{ ART & CULTURE }

STROLL, WALK, & HUNT

3 enlightening self-guided tours about town

The Salk Institute
The Salk Institute

Sometimes, it’s nice to explore San Diego at your own pace. Each of these three self-guided tours provides insight into the area’s history, art, and culture. What’s more, you can soak in the fresh air and sunshine because they’re all outdoors.

1. THE SALK INSTITUTE, LA JOLLA
Founded in 1960 by Jonas Salk, the developer of the polio vaccine, The Salk Institute focuses both on discovery and mentoring future generations of researchers. Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding in the areas of neuroscience, cancer, metabolism, aging, genetics, immunology, and plant biology. It sounds like work befitting an ivory tower, but in truth, the facility—designed by world-renowned architect Louis Kahn—is a stunning structure blending seamlessly with its surroundings, which overlook the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Completed in 1965, it is now designated an historic site. The tour map guides you around the building’s main grounds and courtyard, featuring eight key points of interest with some background information on each. salk.edu/visit

2. SHELTER ISLAND, PORT OF SAN DIEGO
The Port of San Diego’s waterfront has a fascinating history that’s often overlooked. It began as a mud bank of submerged shoal lying off Point Loma. In the mid-1930s, the city began dredging the bay and adding some of the surplus to the shoal. In 1950, a road was constructed and development began. The Shelter Island Art Tour is a pleasant 0.9-mile tour on Shoreline Park West starting at the Pacific Portal gazebo and ending at the Pearl of the Pacific mosaic fountain with four sculptures and the Yokohama Friendship Bell to admire in between. Of particular interest is The Tunaman’s Memorial Sculpture, a 21-foot-tall bronze structure honoring men of diverse backgrounds who pioneered San Diego’s fishing industry and those who were lost at sea. portofsandiego.org/where-to-go

3. SCAVENGER HUNT ADVENTURE, DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO
This two- to three-hour tour turns the city into a game board covering Waterfront Park, Little Italy, and some war memorials about town. With a smart phone or Internet-connected tablet, teams of two to five people solve clues and complete challenges while learning local history. When the tour is complete, the team’s score is posted on a San Diego Quest leader board, ranked among other players. Start at Waterfront Park and end… hey, we’re not telling! A second San Diego Quest in Balboa Park is also available. This tour is sponsored by the San Diego Tourism Authority through Urban Adventure Quest. urbanadventurequest.com/tours

Tunaman’s Memorial - courtesy sandiego.org
Tunaman’s Memorial - courtesy sandiego.org
Waterfront Park - Stacy Keck/courtesy sandiego.org
Waterfront Park - Stacy Keck/courtesy sandiego.org

MORE INFO

SALK INSTITUTE
Weekdays 8–5 pm
Reservations required
$7.50 conservation fee

SHELTER ISLAND
24/7
No reservations
No fee

SCAVENGER HUNT
7 days/week, dawn to dusk
Reservations online
$49 for teams of 2 to 5