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Balboa Theatre, San Diego

Balboa Theatre, San Diego: Our most recommended tours and activities

San Diego: Gaslamp Quarter Ghosts and Crime Walking Tour

1. San Diego: Gaslamp Quarter Ghosts and Crime Walking Tour

Walk around San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter and get acquainted with the spookier side of town on this history-packed tour by US Ghost Adventures. This walking tour shows you around some of the best-known haunted locations on the West Coast. You’ll meet your guide by the Balboa Theatre, which has been a downtown fixture since the 1920s. You’ll head to eight spooky, haunted sites, including the infamous Davis-Horton House. Investigate a 50-year-old unsolved murder at Old City Hall. Find out what lies behind the front door of Eddie O’Hare's Law Office. Also, search for the eyeless ghost of a little boy at the Carriage Works. If you're up for it, end your tour with an optional sweet treat at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. This is much more than an ice cream shop. You can hear a former movie theater employee screaming for something other than ice cream.

San Diego: Gaslamp District Outdoor Escape Game

2. San Diego: Gaslamp District Outdoor Escape Game

Explore San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter in a different way: by solving puzzles and following clues on an app on your phone. Every time you solve one puzzle, the clues to the next location will be revealed to you. Simply follow your live-tracking GPS map along your route. Start at the Gaslamp Historical Sign and click Play on your smartphone's explortation game app to start your self-guided walking tour of the historical quarter. Then, you're off! Kick up the competition by competing against your friends or family on separate devices or complete the exploration game as one team — the choice is yours. Best of all, explore the area at your own pace, pausing the game at any point and resuming from the location where you paused it. Solve challenges and see history unfold in front of your eyes, learning about the area as you have some fun. Simply follow the exact directions on your phone and you will be guided to the next location.

San Diego: Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour by Smartphone

3. San Diego: Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour by Smartphone

Enjoy a guided walking tour of the beautiful and interesting parts of San Diego. Follow clues on your smartphone and solve interesting puzzles along the way. Play with your group at your own pace as the game guides you through the city. Solve the 24 challenges on the scavenger hunt as you learn local history and walk for approximately 4 miles. Gain points for correct answers and aim for a high score on the leader board. See the happening Gaslamp Quarter, historic Little Italy, the inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, and the navy culture of the harbor waterfront. Explore the city's major attractions as well as its less-known gems. With no in-person guide to wait for, play any time that fits your schedule.

San Diego: Gaslamp Quarter Frontier History Walking Tour

4. San Diego: Gaslamp Quarter Frontier History Walking Tour

Visit San Diego's historical Gaslamp Quarter and explore a part of town with plenty of stories to tell. With over 100 historic buildings, you will travel back in time on this jam-packed walking tour of the district’s most iconic places. Meet your guide near the Hard Rock Café Hotel to start walking through this historic district with charming signage, trolleys and decorative street lamps. You’ll visit two haunted sites, the Davis-Horton House and the Horton Grand Hotel, in between beautiful, historic facades. Take stunning pictures of the Spanish-style Balboa Theatre, marvel at San Diego’s first skyscraper, and run your fingers along the hand-carved wooden bar at gunslinger Wyatt Earp’s old watering hole. Along the way, your guide will share fun facts and stories like the tale of Bum, the legendary St. Bernard mix that was so beloved by the city they erected a statue in his honor.. Kids will also have plenty to do, thanks to the Gaslamp scavenger hunt and the interactive Broadway Fountain in Horton Plaza Park. There’s something for everyone.

San Diego: Gaslamp Quarter Walking Tour

5. San Diego: Gaslamp Quarter Walking Tour

Our immersive Gaslamp Quarter Walking Tour starts at The Spreckles Theater and continues past several historic structures from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Each building has a story to tell, from former brothels to gambling halls, and the beautiful details of the windows and facades are a feast for the eyes. As we walk through the Gaslamp District, your guide will share little-known facts about what it was like to live in this once rough-and-tumble town. You’ll even learn about that time Harry Houdini made a stop in San Diego! Your tour guide will leave with insider recommendations for must-try restaurants in the area plus tips for more to see and do if you have time, including shows, nightlife, and activities that take place daily.

Other Sightseeing Options in Balboa Theatre, San Diego

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What people are saying about Balboa Theatre, San Diego

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

It was fun. We walked around downtown SD learning about the history, while discovering old building that we never knew about, and got to solve riddles too. While on our adventure we stopped and had ice cream and lunch too.

We were on vacation with our grown up kids and played 3 groups of 2 in San Diego. It was a LOT of fun, we all loved it, and it was a very unusual way to explore the city. Highly recommended.