours can last anywhere from two hours to two weeks depending on how many wineries travelers want to visit.

What has to be tackled during pre-tour?

Before the tour, guides should study the route and learn as much as possible about the location so they're prepared to answer questions guests might have. It's ideal to have backup destinations planned in case the original site happens to be closed or inaccessible. Before departing, go over the guest list and review the rules and regulations of any areas you plan to visit.

How much do tour guides make?

Wages for tour guides can vary depending on location and experience. On average, tour guides earn approximately $17 per hour, plus up to $75 per day in tips. Guides are typically paid more in areas where licensing is required.

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