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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. 

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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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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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Dine Diego

Sep 15 - Oct 15, 2020

San Diego’s favorite foodie event, San Diego Restaurant Week will take a break this September.  Instead, Dine Diego (presented by San Diego Restaurant Week), will run September 15 through October 15, 2020.  Dine Diego will feature San Diego’s top eateries showcasing all the current offerings for outdoor dining, to-go options and unique in-house promotions.

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Living Room Lecture

Oct 8, 2020

The deserts of the American southwest contain one of the largest concentrations of geoglyphs outside of Peru’s Nazca Lines. These ancient Native American works of earthen art can be up to hundreds of feet long, and yet are often invisible until viewed from above. Before drones, GPS, or Google Maps, photographer Harry Casey began a unique archaeology project. Armed with nothing more than topographic maps, 35mm film cameras, and his beloved Piper J3 Cub aircraft, Casey spent thirty-five years documenting the region’s geoglyphs before natural erosion and human intervention could destroy these fragile sites.

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GoCar Tours

Oct 7, 2019 - ongoing

GoCar is the world's first GPS-Guided Storytelling Car, nominated by TIME Magazine as "One of the Most Amazing Inventions of the Year". With GOCar you can roam the streets of San Diego and see all the sights that America's Finest City has to offer and learn the history and facts behind them without a guide book or map. Choose your own adventure! Fold up your map, put away the guidebook, and get behind the wheel of one of the GPS-Guided tour cars. Zip through the streets of San Diego and let your clever talking car navigate the way, leading you to some of the city's top attractions - Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village or Point Loma. It's the most exhilarating, entertaining and enlightening way to tour San Diego. As you drive, it points out the sights and tells you the stories that bring San Diego to life.

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Virtual: We Made San Diego

Oct 1, 2020

Join local historian Maria Garcia for a presentation on her forthcoming book We Made San Diego. In this wide-ranging talk, participants will hear about some of the Latino lives lived throughout San Diego County, stories of Latino veterans who served in the Vietnam War, and of notable people in neighborhoods we often don’t hear too much about, such as Eden Gardens (La Colonia) in Solana Beach, San Ysidro, El Cajon, South Bay, as well as Barrio Logan. Ms. Garcia will also discuss the role of community advocacy organizations like the Chicano Federation, MAAC, and Casa Familiar, and how California propositions 187 and 227 spurred a new era of activism within the Latino community. 

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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

Dine Diego

Sep 15 - Oct 15, 2020
Discover

Living Room Lecture

Oct 8, 2020
Discover

GoCar Tours

Oct 7, 2019 - ongoing
Discover

Virtual: We Made San Diego

Oct 1, 2020
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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

20% Off Admission (up to 4 Guests)

Living Coast Discovery Center
Valid: Feb 21 - ongoing

Display this coupon and receive 20% off admission for up to 4 guests. 

Galleries & Museums

Kids Free Welcome Gift at Barona Museum

Barona Cultural Center & Museum
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2020

Barona Cultural Center & Museum is dedicated to the perpetuation and presentation of the local Kumeyaay-Diegueño culture. The Museum's collection represents thousands of years of history -...

Museums

Kids Go Free to the San Diego Air & Space Museum

San Diego Air & Space Museum
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2020

Science, space and aviation history all unfold at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in beautiful Balboa Park. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the San Diego Air & Space Museum...

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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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