Discover the beautiful and diverse array of San Diego’s botanical gardens, state parks, natural preserves and recreational parks.
Explore the 16 gardens within Balboa Park, including the Japanese Friendship Garden and Botanical Building with adjacent Koi and Lily Pond. Also located in Balboa Park in the Pepper Grove Children’s Playground, named for the California Pepper Trees which provide shade to the expansive picnic area.
A don’t miss for plant lovers, the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas encompasses four miles of garden trails, including the nation’s largest collection of bamboo species, plus workshops, plant sales, bird watching and a whimsical children’s garden.
One of the wildest stretches of land on the Southern California coast, the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Park is dedicated to preserving its namesake, the Torrey Pine tree and other indigenous wildlife in its native environment. A coastal wilderness of pine forests and sandstone canyons, the park offers hiking trails that wind their way along the cliffs, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
In the spring, head out to East County for a spectacle of wild desert blooms, or walk a rainbow of colors at the famous flower fields in Carlsbad. No matter what time of year, there’s always a garden in bloom in San Diego.
For outdoor adventure and fun, plan an outing at one of the area's gorgeous parks and preserves. San Diego’s steep and varied topography combined with its proximity to the ocean create five different habitats within the county including tidal, marsh, desert, mountains and canyons. Explore endangered species of plants and wild animals in their natural settings. Take a hike along coastal wetlands and canyons or in one of San Diego's East County state parks.
If you’re looking for fun at recreational parks, San Diego offers a wide range of interests. From theme parks, water parks, and skate parks, to Mission Bay Aquatic Park, the largest aquatic park in the United States, there are plenty parks to enjoy for kids of all ages.
Browse the articles and listings below to uncover more about San Diego's natural landscapes.
Welcome to Balboa Park: the nation's largest "urban cultural" park. Home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attractionMap It!