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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. 

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

In & Around Balboa Park

Whats Hot|
What's On|

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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Harbor Dinner Cruise

Feb 11 - ongoing

Join us on the original San Diego dinner cruise and enjoy a gourmet three-course meal, and admire the San Diego waterfront views.


Highlights:

25 miles of beautiful downtown San Diego scenery
Background Music
Free WiFi

 

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Art Alive 2021

Jun 17 - Jun 20, 2021

Art Alive 2021 kicks off the summer with a weekend of newly imagined festive floral events. As always, enjoy spectacular floral interpretations of nearly 100 works of art throughout the Museum. The sights, scents, and sounds of the floral exhibition will spill onto the plaza for the family-friendly Open Air Floral Affair. Bloom Bash takes a hiatus for the Color Feast, a more intimate but full surround-sound, synesthetic outdoor dining experience. And the exclusive Premiere Dinner moves under the stars. Art Alive 2021 offers even more virtual festivities, with a 360 virtual tour of the floral exhibition, a virtual silent auction, at-home workshops for all ages, and more.

 

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PRIVATE SUNSET AND NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Nov 4, 2020 - ongoing

Learn how to capture the essence of the late-day light and magical nighttime beauty of America’s finest city, on an Instagrammable private photography tour. Whether mastering how to shoot our outstanding coastal scenery or our lit-up fairytale-like urban wonders, your private tour will be led personally by Julie Kremen, an award winning professional photographer and certified tour guide. Read the reviews and see why she is top-rated on TripAdvisor, and Yelp.

Julie works closely with you before the tour to nail down exactly what you want to concentrate on so you can get the most out of your experience. Contact us to book a private session, boost your shooting skills and make your friends say “Wow!” when they see your photos!

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Live Music: The Lundeen, Woodward, Palmer Party

May 9, 2021

*Free with admission to The Flower Fields*

Join us for a Mother’s Day afternoon of swing, boogie and rhythm & blues with 12x Blues Music Award “Best Blues Nominee” Michele Lundeen the “Queen of Steam” on vocals and percussion, the multiple award-winning “Queen of Boogie Woogie” Sue Palmer on piano, highly-respected veteran, “Swingin’ Jimmy Woodard on guitar and vocals, Pete Harrison of Sue’s Motel Swing Orchestra on bass, and Ric Lee of the popular Bayou Brothers on drums.

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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

Harbor Dinner Cruise

Feb 11 - ongoing
Discover

Art Alive 2021

Jun 17 - Jun 20, 2021
Discover

PRIVATE SUNSET AND NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Nov 4, 2020 - ongoing
Discover

Live Music: The Lundeen, Woodward, Palmer Party

May 9, 2021
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

45-minute Historic Bay Cruise $5 With Admission!

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Valid: Apr 1 - Apr 30, 2021

Welcome to the Maritime Museum of San Diego! Your best choice for an outdoor educational experience!  Take a top deck tour of the historic fleet, including the world’s oldest sailing...

Activity

10% off entire retail purchase in store

Old Town Model Railroad Depot
Valid: Mar 23 - ongoing

Our gift shop has a diverse selection of model trains and supplies, train-themed gifts, books, toys, and apparel. Show the cashier this page and get 10% off your entire purchase at our gift...

History & Heritage

Save 10% off any San Diego Walks Tour

San Diego Walks
Valid: Mar 24, 2021 - ongoing

We offer tours of Balboa Park, Old Town, Liberty Station and Coronado. Use code BEST10 at time of booking to save 10%    

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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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