Edged by some of America’s most beautiful beaches San Diego, California is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States, and for good reason. In addition to its scenic beauty and perfect year round temperatures, San Diego is also home to some of the country’s most highly-regarded museums, zoos, parks, and a fascinating history; making this breath-taking coastal city a wonderful destination for a school trip.

San Diego Tours for Student Groups

For students groups looking to get an in-depth overview of the history of San Diego, as well as all of its main attractions, Tour de Jour offers 4-hour tours that specialize in catering to student groups. Or, if youth groups are feeling brave, San Diego ghost tours offer1 ½ hour walking tours given by a professional Ghost Hunter. Taking place in the Old Town District, a ghost tour is a creative way for student groups to learn interesting facts about San Diego history and architecture. (619.972.3900)

Equal parts exciting, relaxing and educational, Newport Landing Whale Watching specializes in providing 3 unique 2 ½ hour boat cruises designed to entertain as well as educate. Student groups will have the opportunity to witness wild blue, finback, and minke whales, as well as various species of dolphins and sea lions, in their natural habitats.

Main Student Attractions in San Diego

San Diego student attractions

Giraffe Meet & Greet at the Wild Animal Park

The San Diego Zoo is a staggering 100 acres filled with over 4,000 animals, and has long been heralded throughout the world as “the zoo to end all zoos”. The regions temperate climate creates the perfect conditions for luscious gardens housing exotic animals of all kinds. Special discount admission rates are available to school groups with advance reservations (619.557.3962). Thirty-five miles north-east of the zoo, lies it’s “sister-park”. Wild Animal Park clocks in at 1,800 Acres, with more than 3,000 free-roaming animals. This set up provides visitors with the opportunity to see extraordinary animals in the most natural way possible. It is truly a unique and memorable experience to include in any school trip.

Add a healthy dose of fun to any San Diego school trip by visiting the Belmont Amusement Park. This old-fashioned amusement park is complete with a massive Ferris wheel, dozens of rides and attractions, plus multiple options for shopping and dining. Special group rates are available with prior reservation (858.488.1549).

Any student travel program would benefit from a visit to LegoLand, one of San Diego’s newest attractions. The park houses over 50 rides and attractions, 4D movie theaters, and a water park. With a focus on architecture and engineering, as well as historically-themed attractions, students will have so much fun at this park that they may not even realize they are learning. Special pricing is available for larger groups as well as discount fall/winter pricing & educational tours. (760-438-LEGO).

san diego student group travel attractions

The Famous SeaWorld Orcas

Then, of course, there is SeaWorld. The world-famous aquatic-themed amusement park combines the educational atmosphere of a world-class aquarium, with awe-inspiring showmanship. SeaWorld houses 17+ exhibits, including the world famous killer whale Shamu, a clear glass underwater Shark Tunnel, and visitor interactive sea lion feedings. The park is San Diego’s #1 tourist attraction with over 100 million visitors in its 45 year history.

Educational Student Travel Attractions in San Diego

The San Diego Natural History Museum is a beautiful facility that houses numerous exhibits focusing on various aspects of our world’s history. Such exhibits are sure to appeal to any student group, and include dinosaurs, the American west, the Darwinism theory, and print making. The museum offers multiple options for educational tours and lectures, as well as special student group rates with prior reservation.

For a refreshing look at some of the modern world’s most influential art pieces, a visit to the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art provides free visits to students, with guided informational tours available by reservation. A highly respected collector in the US, the San Diego MoCA constantly updates its many exhibits, providing constant fresh opportunities for new artist exposure.

As one of the only museums of its kind, a student trip to San Diego’s Museum of Man gives and in-depth look at the studies of Anthropology and Archaeology. Permanent exhibits include: Kumeyaay: The Native Californians, Mayan Calendar Mysteries, and Ancient Egypt.

San Diego’s Museum of the Photographic Arts, free to student groups, explores cultural, social, and historical issues through photography, film and video exhibits. Giving students the opportunity to learn about important issues relevant in today’s society, through a highly creative and entertaining medium.

San Diego Dining for Student Group Travel

Consistently ranked as one of the most popular San Diego restaurants, Sammy’s Wood fired Pizza is a local favorite for its charming, comfortable atmosphere, as well as its unbeatable pizza. Praised equally for their unmatched crusts as well as the wide range of toppings, Sammy’s is able to seat large student groups, with advance notice.

Shamu in SeaWorld

Shamu in SeaWorld

If students are inspired by the panoramic beauty of the San Diego bay, and want to venture into culinary delights of seafood, the city’s clear choice is Anthony’s Fishette. A local quick-service favorite that sits directly on the San Diego bay, its the perfect stop for a quick bite while you soak in the scenic wonders of the ocean.

San Diego’s Student Group Festivals

If school trips would like the opportunity to sample some local fare, as well as to experience the wide range of artistic talent that this beautiful coastal city has to offer, the San Diego/Del-Mar Fair is the perfect opportunity to do so. San Diego’s 22-day, county fair starts the second week of June, and ends in early July. The festival features arts and crafts from local artisans, live music, with multiple stages perfect for touring school performances, carnival style rides and games, as well as a broad assortment of food from San Diego’s favorite restaurants.

san diego student group travel destination

Stunning San Diego “Night Lights”

People of all ages and from all walks of life come together annually to show their undying passion for comic books at San Diego’s world famous Comic-Con. This 4-day all access convention, brings the stars of the comic book and graphic novel world face to face with their legions of fans. Beginning in late July, the Comic-Con is an infamous and highly publicized event, with tickets usually selling out early in the year. Wonder-Con, a sort of “sister-convention” to the Comic-Con is also held in San Diego, for 3 days in April. Wonder-Con is a much more student group friendly choice, with both lower ticket rates, as well as a slightly more laid-back atmosphere, but with the same opportunities to meet and greet famous creators, artists, and writers.

San Diego, California has earned its place among the most popular US cities to visit through its incredible scenic beauty, unique city culture, and dedication to educating locals and visitors alike in its plentiful array of animal and plant life. The city’s beautiful bay backdrop, along with its meticulously restored and cared for architecture highlights the beauty of the region. The staggering amount of quality museums, aquariums, zoos and parks, show San Diego’s dedication to education. This amazing combination of beauty and brains in a city, makes San Diego a premier destination choice for a school trip of any nature.