Spring Break in San Diego
A Pacific Horticulture Society  Weekender*
April 10-14, 2015  Local Host and Tour Manager Scott Borden.
This tour is Fully Booked.

San Diego County's borders range from the desert to the sea and contain more biodiversity than any
other county in North America.  In partnership with the San Diego Horticultural Society and the San
Diego Floral Association, come with us on a long weekend to meet the friendly natives and explore all
of the beauty that San Diego has to offer.   

Fri April 10.  Make your way to San Diego
and check in to the
Hacienda Hotel in Old
Town.  Rooms feature microwave, fridge,
nightly turndown service, complimentary
high-speed internet, and complimentary
airport/Amtrak shuttle service. Join your
tour host and traveling companions for a
welcome dinner followed by a presentation
about gardening in San Diego from Jim Bishop,
president of San Diego Horticultural Society.                                                      
Dinner.                                                                                                                 Hacienda Hotel, Old Town

Sat April 11.   Following breakfast at the hotel, board our mini-coaches as we join the annual garden
tour sponsored by the
San Diego Horticultural Society--one of the largest societies in the nation, and
San Diego Floral Association--founded in 1907, it’s the oldest garden club in southern California.   
Together they have assembled a delightful array of private gardens focused in the area around
Balboa Park.
JUST ADDED:  detailed descriptions of the gardens we will visit, click HERE
2015 is the centennial year of the landmark Panama-California Exposition and Balboa Park is the hub
of many celebrations and projects honoring the 100th anniversary. Our group will travel from garden
to garden via private motorcoach.  Later this afternoon, we're invited for a private visit to the garden
of San Diego Horticultural Society president Jim Bishop and his partner Scott Borden, our local host
and a board member of Pacific Horticulture Society, where we will enjoy wine and cheese in the
garden before returning to the hotel in time for dinner on your own.   Breakfast, Wine & Cheese.

Sun April 12.   Following breakfast at the hotel,
board our private motorcoach for a very special
adventure.  San Diego is justly famous for it’s
coastline and mild climate, but most visitors
rarely venture east into the mountains and
desert---all part of San Diego County.   We’ll
make our way across the county to
Anza Borrego
State Park Palm Canyon visitors center where
we’ll receive an orientation and brief talk about
the park.  We’ll enjoy a boxed lunch on picnic
tables in the park and then depart on a guided
walk up the beautiful Palm Canyon nature trail.  
Wildflowers are notoriously difficult to predict, but with the expected El Nino weather event, we may be
in for a real treat.  Keep your eyes on the rocky canyon walls and you may spot a Peninsular bighorn
sheep. Only 335 of these magnificent animals remain in the United States. 215 find refuge in the
park.   After our hike up the canyon, we’ll leave the desert floor for the charming mountain town of
Julian, whose beginnings date back to an 1870s gold rush.  At 4,200 ft elevation amidst pines and
oaks in the beautiful Cuyamaca mountains, we will browse the shops along Main Street or perhaps
sample Julian’s famous apple pies before heading back to our hotel in time for dinner on your own.   
Breakfast, Lunch.

Mon April 13.  Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ll
head north along the coast stopping first at the
delightful garden of Heather Callaghan.  A native of
New Zealand, Heather has created the quintessential
Southern California garden, using plants from all over
the world.  Following our visit, it's just a short drive to
San Diego Botanic Garden at Quail, where we’ll
enjoy docent-led tours of this fascinating garden,
home to over 30 different gardens, from Australia to
California natives, even a charming undersea garden.
We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch al fresco and a short talk by
garden staff.  After lunch, we’ll depart for
Balboa Park,
the nation’s largest urban cultural park, for an afternoon and evening celebration of the park’s 100th
anniversary.  Balboa Park is home to 15 major museums, historic theatre venues like the Old Globe
Theater, and of course the world famous San Diego Zoo.   We’ll enjoy guided tours of key park
attractions, most notably the Botanical Building and the adjacent gardens, renovated in 2014 by the
San Diego Horticultural Society to celebrate the park’s 100th anniversary.   We’ll have a casual dinner
in the park before making our way to the
San Diego Natural History Museum where we are invited
guests to a very special meeting of the San Diego Horticultural Society, a Pacific Horticulture Society
Partner.  The Hort Society has taken over the museum for the evening just for this event, so we’ll
have a chance to browse exhibits and perhaps see rare plant and art specimens before enjoying a
presentation by the ever-popular Jon Rebman, Ph.D., Director of Botany for the museum.   Return to
the hotel later this evening.  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Tue April 14.  Following breakfast at the hotel, our PacHort “Weekender*” concludes.  Bon voyage!

Based on a minimum of 20 guests: 745.00 per person for
members* of Pacific Horticulture Society,
$795.00 for non-members*.  Supplement for single occupancy: $349.00.   
Membership starts at just $28 so if you are not a member, we strongly encourage you to join before
you register for the tour as you can then receive the member price.  You can join online

  • 4 nights accommodations at Hacienda Hotel Old Town San Diego.  
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, 1 wine & cheese reception
  • Transportation by private motorcoach as specified in the itinerary.  
  • All sightseeing and entrances as per the itinerary
  • Locally hosted Scott Borden of Pacific Horticulture Society
  • Tax-deductible * donation of $75 to Pacific Horticulture Society
* to the extent allowed by law, consult with your tax advisor..

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips to local guides and drivers.
  • Items and inclusions not specified in the itinerary.

*Weekender tours are locally hosted using well-located mid-range hotels.
These shorter tours have lower pricing while maintaining the high
standard of  quality sights and visits found in longer Pacific Horticulture Society tours.

TRAVELING TO SAN DIEGO --- Frequent daily flights from just about everywhere to convenient
Lindbergh Field (SAN), about 10 minutes from the hotel.    Amtrak offers service from Los Angeles
and points north stopping at the San Diego Old Town (OLT) station, about 4 blocks from the hotel.  
The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service (must call the hotel directly), otherwise taxis and Uber
are readily available.  

TRAVEL INSURANCE:  As your deposit and final payment are both non-refundable, we wish to make
you aware that individual travel insurance is available to protect you against cancellation penalties as
well as provide coverage should an incident occur during the trip.  We will send an email with your
deposit confirmation with information about how to get a free quote and/or secure your coverage
online or by phone.    Note that pre-existing conditions may be covered if the insurance is purchased
within a short time after trip deposit.  Group travel insurance will not be offered with this tour.

PHYSICAL CAPABILITIES - This tours include a SIGNIFICANT amount of walking, FREQUENT use of
stairs and steeply sloped pathways on uneven or unpaved surfaces.  Some of the places we will be
visiting can only be seen on foot with no other access possible.  Guests with limited mobility MUST
consult with Sterling prior to tour registration.

To view Terms and Conditions, please click

For more information, contact:
Sterling Tours, Ltd            
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262    
San Diego, CA 92106      Tel: 619 299-3010     800-976-9497
sterling tours, ltd