Spring Break in San Diego
A Pacific Horticulture Society  Weekender*
April 10-14, 2015
Local Host Scott Borden.  Limited to 28 guests, 10 spaces open.
To make a reservation, please scroll to the bottom.

San Diego County has more biodiversity than any other county in North
America and, along with the rest of California, is among the top 10
biodiversity regions on earth. The mild, Mediterranean climate (hot dry
summers and cool, wet winters) and varied landforms create a number
of distinct habitats, including: salt marshes and lagoons, coastal sage
scrub, chaparral, oak woodlands, conifer forests, freshwater marshes,
desert---and some terrific gardens!
Balboa Park
Fri April 10.  Make your way to San Diego, California, and check in to the Hacienda Hotel in Old
Town.  Rooms feature microwave, refrigerator, in-room safes, nightly turndown service, two bottles of
water, 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 by a noted local

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 the
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.  
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.              
Borden/Bishop garden in San Diego
Our group will travel from garden to garden via private small motorcoach.  Later this afternoon, we're
invite 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, we’ll
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 docent-led walks 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 to the
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.  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 make a reservation, please click HERE

To view Terms and Conditions, please click HERE

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