Balboa Park

Balboa park
Balboa Park is a symphony of nature, history, culture, and architecture.

Just a quarter mile from the heart of San Diego, Balboa Park is a sight not to be missed. The park is 1200 acres in size and contains gardens, fountains, museums, and numerous cultural organizations. The architecture itself is stunning and an estimated 12 million people visit Balboa Park each year. It can take days (if not years) to explore the entire park. Expect to find:

Balboa park
  • 15 museums,
  • the world-famous San Diego Zoo,
  • gardens, hiking and biking trails,
  • recreational facilities and a golf course,
  • several restaurants,
  • and over 85 performing arts & international organizations.

about Balboa Park A Quick Tour of Balboa Park: If you are a visitor to San Diego and cannot devote days & days at Balboa Park, try taking a quick tour via El Prada. A stroll down this public, pedestrian walkway will give you a glimpse as to what the entire park is about. Get started here...

history of Balboa Park Balboa Park: a Brief History: Established more than 165 years ago, this area is one of the oldest sites in current-day USA to have been dedicated solely for the purpose of parks & recreation. Read more...

Balboa Park gardens
Gardens: most visitors are awed by the numerous gardens, lush walkways, and green spaces at Balboa Park. It is also home to the San Diego Floral Association and the Horticultural Library.

  • Alcazar Garden
  • Botanical Building
  • Cactus Garden
  • Casa del Rey Moro Garden
  • Desert Garden
  • Ethnobotany Garden
  • Marston House Garden  
  • Japanese Garden
  • Palm Canyon
  • Rose Garden
  • Veterans Garden
  • Zoro Garden

Balboa Park museums Museums: There are 15 museums scattered around Balboa Park. These include classics such as the San Diego Museum of Art; and the specialized such as the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

 • Museum of SD History
 • SD Air & Space Museum
 • SD Museum of Art
 • Photographic Arts Museum
 • Timken Museum of Art  
 • SD Model Railroad Museum
 • SD Museum of Man
 • SD Automotive Museum
 • Mingei Int'l Museum
 • SD Natural History Museum
 • Reuben H fleet Science Center
 • Veterans Museum & Memorial Center
 • San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum
 • San Diego Art Institute: Museum of the Living Artist

Balboa Park restaurants
Places to Eat: There is a lot of walking involved when visiting Balboa Park. Thus, it is good to know that there are over 10 food distributors ranging from full-service restaurants to mobile snack-carts.

  • Albert's Restaurant
  • Cafe in the Park
  • Daniel's Coffee Cart
  • Dinosaur Café
  • Galileo Café
  • Lady Carolyn's Pub
  • SDMA Sculpture Court Cafe
  • Snack Carts
  • The Prado
  • The Tea Pavilion
  • Time Out Café
  • Village Grill

Spanish village Arts and Crafts: Each museum will have its own gift shop where you can buy a souvenir. But a must-see is the Spanish Village Art Center. Over 50 craftsmen work here: including painters, sculptor, pottery throwers, stained glass artists, woodcarvers, jewelry makers,... Read more...

Balboa Park playground Playground and Kid Friendly places: In addition to all the fun stuff mentioned above, Balboa Park also has a puppet theater, drumming classes for kids, and various kid friendly events through out the year. Noteworthy is the Pepper Grove Playground where kids can swing, slide, climb, crawl, and just be kids.

Balboa Park events Events: Being as large as it is, Balboa Park is the place to hold large, public events. These occur throughout the year and include Family Day (March). Science Festival Expo Day (March - April), EarthFair (April), December Nights, and more.

Balboa Park parking prices Price and Parking: Almost all public walkways and gardens at Balboa Park are free; and almost all museums require a fee for entry. Some museums are free on Tuesdays. Read more...