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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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Summer in the Park

Summer is a time to relax, explore and enjoy – and there’s no better place to experience all summer has to offer than Balboa Park

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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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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 23 - Sep 30, 2018

San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, September 23rd through Sunday, September 30th 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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Fashion Week San Diego 2018

Oct 12 - Oct 14, 2018

We are bringing new designers from around the world to show their never seen before collections on the FWSD Runway. This year we are featuring 15 very talented and dynamic labels/brands on the catwalk in Encinitas

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2018 Guild Fest

Nov 3, 2018

Guild Fest is back for another year! Join the San Diego Brewers Guild and more than 60 independent breweries for 2018 Guild Fest, taking place at a new location— Embarcadero South in Downtown San Diego.

This annual event celebrates SD Beer Week and the independent brewing community that makes it all possible. The official kick-off party to San Diego Beer Week, Guild Fest will showcase new, exciting features, including delicious craft beer from San Diego and beyond, a pre-party harbor cruise, and more! Buy your tickets today and help raise funds for I Love a Clean San Diego and the San Diego Brewers Guild.

Boarding for the VIP Cruise will be just steps away from Guild Fest at Flagship Cruises & Events, Fifth Avenue Landing, 600 Convention Way, West Gate, San Diego, CA 92101

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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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Whats Hot

Summer in the Park

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7 Hidden Gems to Explore in Balboa Park

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Plan Your Visit

Discover

Don't Miss At The Park

Discover

What's On

View More Events

San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 23 - Sep 30, 2018
Discover

Fashion Week San Diego 2018

Oct 12 - Oct 14, 2018
Discover

2018 Guild Fest

Nov 3, 2018
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Balboa Park December Nights

Dec 7 - Dec 8, 2018
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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

Museums

Kids Go Free to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2018

Children 12 and under receive free entry to the Museum of Contemporary Art with the full price paid admission of at least one accompanying adult. Valid for 2 children per paid adult. Does not apply to...

Activity

10% Off Sightseeing Tour for Cruise Passengers

The Hopper San Diego
Valid: Aug 22, 2018 - ongoing

Make the most of your time in San Diego! Explore the city in comfort and style onboard this premier, double-decker bus that will take you around the heart of San Diego in just 2 hours. The Hopper...

Galleries & Museums

Traintastic Deals

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Valid: May 22, 2018 - ongoing

Save $1.00 off regular adult admission 

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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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