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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 18 museums, numerous beautiful gardens and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. At 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is one of North America’s most renowned 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 and installations, and cultural events that take place throughout the year.

 

Balboa Park fascinating history is central to the story of San Diego. It started in 1868, when civic leaders took the bold step of setting aside a 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

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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Port of San Diego's Day at the Docks

Apr 7, 2024

A San Diego sportfishing tradition, The Port Of San Diego’s Day At The Docks is the West Coast’s largest public celebration of sportfishing. Signaling the official start of Southern California’s spring saltwater fishing season, Day At The Docks takes place on Sunday, April 7, 2024 against the colorful and dynamic backdrop of world renown sportfishing fleet on San Diego Bay.

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Gator By The Bay-Zydeco, Blues & Crawfish Festival

May 9 - May 12, 2024

The spirit, sounds and flavors of southwest Louisiana come alive at the largest and most-authentic Louisiana-themed music and food festival this side of the bayou. With everything from A to Zydeco, this 4-day, family-friendly cultural celebration takes place on picture-perfect San Diego Bay, featuring 100+ live musical acts & performances on 7 stages, wooden dance floors, shade, green grass and plenty of fun for the kids.

Come for the music, stay for the food. Gator By The Bay’s mouthwatering French Quarter Food Court is what foodie dreams are made of. Check off every box on your bayou-inspired culinary bucket list and chow down on authentic Cajun, Creole and Southern culinary delights, including gumbo, jambalaya, beignets and 10,000 pounds of crawfish brought directly from Louisiana. Gator By The Bay is Mardi Gras in May

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Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival

May 10 - May 12, 2024

A highly-anticipated 7+ stage, 80+ bands, 3-day music, culinary and arts festival will descend upon the stunning waterfront of downtown San Diego all along the Embarcadero. The festival offers diverse attractions including yacht parties, water sports, art installations, after-parties, a craft beer village and plenty of local flavors. Wonderfront festival’s re-entry policy encourages festival-goers to customize their weekend experience and truly integrates the city into the fabric of the festival.

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San Diego Hot Chocolate 15K & 5K Road Race

Mar 10, 2024

Each Hot Chocolate 15/5K race features both a 15K (9.3 miles) and 5K (3.1 miles) distance and all runners are encouraged to join the fun!

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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

Port of San Diego's Day at the Docks

Apr 7, 2024
Discover

Gator By The Bay-Zydeco, Blues & Crawfish Festival

May 9 - May 12, 2024
Discover

Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival

May 10 - May 12, 2024
Discover

San Diego Hot Chocolate 15K & 5K Road Race

Mar 10, 2024
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

Tours & Sightseeing

Family Friendly- Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Feb 2, 2024 - ongoing

Enjoy an Amazing Race type adventure with your family and Save 20% when you use Promo Code SDFUN. Only $39.20 for a Team of 2-5 people. Have fun and do something unique! Covid Friendly outdoor...

Museums

SD Model Railroad Museum: Show your Badge & Save

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Valid: Aug 23, 2023 - ongoing

Show your badge and receive $2 off admission and 10% off in the gift shop at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Offer must be redeemed in person. Spanning over 27,000 square feet of trains,...

Activity

$18 Historic Bay Cruise with General Admission*

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Valid: Jan 11 - ongoing

Purchase general admission to the Maritime Museum of San Diego and add a 45-minute narrated Historic Bay Cruise for only $18 more! MOST DAYS. SCHEDULE MAY VARY Daily tours at 11:00 a.m., 12:45 p.m.,...

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