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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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Taste of December Nights

Dec 3 - Dec 5, 2021

For more than 40 years, the San Diego community has welcomed in the holiday season by celebrating the annual December Nights in Balboa Park. Due to the potential uncertainty of public health conditions at the time of December Nights, and out of an abundance of caution, the City has made the decision to expand upon the 2020 successful drive-through experience, "Taste of December Nights," for this year's event.

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San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec 28, 2021

The SDCCU Holiday Bowl is America’s Finest Bowl Experience! This signature San Diego event annually showcases a thrilling game between some of college football’s most competitive conferences, the ACC and the Pac-12. Don’t miss the electrifying pageantry, excitement and football thrills this year!

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San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 30, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022

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 12 - Dec 19, 2021

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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Whats Hot

National Geographic Channel Explores San Diego

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7 Hidden Gems to Explore in Balboa Park

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FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE

Discover

Balboa Park Bucket List

Discover

What's On

View More Events

Taste of December Nights

Dec 3 - Dec 5, 2021
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San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec 28, 2021
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San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 30, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022
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San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2021
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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

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...

Tours & Sightseeing

Work Week Deal

GoCar Tours
Valid: Oct 8, 2021 - ongoing

Get one hour free with any two hour rental with a GoCar. 

Activity

$3 Off Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Valid: Mar 22 - ongoing

As the public outreach center for the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Birch Aquarium brings guests into the exciting world of cutting-edge research. Explore interactive exhibits and come...

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