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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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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2021

San Diego area residents and visitors are in for a special treat in February! Pick up your Museum Month discount pass at participating libraries or when you stay at a Hilton to enjoy 50% off the cost of admission at more than 40 San Diego Museum Council member museums. The San Diego Museum Month pass is free; one pass can be used at several museums* throughout the month of February.

Whether you are an art aficionado, history buff, science or nature lover, the San Diego Museum Council has a variety of member organizations that are bound to capture your interest.

Take advantage of this annual program to visit both old favorites and new attractions you have never even heard of!

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Taste of December Nights

Dec 4 - Dec 6, 2020

For more than 40 years, the San Diego community has welcomed in the holiday season by celebrating the annual December Nights at Balboa Park. Due to the current pandemic conditions, we are saddened that our beloved gift to the region cannot occur as we know it. Instead, the City of San Diego is offering a "Taste of December Nights."

The program will have some of your favorite food vendors and food trucks from past December Nights in a drive-thru setting in the Inspiration Point parking lot near Balboa Park.

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Mission Federal ArtWalk Virtual Edition

Dec 5 - Dec 31, 2020

Mission Fed ArtWalk will be marking its 36th annual fine arts festival with a virtual experience beginning Saturday, December 5 through Thursday, December 31.

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Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Nov 26 - Dec 24, 2020

Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! On the Radio is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. The family favorite features the songs "Santa for a Day," "You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," and "Welcome, Christmas (Fah Who Doraze)," the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays with the Whos and The Old Globe.

The audio-only Grinch production is directed by James Vásquez, with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin. The original production of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! was conceived and directed by Jack O’Brien with additional lyrics by Theodor S. Geisel, additional music by Albert Hague, and original choreography by John DeLuca.

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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

Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2021
Discover

Taste of December Nights

Dec 4 - Dec 6, 2020
Discover

Mission Federal ArtWalk Virtual Edition

Dec 5 - Dec 31, 2020
Discover

Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Nov 26 - Dec 24, 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

$3 Off Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Valid: Nov 4 - Dec 31, 2020

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...

Activities

20% off Private San Diego Urban Adventures Tours

San Diego Urban Adventures
Valid: Aug 18 - ongoing

Private Tours with San Diego Urban Adventures are a great way to keep your group small and maximize your time with our knowledgeable guides! With Private Tours in Balboa Park , Coronado , Old Town...

Venues

New Event Bookings Accepted for 2021

Sparks Gallery
Valid: May 20, 2020 - ongoing

Please visit our website to learn more about booking your 2021 event at Sparks Gallery https://sparksgallery.com/venue-rental

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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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