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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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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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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2019

Locals and visitors to San Diego area libraries are in for a special treat this February! Pick up your Museum Month discount pass at a San Diego City or County libraries to enjoy half-off admission at more than 40 San Diego Museum Council (SDMC) member museums. The pass can be used to visit multiple museums across the region.

Whether you are an art aficionado, history buff, or nature lover, the SDMC has a variety of member organizations that are bound to capture your interest.

Take advantage of the program to visit both old favorites and new attractions you have never even heard of!

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La Jolla Concours D'Elegance

Apr 12 - Apr 14, 2019

It is fitting that when translated into Spanish, La Jolla means "the jewel", because La Jolla truly is the diamond of the West Coast. La Jolla has become the embodiment of luxury, class and style in San Diego. The chic allure of La Jolla’s avenues has drawn the finest automobiles to this coastal town for the La Jolla Concours d'Elegance.

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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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Lunar New Year at SeaWorld

Feb 2 - Feb 18, 2019

Come celebrate SeaWorld San Diego's family-friendly Lunar New Year event, where you'll enjoy a riveting Chinese acrobat show, be awed by lion dancers, and be enveloped in wonderful sights, sounds, tastes and aromas characteristic of Asia. 

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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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Plan Your Visit

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Don't Miss At The Park

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What's On

View More Events

Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2019
Discover

La Jolla Concours D'Elegance

Apr 12 - Apr 14, 2019
Discover

San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2019
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Lunar New Year at SeaWorld

Feb 2 - Feb 18, 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.

 

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$5 OFF Any Cruise for Cruise Ship Passengers

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Valid: Jan 18, 2019 - ongoing

Enjoy your stay in sunny San Diego with a cruise!  Save $5 per person on any cruise on Hornblower in San Diego, including 1 or 2 hour Harbor Tours, Whale Watching, Nightly Dinner Cruises,...

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Next Level Sailing
Valid: Nov 7, 2018 - ongoing

Book online at www.nextlevelsailing.com to receive a 10% discount on the following public trips:  -San Diego Whale Watching  -America Tour in the San Diego Bay    A...

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Passengers w/ Disabilities Save 15%

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
Valid: Jan 4 - ongoing

Take the scenic route to San Diego.  With large picture windows, accessible restrooms, spacious seating, free Wi-Fi and other amenities, the Pacific Surfliner offers a comfortable journey. ...

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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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