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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. 

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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Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2024

The Port of San Diego 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, Marina District and Coronado Ferry Landing. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 18 minutes.

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

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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 Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

May 10 - May 12, 2024

For Groups of Ten or More (10+), Hospitality Venues, and Premium Suite Options Email Tourism@Padres.com

Friday, May 10, 6:40 PM PT

Party in the Park

Presented by Southwest Airlines || Join us for San Diego's largest happy hour with live music and pregame drink specials in Gallagher Square from gates open until first pitch.


Saturday, May 11, 5:40 PM PT

Padres House Band

Arrive early to jam out with Padres House Band playing your favorite mix of pop, country, and oldies in Gallagher Square.


Nurse Appreciation Weekend

Presented by UC San Diego Health || THEME GAME TICKET REQUIRED: Celebrate Nurse Appreciation Weekend with a limited-edition themed item. Tickets MUST be purchased through Padres.com/ThemeGames to receive the related item, available only while supplies last.

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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 Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 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 Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

May 10 - May 12, 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

Activity

$10 off Tall Ship Sail Experiences

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Valid: Mar 20 - ongoing

Join the Maritime Museum of San Diego Sail Crew for a 4-hour sail aboard the state tall ship Californian or the Spanish galleon San Salvador and save $10.00 with this promo code TALLSHIPSAILFUN24! ...

Activities

Summer is Calling!

So Diego
Valid: Mar 22 - ongoing

Summer is near, and while you're planning your trip to San Diego, we'd like to offer you a 10% off of one of our daily food and drink tasting tours.  They are a great way to get to know our...

Galleries & Museums

Save up to $3 on admission to The Nat

San Diego Natural History Museum
Valid: Dec 4, 2023 - ongoing

Save $3 on Adult Admission and $2 off other admission categories at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Admission includes access to 3D films. 

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