Tour Suspended During Pandemic with Best Selling Author Barry Berndes

Tours by Barry

Tour San Diego with Ultimate Insider followed by 20 mil

Your tour guide is local expert and Publisher Barry Berndes. Tour San Diego is a testament to Barry Berndes’ knowledge of what makes San Diego tick. He knows San Diego better than anyone because he’s spent the past 50 years learning it in and out. In the process, he has written 50 annual best selling San Diego guidebooks filled with 32 self-guiding tours and 28 handy maps of the city and the region. Thus,  20 million visitors a year use it as their bible.

BARRY BERNDES DAY was Given to Barry by the City of San Diego

In appreciation of my 50-year dedication to promoting tourism to The City of San Diego, The San Diego City Council awarded Barry Berndes a BARRY BERNDES DAY ON JANUARY 14, 2018. This is but one of many awards bestowed on Barry for his concerted effort to promote the city he loves. I have a lot to be proud of and thankful for.

The Washington Post says we’re the best guide book

Even The Washington Post travel writer hailed it as the best sightseeing guide to San Diego he’d ever seen.  This is why 100’s of newspapers and magazines have touted the many versions as the best of the best sightseeing tour book around! It’s literally the best resource for travelers to San Diego.  Once a newcomer has read the SAN DIEGAN and learned how to use it, they begin to appreciate how the city is laid out. Navigating the city requires an understanding of the city from a historical point of view. Then it requires an understanding of how the roads fit together and why.

The Media says We’re #1

Plus, my publications have been recognized by literally hundreds of media outlets worldwide as the foremost resource for discovering the real San Diego that locals love. I have also appeared on all of the major talk show radio and TV programs in San Diego. Then I have also been featured many times in local newspapers. Locals also know me as San Diego’s  Dean of Restaurant Reviewers.

I Know All the Best Places 

Tours may include La Jolla, Point Loma, Historic Old Town, Downtown, Embarcadero, Coronado, The Coastal Zone, Microbrewery Tour, Romantic Tour, Build a Tour, Dining Tour. See details below.

Tours La Jolla Dining

At high tide, the waves crash on the windows at the world famous Marine Room Restaurant.

Tour San Diego Couples Only is the Best Private City Tour

Barry Berndes’ “couples only” sightseeing tour is a true labor of love. Barry Berndes’ city tour will introduce you to the beauty of San Diego. You’ll see its panoramic views from it’s highest vistas where you’ll see the city laid out in front of you. Then with a little coaching and how to use the SAN DIEGAN, you’ll be able to pick up where Barry leaves off. Then you can navigate the city on your own. Barry’s 50 sightseeing books feature 100’s of San Diego city, county regional and Mexico sightseeing tours. Created during his remarkable 50-year career. So don’t expect a cookie cutter sightseeing tour of the city. Every Tour San Diego “couple’s only” tour is unique and is tailored to your specific interests.

Tours of Ocean Beach Pier at Sunset

Ocean Beach Pier at Sunset is breathtaking. Expect to be Blown Away with great views.

ONLY $200 a Couple for an Exclusive Couples Only Tour 

My four-hour tours are inexpensive because it’s not my primary source of income. An average tour with most companies cost between $400 and $1,500. These inexpensive, private, personal tours are a labor of love. I consider it fun to show couples my home town just as if you were my best friend. So I look forward to providing an exclusive tour vs. an everyday grind type of a local city tour. Each tour San Diego is a one-of-a-kind, fun, local, private, exclusive, time-saving, awesome, experience. My Tour San Diego tours are only given a few times a month. 

Payment in cash is due in full at time of meetup.

Tour length will average 4 hours depending on what you want to see.

You are responsible for paying your own expenses and half of the tip if we eat at a restaurant. I know San Diego like the back of my hand. I don’t create your tour until I find out what you want to see and do. My tours are extensive and complete.  My objective is to show you how to get around.

Text 1-619-857-9655 or e-mail to secure a reservation.

Tour San Diego By Car

Transportation can either be in my car or yours. Your private San Diego sightseeing city tour will include periodic stops for a walking excursion. If any admissions to museums are required, you will pay your own way.  I will pay for my own expenses. You are paying for my insider information on how to navigate the city with ease,  which I have gathered over the past 50 years. As a local, I didn’t know much until I wrote my first 128-page San Diego tour book. Then it took me seven years to learn the city. Now, I can quickly teach you the basics. Then you can teach yourself the rest, which is the fun part of knowing a city. Today, I  know lots of cities as well as I know San Diego including Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, and Ensenada.

E-mail, Call or Text Me to Reserve your Tour

For your private Tour San Diego reservation email me at, text me or call me at (619-857-9655) with a specific date, time and meet up location. I am super flexible for same day meetups.  A Tour San Diego for seniors is always welcome! Since tours are tailored around your time schedule, I can pick you up an hour after you contact me.

Each Person Receives a FREE Autographed Souvenir Copy  

San Diego Symphony Pops Summer Gala

Tour Guest Comments:

Local celebrity, Barry Berndes gave us an incredible tourDoug & Karen,  Indiana

You will long remember Barry’s fun, insightful & informative tour  Deborah Alice, San Diego, Ca.

Barry knows San Diego. Morris Cohen Poway, California

Dining with Barry is an eye-opening experience. Garry Garner Kansas City, Missouri

Locals could learn a lot from Barry. Scott Jones Encinitas, California

32 Informative Tours, 28 Maps Plus a HUGE Index

My current book includes 32 sightseeing city tours and 28 maps. Plus, the 16 useful coupons will save you a TON  of money. As for the sightseeing tours, these information-packed sightseeing city tours are filled with insider information. My digest-sized book also has a huge index and a top of the page chapter reference.  So it’s easy-to-use and hard to put down.  Plus,  this sightseeing guidebook is jammed packed with TONS of valuable insightful and historical information that newcomers, visitors, and residents want. Statistics show that newcomers use the SAN DIEGAN 11 to 48 times in their first year of residency.

tours of Balboa Park

Balboa Park is the showplace for the arts and culture.

#1 Ranked for Newcomers

Being packed with essential information is why SAN DIEGAN.Com is the #1 ranked newcomer book according to Google. Newcomers devour this book because of all of the insider information it contains. Plus, everything has been personally reviewed and recommendation. Plus, fact-checked!

downtown tours

Downtown consists of mini suburbs within the city making great tours. is 700 Pages Vs. in Print it’s 224-Pages 

With the invention of the laptop and smartphones, the SAN DIEGAN expanded to  700-pages in size. Yet, it still easy-to-use and hard to put down. An expanded online section is regional getaways in Mexico. Plus, Borrego Springs, Julian and Santa Catalina Island.  If you travel to Catalina on your birthday, roundtrip transportation is FREE. See the Catalina Chapter on page 176 of the current edition for sightseeing details.

tour San Diego at the Charthouse

The Chart House offers a World Class Dining Venue.

Discover 100’s of Awesome Restaurants

Since 1969, Barry has been engaged in writing the “Honest Sightseeing Guide” to San Diego. In doing so, he reviews every aspect of his hometown including dining in 100’s of restaurants a year. He goes unannounced, paying for his own meals and inspecting the kitchens of each restaurant he reviews. This is your assurance that you will receive the same experience he enjoyed.

Barry has gained international recognition with numerous on-air interviews and numerous articles written about him. Thus, the rare opportunity of having a sightseeing tour of San Diego and perhaps dining with this celebrity should not be missed.   Barry has literally dined in 10,000 restaurants during his 50-year career. So he truly knows the best restaurants in San Diego.  Barry will also give you recommendations for where to dine.

Expect The Best

San Diego Restaurants

Barry’s Insight Makes a Difference

What makes Barry’s private one couple at a time Tour San Diego sightseeing adventure so valuable is his insight.  Each suburb is a historical building block. Barry offers his insight as to why it is what it is and why each suburb is connected to the other. Once you understand how each suburb is connected to each other you’ll start loving how it fits together.  Barry was also an officer in the navy in San Diego. So he’ll explain how the city fits together very nicely with the navy. Barry also served on the USS Midway during the Vietnam War.

Barry will also take the time to show you what streets and byways residents use to navigate the city at different times of the day. So this is anything but a commercial bus tour. Barry wants you to be able to navigate the city like a local. Plus, he’ll take you on side trips and through historical suburbs and explain why they are significant in getting to know the city of San Diego.

He’ll point out great places to dine and places to shop. These tips are what makes his San Diego couples only city tours so incredibly valuable. It’s just like your best friend was introducing you to the city. Thus, each tour San Diego is filled with TONS of insider information that few locals will ever know. Barry has spent 50 years learning the city beyond just growing up in San Diego  So knowing how to navigate the city and appreciate all that it has to offer is why Barry’s Tour San Diego is  #1.

Your Couples Only Tour May Include:

Point Loma, Historic Old Town, Downtown, Embarcadero, Coronado, The Coastal Zone, Microbrewery Tour, Romantic Tour, Build Your Own Tour, Dining Tour. See  details below:

  1. Cabrillo National Monument Is Celebrating Their Centennial Anniversary

    This lighthouse overlooks San Diego Bay.


  2. Cabrillo Monument, Point Loma, Shelter Island, Liberty Station, Harbor Island, and the Embarcadero. No visit to San Diego would be complete without visiting Cabrillo Monument with its panoramic views of the city and beyond. Wandering thru the suburbs which comprise Point Loma will make you fall in love with these suburbs. You could conclude your tour with a meal at a romantic bayfront restaurant, which could be the beginning of a vacation to remember. With an autographed copy in hand, and Barry’s personal tips of what to see and where to go you won’t miss a beat!
    1. Not be missed are the incredible views from Cabrillo Monument, which is 100% essential to see. The view will give you a sweeping perspective of how San Diego is laid out. Be sure to have a visit to the original Cabrillo Lighthouse. Perhaps, view the tidepools at the water’s edge. Then hike down to the current Cabrillo Lighthouse at the foot of Point Loma before heading on to see the rest of historic Point Loma.
    2. You’ll also tour all of the suburbs that comprise Point Loma as well as the many must-see sightseeing tours and attractions including Shelter Island, Liberty Station, Ocean Beach, and the Ocean Beach Pier and the Sports Arena.
  3. Old Town San Diego Map is helpful for tours

    Visitors to Old Town never tire of walking where San Diego’s founding fathers walked. Always helpful for tours to Old Town are these sightseeing tours maps with a legend and numbers showing site locations.


  5. Old Town is historically significant because it was the birthplace of western civilization on the West Coast of the United States. Plus, Old Town Presidio Hills, Mission Hills, Middle Town, are must-visit destinations. The best way to discover Historic Old Town is to take my self sightseeing guided tour. We’ll wander through this historic attraction on foot. Along the way, we’ll manage to sip a frosty margarita and listening to festive mariachi music. Totally overlooked by commercial tour companies is the importance of Old Town historically. It along with Ballast  Point and Rosecrans Street explain the evolution of downtown San Diego as we know it today. It’s one incredible Tour San Diego adventure.
  6. TOURS Old town Mexican Cafe

    Dining at the Old Town Mexican Cafe is a must as is having a frosty margarita. Ole!

    Strolling mariachi singers, frosty margaritas and historical sites await you at the “must see” historic Old Town State Park. Touring San Diego means periodically getting out and of the car and grabbing a taco or taking a photo or two!


Embarcadero tours

Sightseeing Tours of Downtown always include a walking tour of the waterfront.

Downtown is an important piece of the San Diego pie. It is broken up into 6 easy to digest slices. My downtown map on page 150 explains it all in a glance. Therefore, with a color-coded map showing the suburbs within the downtown area will make understanding downtown and its one-way streets a snap! This essential Tour San Diego is comprised of little Italy, The Embarcadero, East Village,  and The Gaslamp District. Both The Uptown District and Hillcrest are separate. Discovering Downtown with this easy-to-use map with its one-way streets makes navigating the city a snap.

If you’re staying in downtown and want to get a lay of the land, then expect to visit Mr. A’s. We’ll enjoy a meal or at least a cocktail at Mr. A’s. From this rooftop restaurant, you’ll have your breath taken away by the sweeping view of the city.  At twilight, the view is against the backdrop of planes landing at the San Diego International Airport and the sparkling San Diego Harbor. But a visit to this world-renowned French Restaurant is just the top of the iceberg. There is plenty more to discovery in finding out what makes downtown and uptown tick.

tours of the harbor

Enjoy a Romantic Tour of the Harbor in style.


A tour San Diego embraces the Embarcadero and is a “must-see” attractions! One big attraction is the San Diego Maritime Museum. It’s comprised of no less than seven must-see floating vessels and an incredible museum. Here you can board every vessel including the oldest floating Merchant Ship afloat. You can even board a Russian submarine and tons of other historic relics. Two blocks away is the USS Midway CVA-41 aircraft carrier. It’s the most visited attraction in San Diego. Yes, its popularity even surpasses the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

Tour the USS Midway

A tour of the USS Midway will make you proud to be an American. We are a Navy town.

Next door is the equally famous Fish Market Restaurant.  They offer two restaurants in one. You can dine upstairs in their upscale gourmet restaurant. Or dine on the main floor restaurants for the freshest seafood and enjoy great bay views. They even have their own fishing fleet.

If it’s steaks you want, then Ruth’s Chris is just down the block. It offers an ocean view as well. Other visitor attractions include Seaport Village and the Headquarters. These are two touristy shopping and dining destinations visitors never tire of seeing.

Further along the Embarcadero are gigantic hotels with awesome marinas and restaurants galore.  Hard to overlook is the gigantic San Diego Convention Center, which is home to 100’s of conventions a year including the world famous Comicon. Yes, my Tour San Diego has it all.

tours of the Famous Hotel Del

Since 1888 the world famous Hotel del Coronado has been a seaside showplace.


A  tour San Diego of Coronado is such a delight!  We can get there via a ferryboat ride across the harbor or by car across the 1.4-mile long bridge. Both ways are spectacular! The bridge apex affords a sweeping view of the city, the harbor, the South Bay, Mexico and beyond.

Must see attractions include the historic Hotel Del Coronado. Plus, it’s fun to wander through The Shops at the Hotel Del Coronado. Time permitting we can take a stroll down Orange Avenue for an ice cream cone or to dine there is fun. Plus, sightseeing the magnificent homes of the rich and famous is a treat.

Not to be missed is the impressive Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace. It’s home to outstanding restaurants with awesome downtown San Diego views and delightful shops. If we came by ferry we can disembark back across San Diego Bay to downtown San Diego. Sightseeing the city on a ferryboat is such a great adventure!

Tours Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is Home to Great Sunsets.


Seeing the coastal zone begins with a spectacular view of Cabrillo Monument. From there we’ll wander down the hill to Ocean Beach, San Diego’s classic beach town. Or we’ll discover romantic Shelter Island with it’s swaying palm trees and breathtaking harbor views. Then heading north you’ll visit Mission Beach and see one of only two roller coasters in California. Your next destination will be the popular Pacific Beach a popular place to live.  Finally, we’ll head up to the top of Mt. Soledad for a breathtaking 360 degrees View of the City. We’ll also wander down to the world famous La Jolla Shores.  From there we’ll visit the chic Village of La Jolla, which is a “must see” coastal adventure. There is a lot to see on a Tour San Diego Day Tour.

Having eaten in 100’s of restaurants, I’d recommend a cocktail at the world famous Marine Room Restaurant. At high tide, the waves actually crash on the windows of this dining classic. Over my 50-year career as a restaurant reviewer, I have reviewed 10,000 restaurants. So I will point out the goods ones.

tours of San Diego Festival of Beer

San Diego is also the microbrewery capital of the world. So let’s take some tasting tours!


Each November San Diego Celebrates the fact that it’s the microbrewery capital of the World with hundreds of events. What makes San Diego the Beer Capital of the World is a great story I’ll stare with you when we tour the breweries. San Diego’s breweries have won more Gold, Blue and Silver Ribbons at more brewery events than any other city in the world. You are in luck, I know the really important breweries,  you must go to. So if you are looking for a brewery tour, I can create an awesome one for you.

In fact, in my current 50th Annual Anniversary Edition, I feature a tour of 12 outstanding breweries. They encompass a 4-mile radius of Mission Valley.  Even better it includes the top three microbreweries in the world. They are Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens, Ballast Point Brewery, and Coronado Brewery. These are the giants in the industry. In the mix is Pizza Port. It’s a local favorite founded in the 1980s, which is also appreciated for its hot pizzas. Also worth visiting is The Belching Beaver, Mike Hess Brewing Company and lots more. We could top off this sightseeing excursion with a meal at the World Famous Phil’s BBQ or any cuisine of your choice.


Since I know San Diego like the back of my hand, I am sure that I can create a romantic Tour San Diego sightseeing tour to your liking. Therefore, these tours will be filled with awesome breathtaking city views, gourmet dining and of course dancing. There is even a place to dine where more people get engaged in this restaurant patio than anywhere else in town. My favorite is a dinner and dance cruise aboard a yacht that tours romantic San Diego Bay. Plus, San Diego is home to the largest Asian Restaurant Row in America. Believe it or not but over 100 Asian Restaurants can be found side by side along a 1.5 mill thoroughfare in Kearny Mesa. I’ve eaten in most of them and can create a dining experience you won’t forget.


Perhaps you’ve got a list of places you’d like to see. Give them to me and I will incorporate them into an incredible Tour San Diego sightseeing adventure like no other. I know San Diego.

Tour San Diego aboard a Hornblower Yacht

A custom or a group cruise aboard a Hornblower yacht on San Diego Bay is thrilling.

J. LA JOLLA, the Jewel

La Jolla is the jewel of the Pacific. It’s where virtually everyone wants to live or at least visit. It offers romantic breathtaking shoreline views with stunning multi-million dollar homes offering coastline and hillside views. Being a world-renowned seaside getaway, it’s home or has been home to the rich and famous including Beatles rock star George Harrison and actor Gregory Peck.

Most appealing is its world famous La Jolla Cove, which is an invitation to swim in its crystal clear water. No less appealing is to surf, swim, walk and bask on its seashore.

Plus, the village of La Jolla is as appealing as Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Thus, it’s a must-visit magnet for shopping, dining and strolling along its village streets. I’ll introduce you to the magnificence of La Jolla from the hilltops to the seashore. Plus, I’ll point out world-famous restaurants to dine in and how to find your way back to them.


Where you Dine is Half the Adventure of Visiting a City

tour san diego CrabCatcher Restaurant in La Jolla

A La Jolla Favorite is the CrabCatcher Restaurant.

I have literally dined in 10,000 restaurants for a living during my 50-year career. Featured in my current 50th annual edition are my top recommendations from the past 50 years.

So expect a fun casual outing with me, with lots to see, good conversation and laughter. Dining with me is quite an eye-opener too. It’s an adventure you’ll surely enjoy as many, who have dined with me will attest to discovering a totally new and exhilarating way to dine. If your schedule does not allow a meal, I’ll definitely choose places for you from my list of the top 100 for a romantic meal at a later time.

Bon Appetit

Barry Berndes

May every day be a holiday and every meal a banquet.