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Balboa Park

The Cultural Heart of San Diego

Just minutes from downtown, explore the history, legacy, and future of this ever changing, always amazing cultural park.

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Balboa Park, San Diego, California

Balboa Park is a magnificent cultural oasis that includes 17 museums, tranquil gardens and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. At 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in North America and a must see on any visit to San Diego. Located just blocks from downtown San Diego hotels, the park has a rich history reflected through stunning architecture, art installations, and cultural events throughout the year.

Balboa Park has a storied history – one that is central to the story of San Diego. It started 150 years ago, when civic leaders took the audacious step of setting aside 1,400 acres of a scrub-filled mesa overlooking downtown San Diego to establish a park. While San Diego was home to just 2,300 residents in 1868, its leaders had the vision and desire to create an iconic park that would serve its citizens and visitors for years to come. In fact, San Diego was the second city to dedicate a large urban park behind only New York City’s Central Park. In 1870, the state legislature passed a law stating that the lands would be held in trust for a park forever. Find out more about Balboa Park’s evolution.

The Sights and Sounds of Balboa Park

Exploring Balboa Park

Whether you're an art fan, nature lover, model train aficionado or science geek, Balboa Park has something for everyone. 

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Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

In & Around Balboa Park

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National Geographic Channel Explores San Diego

Four-part series focuses on unique cultural offerings of Balboa Park and the city.

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7 Hidden Gems to Explore in Balboa Park

You can spend all day (or weekend) exploring Balboa Park’s 1,200 acres of museums, gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. But the Jewel of San Diego also features several lesser-known attractions that are sure to pique your interest, too.

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Plan Your Visit

There is a lot to see in Balboa Park, so you need a plan. Here are some resources that will help you get the very most out of your visit.

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Don't Miss At The Park

Balboa Park is in and of itself an icon of San Diego. And as the park developed and expanded, several venues and attractions within the park have become representative of the destinations rich and storied history.

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Balboa Park December Nights

Dec 7 - Dec 8, 2018

Balboa Park December Nights brings families and friends together to spread holiday joy and kick-off the "most wonderful time of the year" with lights and more!

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San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 27 - Dec 30, 2018

Where the cars are the stars! The San Diego International Auto Show features the widest variety of new vehicles under one roof.

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San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 9 - Dec 16, 2018

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see.

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San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2019

San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, January 20th through Sunday, January 27th with a FEAST for the senses at over 180 participating restaurants. Dine deliciously at restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County. This foodie-favorited week is the perfect time to take a culinary tour throughout the diverse and thriving food culture of San Diego.

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Whats Hot

National Geographic Channel Explores San Diego

Discover

7 Hidden Gems to Explore in Balboa Park

Discover

Plan Your Visit

Discover

Don't Miss At The Park

Discover

What's On

View More Events

Balboa Park December Nights

Dec 7 - Dec 8, 2018
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San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 27 - Dec 30, 2018
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San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 9 - Dec 16, 2018
Discover

San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2019
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Balboa Park Explorer Pass

Save on Admission to Museums

Experience the museums of Balboa Park in an easy and affordable way with the Balboa Park Explorer Pass. For one price, the Pass provides admission into as many as 16 of Balboa Park’s museums and attractions.

More from Balboa Park & San Diego

 

Balboa Park, by You

Fill your feed with Balboa Park and hashtag #VisitSD and tag @VisitSanDiego so that we can share your images.

 

Deals just for you

Trains

Thanksgiving: Students Save 15%

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
Valid: Sep 26, 2018 - ongoing

Take the scenic route to San Diego.  Students ages 13 to 25 can enjoy a 15% savings on Pacific Surfliner trips year-round. Study, read, sleep or just enjoy the beautiful scenery. In the...

Venues

Save 10% - San Diego Souvenirs at Wheelhouse Gift Shop

Flagship Cruises & Events
Valid: Aug 10 - ongoing

Wheelhouse has all the essentials you need to enjoy your stay along the downtown San Diego waterfront. The shop carries sunscreen, hats & sunglasses, sweatshirts for breezy nights, a variety of...

Group & Charter Transportation

5% off our motor coach charter services

Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
Valid: Jan 3 - ongoing

Receive 5% off our Motor Coach Charter Services.

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Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

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