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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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Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 19 - Jul 22, 2018

Comic-Con International is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related to pop culture.

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US Sand Sculpting Challenge & Dimensional Art Expo

Aug 31 - Sep 3, 2018

One of the top 20 "Must See" seaside festivals in the world according to American Express and USA Today's 10 Best, the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition will return to San Diego's downtown waterfront for 2018. This will be the seventh year that one of the world's most important sand-sculpting competitions will be held on this built-for-the-occasion beach, with over 300 tons of sand dumped on the pier on San Diego's Big Bay. The 7th annual edition will be open to the public Aug. 31 - Sept. 3. The Port of San Diego is again Presenting Sponsor, as the event is held on its beautiful Broadway Pier and Landing. So come and celebrate Labor Day on the Bay with us.

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KAABOO Del Mar Festival

Sep 14 - Sep 16, 2018

KAABOO is the ultimate live entertainment experience. Enjoy world-class music, hilarious comedy, inspiring contemporary art, incredible cuisine, craft libations, and personal indulgences.

This year’s lineup includes today’s hitmakers to bucket-list acts and everything in between. See Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Halsey, Post Malone and many more! Also, see comedic favorites like Craig Ferguson, Iliza Shlesinger, Judd Apatow & Friends, Craig Robinson and many more.

KAABOO is not your ordinary festival – it offers an unbelievable live music experience without the rough qualities of a typical music festival. SDTA and KAABOO are offering pass and hotel packages to you at discounted rates.

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Heiva San Diego

Aug 11 - Aug 12, 2018

Heiva San Diego, a Polynesian celebration representing Tahiti as the bridge between French Polynesia and the US and sharing our culture with the community.

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Whats Hot

Summer in the Park

Discover

7 Hidden Gems to Explore in Balboa Park

Discover

Plan Your Visit

Discover

Don't Miss At The Park

Discover

What's On

View More Events

Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 19 - Jul 22, 2018
Discover

US Sand Sculpting Challenge & Dimensional Art Expo

Aug 31 - Sep 3, 2018
Discover

KAABOO Del Mar Festival

Sep 14 - Sep 16, 2018
Discover

Heiva San Diego

Aug 11 - Aug 12, 2018
Discover
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

$3 Off Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Valid: Jan 16 - ongoing

Looking for fun with a side of science? La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the place for you. As the public outreach center for the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Birch...

History & Heritage

Kids Go Free to the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum

Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2018

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

Museums

Kids Go Free to the Museum of Photographic Arts

Museum of Photographic Arts
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2018

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

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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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