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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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Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2019

The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park and Coronado Ferry Landing. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 17 minutes.

Come down to the bay and enjoy the biggest fireworks show in San Diego!

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Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day

May 27, 2019

The Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day celebration is one of San Diego's largest and most celebrated memorials dedicated to our fighting men and women. On this day we honor all of our fallen soldiers and remember them for their ultimate sacrifice to our country.

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2019 SAN DIEGO ROCK 'N' ROLL MARATHON SERIES

Jun 1 - Jun 2, 2019

It all began in San Diego in 1998 and for over 20 years, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series has made running fun by infusing each course with live bands, cheer teams and more. In 2018, we brought our best to the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon & 1/2 with more music, runner support, and community engagement every step of the way. This event has always been our Epic Summer Run, and we’re already planning on ways to make 2019 even better! This year our event will feature a Full (26.2 miles) and 1/2 (13.1 miles) Marathon, a fun 5k Race and a 1/2 Marathon Relay Race. 

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Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 18 - Jul 21, 2019

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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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

Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2019
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Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day

May 27, 2019
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2019 SAN DIEGO ROCK 'N' ROLL MARATHON SERIES

Jun 1 - Jun 2, 2019
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Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 18 - Jul 21, 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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Accommodation

Kimpton Summer Offer

Kimpton Solamar Hotel
Valid: May 21 - Jul 31, 2019

Book direct to receive 20% off our summer best available rates or join IHG Rewards to receive 25% off at Kimpton Hotel Solamar or Kimpton Hotel Palomar.

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Kimpton Summer Offer

Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego
Valid: May 21 - Jul 31, 2019

Book direct to receive 20% off our summer best available rates or join IHG Rewards to receive 25% off at Kimpton Hotel Solamar or Kimpton Hotel Palomar

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Stay Cool in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter!

San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Jun 1 - ongoing

Book a Summer stay at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter! Stay Cool in the heart of the city, surrounded by restaurants, nightlife & shopping.  We’re 90 steps from PETCO Park, home...

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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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