Balboa Park is a San Diego must-see destination, just minutes from downtown. The Park is home to 17 major museums, several performing arts venues, lovely gardens, and many other cultural and recreational attractions, including the San Diego Zoo. With a variety of cultural institutions laid out among its 1,200 beautiful and lushly planted acres, Balboa Park is the nation's largest urban cultural park.
Museums and Cultural Institutions
The best way to start your time in Balboa Park is with a stop at the Balboa Park Visitors Center. Located across from The Prado Restaurant in the House of Hospitality, the Visitors Center has the most current and comprehensive information about the Park’s activities and attractions. Open from 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM daily, the Visitors Center offers brochures, maps, audio tours, free guided tours of the Park, transportation information, dining advice, and more.
Free Park Tours
Explore the park’s rich history, spectacular architecture, and botanical wonders during a one-hour walking tour led by a Park Ranger on Sundays at 11am, and by Visitors Center staff on Tuesdays at 11am. Please meet at the Visitors Center.
California Cultural District Designation
Based on its richly vibrant and authentic concentrations of art, culture and creativity, Balboa Park has been designated as one of 14 California Cultural Districts, which showcase some of the unique artistic identities that drive California’s culture. The districts help promote authentic grassroots art and cultural opportunities, increasing the visibility of local artists and community participation in local arts and culture. Barrio Logan and Oceanside are also official California Cultural Districts.
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