4.5 star rating: Recommended 22 Reviews

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  • Address: 1549 El Prado, San Diego 92101, USA
  • Hours: Open 24 hours a day. Visitors Center: 9:30am - 4:30pm. Museum hours vary by institution
  • Admission: Park and Gardens: free. Admission prices to museums vary by institution

With its world-class museums, manicured gardens, and world-famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park tops the list of sights in downtown San Diego. Its 1,200 acres (485 hectares) makes it the largest urban park in the United States. Apart from its many attractions, Balboa Park also features lengthy hiking trails, distinctive landscaping, Golden Age Spanish buildings, and the world’s largest organ.

Balboa Park is divided up into three sections. The central part of the park has the most attractions. The main attraction here is San Diego Zoo, which has more than 3,000 animals, typically in enclosures that replicate their natural habitat. At the Museum of Man, part of the California Quadrangle and its distinctive arch, you can see Native American artifacts. Nearby, the San Diego Museum houses a number of works from European masters from the Renaissance to the modernists. Also here is the Timken Museum of Art, the Botanical Building, the Natural History Museum, Alcazar Gardens, the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages and the Spanish Village Art Center.

The east end of the park for the most part contains the Balboa Park Municipal Golf Course. On the western edge of the park is the Starlight Bowl amphitheater of the 1930s, the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, Spreckels Organ Pavilion and a large, grassy area, which is perfect for strolling, picnics, and sunning.

Practical Info

Balboa Park is in downtown San Diego, and is easily reached by bus. By car, Park Boulevard provides easy access to free parking areas near most of the exhibits. The most scenic approach, however, is over the Cabrillo Bridge from the west: the steep roadsides, lush with hanging greenery, resemble a rainforest gorge.

To visit all the museum and attractions in Balboa Park would take days, so plan carefully. Pick up a park map at the Balboa Park Visitors Center, in the House of Hospitality. The free Balboa Park Tram stops at various points on a continuous loop through main areas of the park. However, it’s equally enjoyable to take a leisurely walk around the park.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Balboa Park Segway Tour, San Diego, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Balboa Park Segway Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 31 Reviews

Like San Diego locals, Balboa Park will become one of your favorite places to spend time in San Diego, and your tour guide is excited to show you why! The ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $55.00
Private Tour: Balboa Park in San Diego, San Diego, Segway Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Tour: Balboa Park in San Diego

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Explore San Diego's Balboa Park with a private guide, and hear informative narration about this 1,200-acre (485-hectare) cultural icon, declared a National ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $149.00
San Diego City Tour, San Diego, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

San Diego City Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 129 Reviews

See the best of San Diego on this morning or afternoon highlights tour that includes the historic Gaslamp Quarter, museum-packed Balboa Park and ritzy La ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $34.49
San Diego City Sightseeing Tour Including La Jolla, San Diego, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

San Diego City Sightseeing Tour Including La Jolla

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Enjoy the best and most comprehensive tour by locals of San Diego. Our 4-hour city sightseeing tour is the best option to explore the most beautiful parts of ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $46.00
San Diego Scenic Tour, San Diego, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

San Diego Scenic Tour

Visit San Diego area with a local tour guide in smaller groups ! It includes visit of La Jolla & Mt Soledad - Coronado Island - Balboa Park - Old Town ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $55.00
Balboa Park Segway Tour, San Diego, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Balboa Park Segway Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Did you know that Balboa Park is the nation’s largest urban cultural park, and it is actually bigger than Central Park in New York City?! On this spectacular ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $69.00
San Diego Sightseeing Tour with Optional Harbor Cruise, San Diego, Segway Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

San Diego Sightseeing Tour with Optional Harbor Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 9 Reviews

Explore beautiful San Diego and Coronado on this narrated sightseeing tour. Aboard a comfortable coach, explore sites like Old Town, Balboa Park, the Gaslamp ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: Varies

From USD $37.99
Shore Excursion Tour of San Diego, San Diego, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Shore Excursion Tour of San Diego

Pickup at the dock at 9am. Drive through the Gaslamp and the heart of downtown. Cross over the El Prado bridge leading into Balboa Park. Marvel at the Spanish ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.00
Balboa Park Highlights Small-Group Walking Tour, San Diego, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Balboa Park Highlights Small-Group Walking Tour

San Diego’s quintessential green space, the sprawling and historic Balboa Park has something for everyone, from gardens and walking paths to museums, ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $49.00
San Diego in One Day, San Diego, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

San Diego in One Day

4.5 star rating: Recommended 10 Reviews

Enjoy an overview of San Diego's top sights and the stunning northern coastline on a full-day tour by minivan that includes Coronado, the Embarcadero and ...  Read more

Location: San Diego, California
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.00

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