Discover San Diego

San Diego Educational Tours

Located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, San Diego is widely known as “America’s Finest City.” Miles of sandy beaches and amazing weather await! This city offers an abundance of fun and educational attractions for students of all ages.

San Diego Overview

San Diego offers opportunities to see and interact with incredible creatures both in the wild and in world-renowned facilities. At SeaWorld San Diego, students can get a glimpse of the colorful, diverse world beneath the ocean waves through animal exhibits, educational animal presentations, and more. Another must-see stop for animal lovers is the San Diego Zoo. Now part of an organization focused on wildlife conservation, the San Diego Zoo and its partner, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, easily provide an entire day’s worth of activities for all kinds of groups. Looking for native species? San Diego’s beaches, bays, and tide pools are home to many shore birds and other animals that can be found in wildlife preserves and nature parks in the Mission Bay, Bay Park, and Torrey Pines neighborhoods.

Get the most variety from a single stop at sprawling Balboa Park, situated on 1,200 acres near Downtown San Diego. Besides containing the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park has a variety of arts and cultural organizations, such as the Globe Theatres and the Japanese Friendship Garden, and more than a dozen museums, including The San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and the Fleet Science Center.

In 1542 Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay and became the first European to visit the West Coast of the United States. Cabrillo, chiefly recognized for the discovery of California, is honored at the Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma. This historical and recreational site includes a visitors’ center, hiking trail, and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which operated from 1855 to 1891. To the northeast of Point Loma is Old Town, the historic heart of San Diego. Created in 1769, Old Town San Diego was California’s first settlement with only a mission and a fort. Today students can get an idea of what life in the early settlement might have been like by visiting the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Finally, groups focusing on history will want to make sure to visit Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, the very first of the famous chain of 21 missions that stretch northward along the coast of California.

San Diego Zoo & San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance describes itself as, “an international, nonprofit conservation organization with two front doors: the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We integrate wildlife health and care, science, and education to develop sustainable conservation solutions.”

This organization is well-suited for student trips and says: “Learning adventures for all ages await at the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the Conservation Education Lab at the Beckman Center—and in virtual education programs available online, and curriculum that teachers can use in their own classrooms. Our Education programs offer everything from pre-school learning adventures and all-grade-level Summer Camps to wildlife exploration options for teens, community engagement programs, and teacher workshops.”

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Old Town San Diego

Per the San Diego Tourism Authority, “Old Town San Diego, the Birthplace of California, the Plymouth Rock of the West, founded in 1769, where an authentic and cultural experience awaits you. Visitors are offered a glimpse into early California, with over 20 museums; art galleries, artisans, galleries, and shops are all within easy walking distance of each other. Encounter live entertainment with mariachis, folkloric dancers, artists, guided tours, and more. Award winning theatre, fine and casual dining await you with multiple international and regional cuisines offered with the most concentrated number of Mexican restaurants in one place in all of San Diego.”