Tag Archives: old town trolley tours

USA 2016 – 26 The Historic Hotel Del Coronado (2016-07-19) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 06 AUG 2018

Continuing the day’s San Diego exploration aboard the Old Town Trolley Tours buses, we next crossed over the magnificent San Diego-Coronado Bridge and headed into the small resort city of Coronado, literally a stone’s throw across the bay from San Diego. Our goal? To catch a glimpse of the iconic Hotel del Coronado!

Opened in 1888, the Hotel del Coronado (otherwise known as The Del or Hotel Del) is one of the few surviving examples of an American architectural genre: the wooden Victorian beach resort. When it originally opened it was the largest resort hotel in the world, and is in fact still the second largest wooden structure in the United States.

The hotel has received many awards and sparking ratings over its lifetime, and as such has hosted presidents, royalty, and celebrities, not to mention feature in numerous movies and books.

(Interestingly enough, it also introduced the world’s first electrically lit, outdoor living Christmas tree in 1904, having been one of the earliest buildings in the San Diego area to adopt the newly introduced technology of electricity).

The hotel is then very much as what you would expect it to be – very grand indeed. There is beautiful intricate woodwork everywhere, the place is awash with visitors and tourists alike, there is indoor shopping to be had, lawn and gardens to enjoy, the brilliant white sandy beach right out in front, and of course a sense of history that completely permeates the venue.

As such, given the hot weather, Johann and I naturally opted to grab a refreshingly cold beer from the sun deck, catch our breath and people watch.

Honestly, it is pretty easy to see just why this getaway is as popular as what it is.

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Hopping back on the bus, we got to learn a bit more about Coronado itself thanks to our knowledgeable guide, before heading back over the bridge and on towards our final stop, San Diego’s brilliant Balboa Park.

Related Link: Hotel Del Coronado | Wikipedia | Coronado | #USA2016

USA 2016 – 24 Exploring San Diego on an Old Town Trolley Tours Bus (2016-07-19) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 31 JUL 2018

San Diego is a magnificent city. The history, the weather, the landscape – it is impossible to visit and not come back loving it. It is the second largest city in California, the eighth largest in the United States of America, and boasts a population of over 4,9 million people. The city is know for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbour, multitude of beaches, long association with the United States Navy (the deep water harbour, remember), and these days, its role as somewhat of a healthcare and biotechnology development center.

Oh, and it happens to also host the world’s best Comic-con too.

One of the best ways of getting an overall look at the city, its history and layout is to jump on one of the many distinctive green and orange Old Town Trolley Tours’ hop on hop off busses, which is exactly what Johann and I did for my third day in the city.

The San Diego branch of Old Town Trolley Tours launched in 1989, and its (rather large) fleet of busses continuously operate on a 40 km loop that moves through 10 neighbourhoods with 10 destination stops.

We caught our first bus in the gorgeous Balboa Park, with our tour operator/driver being a an extremely enjoyable and amicable ex-policeman with a lot of great local stories to blend in with all the San Diego information being fed to us as we drove through Little Italy, headed towards the Old Town Market.

After a hop off and a bit of exploration there, we jumped back on a bus, this time heading down to the Embarcadero Marina, then Seaport Village and the Marriott Marquis and Marina. On to the Horton Plaza Park, through the revived Gaslamp Quarter, past the East Convention Center, Petco Park and Hilton Bayfront, and then over the bridge into Coronado.

After a nice refreshing drink and a bit of an exploration of the iconic Hotel del Coronado, we stepped back on a bus and rode it all the way up to our starting point back at Balboa Park.

Honestly, the entire experience was lovely. The entertaining guides were great with their local knowledge and the trip itself turned out to be a great way to see a large swathe of the city which I might not have otherwise had the chance to.

It genuinely is a pretty good way to get introduced to San Diego, and as such is a pretty easy recommendation for anyone visiting the “America’s finest City”.

As for the rest of the day? Well I was going to spend it at the zoo of course!

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(Oh, and if your teenage years were in the 90’s like me, then it is worth knowing that San Diego was also responsible for delivering to us both Tony Hawk and blink-182. An all important factoid if ever there was one!)

Related Link: Old Town Trolley Tours | San Diego | #USA2016