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Balboa Park

The cultural heart of San Diego

Just minutes from downtown, you'll find an amazing cultural center and beautiful botanic paradise right in the middle of San Diego.

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Balboa Park, San Diego, California

Balboa Park is a cultural oasis that includes 17 museums, gardens galore and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. At 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is one of North America’s most iconic urban parks 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 its stunning architecture, thought-provoking exhibits 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 the scrub-filled mesa overlooking downtown to establish a city park. Today, Balboa Park continues to be a potent mix of what makes San Diego so unique. Ethnically diverse, historically rich, culturally abundant, naturally breathtaking, Balboa Park is where you can experience San Diego’s past and see its future.

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. 

Find a place to stay

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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FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE

Ready to discover something awesome? Well, you’re in the right place.

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Balboa Park Bucket List

10 Things You Can't Miss

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Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2021

The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park and Coronado Ferry Landing. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 17 minutes.

Come down to the bay and enjoy the biggest fireworks show in San Diego!

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Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo

Jun 11 - Sep 6, 2021

Stay after dark and help us celebrate summer during Nighttime Zoo. Come "rock and roar" every day this summer with live music and other amazing entertainment experiences. There's so much to do, see and hear at Nighttime Zoo - it's a good thing summer hours are longer!

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Mira Mesa Fourth of July Fireworks

Jul 4, 2021

July 4, 2021 at 9pm, the skies above Mira Mesa High School will be alight in celebration of Independence Day!

“Due to the pandemic, it was an arduous process to get the necessary approvals for the show,” states Scripps Mesa Fireworks President Michael Spencer. “I am overjoyed we can finally announce that the show will return. I believe it is essential for the morale of the community to celebrate in 2021 after such an exasperating year and a half.”

We are thankful to the following people who helped make this show possible for 2021!

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Virtual Tours

Dec 17, 2020 - ongoing

Go behind the scenes with The San Diego Museum of Art docents and learn incredible details about a variety of works in the Museum collection. Each tour is live via Zoom and lasts approximately 50 minutes. Virtual docent-led tours are available across 15 topics, and at various days and times, so find the tour that is the best fit for you.

Learn more: https://www.sdmart.org/docent-tours/

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Whats Hot

National Geographic Channel Explores San Diego

Discover

7 Hidden Gems to Explore in Balboa Park

Discover

FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE

Discover

Balboa Park Bucket List

Discover

What's On

View More Events

Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2021
Discover

Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo

Jun 11 - Sep 6, 2021
Discover

Mira Mesa Fourth of July Fireworks

Jul 4, 2021
Discover

Virtual Tours

Dec 17, 2020 - ongoing
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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

History & Heritage

Save 10% off any San Diego Walks Tour

San Diego Walks
Valid: Mar 24, 2021 - ongoing

We offer tours of Balboa Park, Old Town, Liberty Station and Coronado. Use code BEST10 at time of booking to save 10%    

Activity

10% off entire retail purchase in store

Old Town Model Railroad Depot
Valid: Mar 23 - ongoing

Our gift shop has a diverse selection of model trains and supplies, train-themed gifts, books, toys, and apparel. Show the cashier this page and get 10% off your entire purchase at our gift...

Activity

75-minute Naval History Bay Tour Only $15***

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Valid: May 29 - ongoing

Weekends Only Starting Memorial Day Weekend Saturday, May 29, Sunday, May 30, and Monday, May 31. The US Naval Vietnam-era PCF 816 Swift Boat Listed In National Register Of Historic Places is part...

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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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