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Balboa Park, San Diego

4.8
An urban park, Balboa Park is home to 490 hectares (1,200 acres) of landscaped gardens, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, recreational spaces, art studios, museums, and theaters. Stroll through the Desert Garden or Japanese Friendship Garden to admire the park's diverse plant and animal life, or tour the San Diego Museum of Art or the Natural History Museum. Take advantage of the park's free tram service to get around. Arrange your visit to Balboa Park and discover more family-friendly attractions in San Diego using our San Diego trip itinerary maker site .
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Balboa Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
10,111 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This is very busy during the day. We came back at night too look around and avoid crowds. It's a remarkable place. At night the buildings were lit up and so was the fountain.  more »
  • Walking around, visiting Museums and seeing all the different things going on is a perfect way to spend a day with family and friends. I think there are even free visiting days for some of the museums...  more »
  • The founding fathers of this city were quick to recognize the need to preserve this beautiful part of the city and fill it with museums and exhibits which would educate and excite for generations. Sta...  more »
Google
  • I've lived in San Diego the majority of my life. I have to say that Balboa Park is one of the best parts about this place. There is so much to do here throughout the park but also throughout the year. There are a ton of events that come through as the seasons pass. There are also plenty of amazing exhibits that come to San Diego in Balboa museums. I've seen some of the most fascinating historical exhibits in the entire state here. On top of that, it's exceptionally beautiful. The restaurants are delicious. The theater is sublime. I could rave about it all day. It really is an incredible place that I will appreciate for the rest of my life. I'm so thankful we have this in our city!
  • Balboa Park is always a great choice to spend a day. They have many different museums and cultural events. The Natural History Museum is a great place for all ages, it is affordable and has much to offer. The Prado is a high end restaurant providing a gourmet experience. They have a theater for plays, and also have many options for events such as weddings. Look on their website for public events like Astrology night and probably my favorite Balboa Christmas Nights.
  • What a wonderful place! It doesn't matter if you want to take a nice stroll, check out amazing architecture, take photos, picnics, or check out on of their many museums. You can spend the whole day there and not see everything. We will definitely go back whenever we go to San Diego. We went during the day and the night and enjoyed the park. Such a wonderful place to visit.
  • Beautiful place and a must see if in the area. We went to the Natural History Museum and then for a stroll through the beautiful park and admired the architecture. We grabbed a bite at one of the street vendors, and relaxed in the grass a bit. So much to see and do. The zoo backs up to it, there's several plays going on...Would recommend for any age.
  • This was such a wonderful community place. There are 5+ museums surrounding the park along with restaurants and cafes. There are nights where all of the museums are free. They do offer senior and military discounts. There were many people walking their dogs here. There is also a dog park just outside of the park area that looked very nice. A great relaxing walk or exercise for your pup! There are things for kids here as well. There is a natural history museum with lots of dinosaur exhibits and a science museum with the kid-friendly, hands on things. There is a train museum and naval museum if you have kids into that. My husband and I went with just us and had a great time. Overall not too expensive.

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Where to stay in San Diego

Offering accommodations at a wide range of price levels, San Diego is one of the easiest cities to stay in, regardless of whether you're simply passing through or hanging around for a long vacation. If you don't mind splurging, book your stay at a luxury downtown hotel or a lavish bayside resort. You can also rent a spacious private cottage within walking distance of the city's popular beaches. For a more affordable alternative, try a family-friendly hostel or quaint inn in a quiet residential area.
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