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Tours through Balboa Park

Led by knowledgeable volunteers and park rangers

Experience Balboa Park like never before. Knowledgeable volunteers and rangers will entertain and educate as they guide you through trails, flora and architecture of this historic and beautiful park.

Six Ways to Explore the "Smithsonian of the West"

More than 100 years after the 1915 Pan-California Exposition and the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, many of the Spanish Colonial-revival style structures built for the Expos are still in use. Here are some of the wonderful tour experiences that can help you discover the history, beauty and culture of this Park.

Balboa Park Tours from the Visitors Center

A fascinating 1 1/2 hour audio tour of the Park can be purchased at the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Both the adult and child version of the tour cover Park history, architecture, horticulture and cultural attractions—all created by experts in the field.

There are also free tours offered throughout the week that meet at the Balboa Park Visitors Center located in the historic House of Hospitality on El Prado walkway. The Balboa Park Visitors Center is open daily from 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM.

Architectural Heritage Tours

First Friday each month
Led by "The Committee of 100," a group dedicated to preserving the historic architecture, gardens and public spaces in the Park, these tours are offered on the first Friday of each month at 9:30 AM.

Offshoot Tours

Every Saturday
Offered every Saturday by trained volunteers, these easy-paced one-hour walks have rotating themes and start at 10:00 AM. Tour themes include Balboa Park history (first Saturday of the month), palm trees (second Saturday), other trees in the Park (third Saturday), desert vegetation (fourth Saturday) and tour del dia (fifth Saturday). There are no tours from Thanksgiving through the 2nd Saturday in January. Reservations are not required.

Ranger-led Tours

Every Sunday
Balboa Park rangers discuss the historical and botanical treasures of Balboa Park, beginning at 11:00 AM every Tuesday and Sunday.

Botanical Garden Tours

Every Third Friday
Join a 45-minute docent-led tour that showcases the origins, design and horticulture of Balboa Park’s historic Botanical Building. Leaves from the south end of the Lily Pond at 11:00 AM every third Friday.

Self-guided Photo Tour

Balboa Park provides a wealth of elegant photographic scenes so grab your camera and take a self-guided tour of the park with these photos in mind.

Private Tours

What better way to explore Balboa Park’s paradise than with a two-hour private tour with Urban Adventures. Schedule your own personal tour or join fellow visitors on a guided excursion through Balboa Park’s gorgeous gardens, iconic architecture all while learning about the unique history of the largest urban cultural park in North America. Or, if you are not the walking type and want to get a tour of the entire park from the comfort of a car, check out Tour Balboa Park. This intimate tour offers the real history of the entire park including the sometimes overlooked East and West Mesas. Limited to five people, this two-hour tour will help you uncover San Diego's Cultural Heart.  

 

Find more information on museums, gardens and parking at Balboa Park San Diego.

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