Allow me to generalize and say that there are two types of San Diego tourists. Some visitors enjoy standardized tours of city landmarks and aren’t afraid of “standing in the map” on Fifth Avenue with a self-tagged tourist stamp on their foreheads. Other visitors would love nothing more than to seamlessly blend in, visit locals-only spots, and avoid tourist traps like the plague. For the second batch of tourists, get ready to meet your match: So Diego Tours.
So Diego Tours is a new company run by locals that is taking a fresh approach to activities and tours in San Diego. Founders Bianca Jaimeand Dawn Ortiz are beautiful and energetic twenty-something locals who lead each tour, mingle with guests, share historical insight, and go out of their way to make sure you not only have a great experience, but also learn about San Diego and get to know new people. If you want to explore the best of San Diego lifestyle, skip the traditional tourist ways and trust So Diego as your go-to source for such creative experiences as Restaurant Hops, Pub Crawls, Nightlife Tours, Wine Tasting Tours, Destination Trips and more.
Oh, and hey locals, let me just tell you – there’s nothing more fun than pretending to be a tourist for a day and letting yourself re-discover why you love this amazing city. And, why narrow down your choices to just one restaurant or club when you can hit three must-try venues for the price of one?
So, here’s how it goes down on a So Diego Tour…
You and your friends select a tour trend of choice and sign-up online at SoDiegoTours.com. Because of my current obsession with all the new and notable restaurants in San Diego, let’s say you choose a Restaurant Hop. Based on the monthly schedule, there will be various Restaurant Hop tours available in La Jolla, North Park, or the Gaslamp Quarter. After you sign-up and schedule a tour, your work is done. All you need to do now is show up on time, ready to meet new people and embark on a hyper-local culinary adventure at three San Diego restaurants. Participating venues and menu items change weekly, so that no two tours are ever exactly the same.
Here’s an example Gaslamp Quarter Restaurant Hop. Get a taste of this:
Ocean Room (7 – 7:45pm)
Drinks: Choice of House Red or White Wine or a Domestic Beer
Bites: Lobster Bisque Shooter, Signature Sushi Roll, Seafood Cajun Pasta
Side Bar (7:50 – 8:30pm)
Drinks: Choice of Stella Beer, House Chardonnay or Absolut Side Bar Cocktail
Bites: Walnut Pear Salad, Chicken Panini, Steak Tips served with Rice Pilaf
The Marble Room (8:35 – 9:10pm)
Drinks: Choice of Bud or Bud Light Beer, French Chardonnay or Rosy Palmer
Bites: Caprese Salad, Marble Room Scampi, Wild Mushroom Ravioli
Bonus: Live Music During Meal and After Party
Behind the Scenes: Guests are provided with personal size portions of all items on the menu, including one drink of choice. Count it – 9 food samplings and 3 cocktails at 3 restaurants in 1 night. A Restaurant Hop with So Diego Tours is $60 per person. If you typically order a cocktail, appetizer and entrée when going out to dinner, you’ve seen your bill at one restaurant, and know $60 is a great value for dinner and drinks at three restaurants.
In addition to the undeniable value, the experience is what draws people to So Diego Tours. Founders Bianca Jaime and Dawn Ortiz are passionate about making sure you not only have a great experience, but also learn about San Diego culture and get to know new people.
I mean, when it comes down to it, if you’re going to be guided around town, wouldn’t you want to be lead by these ladies? From venue to venue, Bianca and Dawn guide the group, share historical insight, explain the scene, and answer questions each step of the way.
Bianca explains the So Diego vision: “We started a lifestyle tour company to give people insight to San Diego restaurants, bars, lounges, and activities from the eyes of an insider. We encourage people to experience new things, and to see what this amazing city has to offer! We make it easy – our guests just show up, and everything is taken care of.”
More So Diego Tours activities and events include Pub Crawls, Nightlife Tours, Temecula Wine Tasting Tours, Monthly Excursions to Julian and Big Bear, Bachelorette Party Packages and more customizable tours throughout San Diego County.