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Balboa Park Tours

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Balboa Park
Home to world-class museums, manicured gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park tops the list of San Diego city sights. Its 1,200 lush acres (486 hectares) comprise the largest urban park in the United States. Apart from its many attractions, Balboa Park also features lengthy walking and hiking trails, distinctive landscaping, Golden Age Spanish buildings, and one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs.

The Basics
A visit to the park is included on most San Diego city sightseeing tours, and Segway tours are another popular way to explore Balboa. The central part of the park houses the renowned San Diego Zoo and its more than 3,000 animals. At the Museum of Man, part of the California Quadrangle and its distinctive arch, you can see Native American artifacts and other cultural archaeology exhibits. The San Diego Museum of Art displays a number of European works, and nearby sites include 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 holds the Balboa Park Municipal Golf Course and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Explore the area on foot or use the free Balboa Park Tram, which loops continuously around the main areas of the park daily from 9am to 6 or 8pm.
  • Balboa Park is kid-friendly, with a miniature train, playgrounds, and play areas in most museums.
  • With so many options, it’s best to prioritize your desired stops in the park. You can pick up a park map at the Balboa Park Visitors Center in the House of Hospitality.
  • Free concerts on the Spreckels Organ are held every Sunday at 2pm, and on Monday evenings at 7:30pm from late June through August.
  • Eating options abound throughout the park. Be sure to check out the Prado for diverse cuisine and museum-inspired decor.

How to Get There
Set in downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is easily reached by bus. By car, Park Boulevard provides easy access to the site’s 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 rain forest gorge.

When to Get There
Balmy San Diego is famous for its year-round sunshine and mild climate. Balboa Park is open year-round and 24 hours a day, with the Visitors Center open from 9:30am to 4:30pm. The zoo, museums, and other attractions have varying opening hours.

Things to Do Near Balboa Park
Although countless activities are available in Balboa Park, the location is an ideal base for seeing some of San Diego’s other top sights. The beaches of La Jolla, the charm of Old Town, and the bustle of the historic Gaslamp Quarter are just a short drive away.
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
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44 Tours & Activities to Experience

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San Diego Zoo and Safari Park Combo Tour

View more than 4,000 animals roaming in large enclosures on a 2-day visit to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This admission ticket allows you to spend 2 days at the Zoo, or split your time between the Zoo and the Safari Park. At the zoo, see the diverse collection of animals, many of which are not present at other zoos in the United States. The Safari Park is inspired by the Serengeti Plains in Africa and the Asian plains and is home to lions, tigers, zebras, which you can see from the a 32-acre (13-hectare) safari trail. Access to all shows and exhibits, as well as use of all the in-park transportation, are included. With mobile tickets, simply scan your phone for direct entry into the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.
  • Duration: Flexible
  • Duration: Flexible
From  
US$89.60
From  
US$89.60
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2.5-Hour Balboa Park Scavenger Hunt in San Diego

Learn about San Diego while joining your friends or family for a scavenger hunt on this 2.5-hour self-guided game in Balboa Park. Combine the fun of the Amazing Race with the information of a 3-hour walking tour as your team uses your own smart phones to play the scavenger hunt. Solve the clues and complete challenges as you make your way among well-known and hidden parts of Balboa Park during the scavenger hunt—an ideal choice for families, friends, or work colleagues visiting San Diego.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From  
US$15.00
From  
US$15.00
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60 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Local Photographer in San Diego

Flytographer 60 Minute Vacation PhotoshootConnect with a local professional photographer in San Diego and capture your most memorable moments during this private photoshoot. Get insider tips on the best things to do in San Diego, including where to eat and what to see from your vacation photographer.  Return from your trip with beautiful, high-quality, vacation photos.The best souvenir ever.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
US$350.00
From  
US$350.00
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Off the grid Christian tour.

You will get to have a personal guided tour from me a local muti cultural native San Diegan, I get to share my personal history of San Diego Off the grid.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
From  
US$25.00
From  
US$25.00
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30 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Local Photographer in San Diego

Flytographer 30 Minute Vacation PhotoshootConnect with a local professional photographer in San Diego and capture your most memorable moments during this private photoshoot. Get insider tips on the best things to do in San Diego, including where to eat and what to see from your vacation photographer.  Return from your trip with beautiful, high-quality, vacation photos.The best souvenir ever.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Duration: 30 minutes
From  
US$250.00
From  
US$250.00
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90 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Local Photographer in San Diego

Flytographer 90 Minute Vacation PhotoshootConnect with a local professional photographer in San Diego and capture your most memorable moments during this private photoshoot. Get insider tips on the best things to do in San Diego, including where to eat and what to see from your vacation photographer.  Return from your trip with beautiful, high-quality, vacation photos.The best souvenir ever.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From  
US$500.00
From  
US$500.00
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120 Minute Private Vacation Photography Session with Local Photographer in San Diego

Flytographer 120 Minute Vacation PhotoshootConnect with a local professional photographer in San Diego and capture your most memorable moments during this private photoshoot. Get insider tips on the best things to do in San Diego, including where to eat and what to see from your vacation photographer.  Return from your trip with beautiful, high-quality, vacation photos.The best souvenir ever.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
From  
US$650.00
From  
US$650.00
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San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley

Explore some of the top highlights of San Diego with this one- or two-day pass for the city’s Hop-on, Hop-off Trolley Tour. Choose your own adventure as you get on and off the trolley at any of the 10 included stops, covering famous sights including the Gaslamp Quarter, the San Diego Zoo, USS Midway and the Cruise Ship Terminal, Little Italy, and many more. This San Diego trolley tour also features live commentary from on-board guide during your ride.
  • Duration: 90 to 960 minutes
  • Duration: 90 to 960 minutes
From  
US$42.00
From  
US$42.00
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San Diego City Tour

Discover the sun-drenched attractions of San Diego on this 4-hour city tour covering the city’s top neighborhoods, historic sites and parks. Over the course of your trip, you’ll check out the museums of Balboa Park, admire the historic architecture of the Gaslamp Quarter and Old Town and explore the mansions and beautiful coast in La Jolla, plus much more. It’s a great chance to pack in lots of landmarks in a short period of time. This San Diego sightseeing tour also includes round-trip hotel transport, a guide and optional upgrades to include visits to the USS Midway and Seaport Village.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$48.00
From  
US$48.00
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San Diego City Sightseeing Tour Including La Jolla

Take in San Diego’s most iconic sights with a 4-hour sightseeing tour, and get an insider’s look at the city as you explore with a local guide. Experience California’s frontier history in Old Town, snap a selfie by Petco Park, then stroll the elegant grounds of Balboa Park. Stop by a sea lion colony in La Jolla, visit Little Italy, East Village and the Embarcadero, and cross the San Diego Bay to the elegant community of Coronado, where a historic hotel gazes across the water towards the city skyline.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$46.00
From  
US$46.00
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San Diego City Lights Night Tour

Explore San Diego at night under the moonlight with this 1.5-hour city lights tour. Travel from the city’s Gaslamp Quarter to Balboa Park and the Embarcadero. Catch sights of the historic San Diego County Administration Center, the USS Midway Museum, and the Star of India. Plus ride to the top of the Coronado Bridge and see sights lit up all over the city, as well as some from Tijuana.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From  
US$34.00
From  
US$34.00
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Platinum Balboa Park and Downtown Segway Tour

Explore downtown San Diego and Balboa Park on a 2.5-hour Segway tour. Follow your guide to historic sites like the Hall of Justice and Pantoja Park, then make your way through Little Italy and the expansive grounds of Balboa Park. In the park you glide past destinations including Founder’s Plaza, the San Diego Museum of Natural History, and the Inez Parker Memorial Rose Garden. Your guide provides commentary on San Diego's history and landmarks throughout the tour. Includes guide, use of equipment, and Segway orientation—no prior experience necessary.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From  
US$49.00
From  
US$49.00
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San Diego Scenic Tour

In just four hours, experience the scenic highlights of San Diego and its neighboring areas. Watch sea lions and pelicans on the beaches of La Jolla and capture fantastic views from the top of Mt Soledad. Soak up the Old World elegance of the mansions and Hotel Del on Coronado Island, and find peace in the urban oasis of Balboa Park. Wind through downtown and Old Town San Diego, learning about the city’s history along the way. Enjoy personalized attention on this small-group tour limited to just 14 people.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$55.00
From  
US$55.00
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Super Saver: Self-Guided Speed Boat Adventure & iRide GPS Guided ScooterTour

Electric Scooter & Speedboat Combo where you get to explore the bay in your very own speedboat then explore San Diego in your very own GPS guided storytelling scooter. This combo land sea adventure makes for the perfect day in San Diego. Both tours do not need to be taken on the same day.  Just book the day and time of the speedboat portion you want online and call the number above to book your scooter tour. After your purchase is confirmed we will email you a confirmation.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$144.90
From  
US$144.90
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San Diego Shore Excursion: City and La Jolla Coast Tour

When you're in port in San Diego, see the sights of the city in a convenient way with this 4-hour shore excursion. Traveling by coach, you'll see Balboa Park, Old Town, the Embarcadero, Petco Park, and more. Stop for photo ops at select places, and visit La Jolla, the idyllic coastal suburb north of the city known for its sea caves.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
US$48.00
From  
US$48.00
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San Diego Gaslamp Segway Tour

Explore San Diego by Segway on this comprehensive tour. Led by a local guide, learn about the city’s major landmarks and history while passing top attractions like Balboa Park, the USS 'San Diego' Memorial, Petco Park and the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Snacks and beverages are included along the way, as well as a brief safety session to ensure that you feel completely comfortable hitting the streets on your Segway.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
From  
US$148.99
From  
US$148.99
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GoCar Talking GoCar 2Hr Tour: Downtown & Old Town

Explore San Diego’s Downtown and Old Town sights in a fun and fast-paced way—on a GoCar tour. This sightseeing adventure takes the stress out of reading a map, as the car talks and shows you the way with its in-built GPS. Enjoy hearing stories as you explore the city’s most popular areas, including Little Italy, Mission Hills, Presidio Park, and the Gaslamp Quarter.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
From  
US$63.08
From  
US$63.08
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San Diego City Loop Segway Tour Including Gaslamp and Balboa Park

Explore the best of San Diego with a 2-hour, guided Segway tour that loops through the city’s most important sights. Glide through San Diego history in the vibrant Gaslamp District, and enjoy stories about California’s rough-and-tumble frontier past. Watch for dolphins and sea lions as you cruise the bustling waterfront, pass historic naval vessels and the home of the San Diego Padres. Steer into the 1,200-acre (486-ha) Balboa Park to explore manicured gardens, thick forest stands and the city’s best-preserved architecture inside the largest urban park in the United States.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
From  
US$89.00
From  
US$89.00
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Private Balboa Park Segway Tour

Take a tour of San Diego's most-popular park during this Segway exploration of Balboa Park. Follow your friendly local guide to all of the hot spots and learn why locals love the laid back vibe of this coastal destination.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
From  
US$59.00
From  
US$59.00
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Viator Exclusive: San Diego Harbor Speed Boat, Electric Scooter and USS Midway Tour

Explore the wildlife, skyline, and maritime legacy of the San Diego Harbor by land and by sea on this Viator Exclusive tour. Take the wheel of a speed boat during a cruise through the ship-studded bay before hopping on a bike for a closer look at shoreline attractions like Broadway Pier and the San Diego Air Station. Finish with a guided tour of the USS ‘Midway’ aircraft carrier, featuring an interactive glimpse into both US Navy and Air Force operations.
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Duration: 5 hours
From  
US$163.30
From  
US$163.30
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San Diego City and Tijuana Deluxe Combo Sightseeing Tour

Combine a San Diego sightseeing tour with a trip down to Tijuana on this 10-hour adventure. With a guide, you'll spend the morning in the city to check out attractions such as Little Italy, the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, and the coastal suburb of La Jolla. Then enjoy a break before heading across the Mexican border to Tijuana, just 20 miles (31 km) away.
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Duration: 10 hours
From  
US$115.00
From  
US$115.00
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GPS Talking GoCar 2HR Tour: Downtown & Balboa

This is THE essential San Diego tour. You will see almost all of the greatest sights San Diego has to offer, from the visually stunning Balboa park which is littered with Spanish Renaissance inspired architecture, over a dozen museums, colorful flower gardens, and world renowned outdoor organ pavilion all the way to the always happening Hillcrest, which has a great variety of shops and restaurants, Hillcrest is known to have some of the best food in the county. But best of all you will also get to see Downtown San Diego at its finest, from the Maritime Museum, to the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Downtown San Diego is one of the best places in the world for its diversity, and visual appeal. Don’t miss the best places San Diego has to offer on this Must-See tour.*If booking more than 2 people please submit separate orders!
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
From  
US$63.08
From  
US$63.08
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Tour & Hidden Secrets of Balboa Park

This 90 minute tour will share with guests the beauty, history, and hidden gems around Balboa Park. Celebrating it's 150 year anniversary this year, Balboa Park has so much to share with guests and without someone pointing them out, you may miss the secret jewels of this beautiful park. Did you know that Balboa Park has its origins with the Panama Canal? Amongst Italian Renaissance architecture, did you know you can find corny, early century jokes and repurposed water towers? Did you know the historic park once housed a nudist colony?! All of this and more can be discovered in a fun and comprehensive tour of beautiful Balboa Park!
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From  
US$29.00
From  
US$29.00
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The Grand San Diego Tour (OC pickup)

Pack a ton of San Diego sights into one day during this San Diego tour with Orange County pickup and drop-off included. You’ll explore the beaches of La Jolla, Seaport Village, Downtown San Diego, and Coronado Island with three brothers who grew up in Southern California as your guides. Not only do your guides know the area well, they also know the best times to visit these popular spots for the best experience possible.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
US$99.00
From  
US$99.00
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(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785