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Balboa Park

Park, Museum, and Performing Arts Venue
Balboa Park, San Diego
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9.7/10
2,212
ratings
  • The museums at Balboa Park is a can't miss
  • Akili G.
    "... of art between the many museums that gives the park it's purpose."(5 Tips)
    Jenn M.
    "Hiking trails, gardens, museums, people watching, food + drink."(33 Tips)
    Mae A.
    "Beautiful gardens and architectural museums"(13 Tips)
    Brandon E.
    "other day enjoy the trails and nature...relax and enjoy life"(11 Tips)
282 Tips and reviews
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  • The Most Interesting Man in the World
    According to my good friend Nayang in Botswana, there’s a meerkat wandering this place that stole his nana’s wedding band. So if you see a meerkat with a ring, grab him and contact me immediately.
    Upvoted 1 week ago
  • Bethany R.
    Bethany RiveraSeptember 16, 2015
    Must visit place in San Diego! Beautiful Gardens, Architecture, fountains, Museums and even free organ concerts some evenings! Beautiful photo ops too. Thank you Samuel Rivera Photography!
    Upvoted Apr 23
  • Rachyl
    RachylMarch 26, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Every 1st-4th Tuesday is a different free museum for San Diego residents and military! HAVE TO HAVE ID AS PROOF ! One can go to the same museum once a month and ALWAYS discover something new&amazing!
  • Akili G.
    Akili GreerApril 20, 2015
    A lovely place to visit. Luscious greenery and flowers with multiple gardens, tons of beautiful exhibits and pieces of art between the many museums that gives the park it's purpose.
  • Andrea N.
    Andrea NewlandDecember 8, 2013
    The architecture in this park is amazing..love the splash of color inside the park (umbrellas) easy to run through and would love to check out the museums next time...great street performers too..
  • Jenna Rose R.
    Jenna Rose RobbinsJanuary 23, 2014
    So many treasures to explore. The museums alone will take you days to get through. At sunset, the buildings glow for picture-perfect photo ops. You don't need to spend much to enjoy a day here.
  • Michael C.
    Michael CarrollNovember 15, 2014
    Amazing place to spend an enjoyable and casual day. Every time I am here I feel like I am in Northern California. So much to do here with 17 great museums or just relax and explore the park.
  • Stacey R.
    Stacey RumpfJune 19, 2015
    Great way to spend a day. You really do need at least one whole day to explore. Wear comfy shoes and be prepared to enjoy a wonderful blend of plant life, flowers, art, exhibits and more.
  • Kimberly Q.
    Kimberly QMarch 5, 2015
    Been here 10+ times
    Probably my favorite place here in San Diego. If you're a SD resident/active military definitely take advantage of the Free Tuesday museum admissions. There's always something new to discover here
  • Annie D.
    Annie DowningAugust 12, 2016
    I really enjoy this park. Everyone is playing Pokemon Go on the tram so good luck finding a spot to sit. The park is pretty packed with Pokemon Go players so just be aware. Beautiful park still...
  • Softub
    SoftubFebruary 29, 2012
    Packed with history, beautiful architecture, amazing cafes, and restaurants; Balboa Park offers something for everyone. It's perfect for couples, friends, families, and dogs--yes, there's a dog park.
  • Arthur M.
    Arthur MitchellFebruary 28, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Came into it's own as the location of the 1915 Panama–California Exposition, which each created architectural landmarks for the park. It is home to over a dozen museums and the World Famous SD Zoo.
  • romy j.
    romy jonJuly 11, 2014
    Take a quick glance at a map of Barcelona and you’ll notice how the city fans out towards the mountains from a nucleus of entangled streets. Read more
  • Arthur M.
    Arthur MitchellFebruary 28, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Came into it's own as the location of the 1915 Panama–California Exposition, which created the architectural landmarks for the park. It is home to over a dozen museums and the World Famous SD Zoo.
  • Pepsi
    PepsiJuly 1, 2011
    This could possibly be one of San Diego's most attractive and beautiful regions. Visit Sundays or Tuesdays to avoid the crowd and be sure to check out the San Diego Zoo!
  • Eddie V's Prime Seafood
    We could spend days in Balboa Park! The park is filled with phenomenal museums, beautiful gardens, the San Diego Zoo, outdoor activities and so much more.
  • TheDL
    TheDLAugust 22, 2015
    Been here 10+ times
    Best place to relax, take in some sunshine, people watch, enjoy dogs being happy, feel a jetliner fly overhead, have a picnic, exercise...you get it.
  • Julie C.
    Julie CummingsJanuary 27, 2015
    Lots of walking. You can take a free tram ride on the south side of the park to save some steps. You'll definitely want to bring a camera!
  • Tammy M.
    Tammy McCrayJanuary 12, 2016
    My favorite park as a child and still is pretty amazing. Free parking. Come to just walk around or visit one of the many museums.
  • USA TODAY
    USA TODAYJune 14, 2013
    Download the travel guide and spend days in this city park's various museums -- don't miss the world's fastest jet at the Air & Space Museum! Read more
  • Paige C.
    Paige CAugust 20, 2015
    I'll definitely have to come back to check out the beautiful gardens - but this park is beautiful and has so much to see!
  • Katarina K.
    Katarina KatsmaAugust 14, 2015
    The grassy slope facing west at the top of the park on the southwest corner is great for watching planes land. They fly right overhead!
  • Alex H.
    Alex HennesseyNovember 11, 2015
    Great for a stroll-- cool old Mexican/mission style architecture and interesting street performers
  • Mary S.
    Mary SAugust 27, 2015
    Tons of museums, gardens, etc could spend a whole day here! Love the architecture.
  • Jenn M.
    Jenn MicheleJune 7, 2015
    Been here 25+ times
    Love everything about it. Hiking trails, gardens, museums, people watching, food + drink.
    Upvoted Apr 30
  • HISTORY
    HISTORYApril 21, 2010
    Placed in reserve in 1835, this is one of the oldest sites in the U.S. dedicated to public recreational usage. It is named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa.
  • JimmyGotUps
    JimmyGotUpsMarch 19, 2015
    Huge and beautiful park. Check out the tea place, gardens and many museums.
  • PR Nutrition Inc
    PR Nutrition IncOctober 13, 2011
    This park is great for quick workouts on the 79 acres of perfectly groomed landscape and breathtaking views of San Diego almost every clear day!
  • Colin L.
    Colin LeeApril 24, 2016
    Biking around the park saves a lot of time. $7 per hour. We enjoyed the botanical garden and the bonsai clubs bonsai exhibition
  • Melodie T.
    Melodie TaoApril 4, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    My favorite place in San Diego! For natives AND tourists! Enjoy something new each time: Hike on the trails, IMAX at Ruben H Fleet, theatrical performances, lunch at the Prado, museums galore, etc Read more
  • Corinne K.
    Corinne KangApril 22, 2011
    Great place for museum hopping & photo oops. Don't forget to visit the Rose & desert garden after the bridge and and the day with shots of sunset with the Balbao skyline.
  • Sreekanth K.
    Sreekanth KumandanAugust 10, 2014
    San Diego Museum of Art was great. Excellent 15-17th century European art.
  • Tim I.
    Tim IngmireAugust 5, 2016
    Prepare to spend lots of time here - you could easily spend several days visiting the park and the various museums / zoo.
  • Tolga
    TolgaFebruary 8, 2016
    Nice park with lots of museums . I could not visit museums but park is really relaxing and alive with attractions ...
  • Natalia S.
    Natalia Silva-CastilloSeptember 28, 2012
    Start with a coffee at "Daniel's coffee bean" at the Visitor Center plus a quick restroom visit, and you are good to go! Enjoy the exploring :)
  • WATSON
    WATSONJanuary 28, 2016
    Beautiful. Amazing. Cool architecture & museums. Going here all the time.
  • Mohammed
    MohammedMarch 31, 2016
    Great place to spend a whole day wandering around.
  • Roger M.
    Roger MaMay 26, 2012
    Been here 25+ times
    Get to the water fountain by 7:30pm! Come earlier if you wanna socialize with other bikers! And bring your roadbike!
  • Jeffrey K.
    Jeffrey KaemmerlingJuly 11, 2012
    Visit the back of the Museum of Art, the museum itself, Japanese friendship garden, stone bridge, and the main fountain :)
  • Melanie G.
    Melanie GeorgeSeptember 29, 2014
    A must see! First time for my husband and I. So glad we didn't miss it! Get the app to navigate :)
  • Connie C.
    Connie ChiuJune 11, 2016
    Beautiful and clean park filled with many many different things to see and do, including be museums and gardens.
  • Vuong N.
    Vuong NguyenJuly 4, 2010
    There are so many things to do here. Bring a camera. Check out the pond in front of the arbortorium, have tea near the zen garden, rose garden, science centers, and listen to music at organ pavilion
  • James B.
    James BakerJanuary 15, 2015
    Just about everything. Gibe yourself time to see it all. Free tram from Inspiration Point was fun/wild.
  • Viviana D.
    Viviana DelgadilloApril 5, 2015
    beautiful museums and gardens you can spend all day just admiring the beauty the old globe is great as well
  • Jennifer H.
    Jennifer HarrisJuly 8, 2013
    A pretty little spot in the middle of a big city. Great place to sit and enjoy the beautiful san diego weather while the kids play
  • Scott R.
    Scott R.May 12, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    Desperado for parking on a busy weekend? Try BEHIND the Air & Space Museum south end of the park. You're welcome.
  • Thomas B.
    Thomas BethuneFebruary 27, 2016
    Went to museum of man. Really really well done. The whole park is beautiful, be ready to spend at least a day.
  • Hector Z.
    Hector ZermenoOctober 27, 2016
    Great place to relax and go for a nice stroll. Also great for family time, or a romantic date at night.
  • Regina V.
    Regina VasquezFebruary 1, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Beautiful place to to walk your dog and explore. Took my puppy Zan for the first time this past weekend and he loved it! :))
  • Mayuresh H.
    Mayuresh HajirnisOctober 26, 2015
    Lots of museums, fascinating international houses, great place to hangout
  • Alfa S.
    Alfa SantosDecember 4, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Parking is almost nonexistent during events and weekends. Be patient, take public transportation, or be ready to walk.
  • Amanda F.
    Amanda FoleyOctober 26, 2016
    This feels like Barcelona or Madrid, not California. Walk down the main drag and check out the shops and museums!
  • Nate T.
    Nate TinnerApril 27, 2013
    The dueling street preachers are a sight to see. Check out the Christian ones though. They might have some Truth for ya.
  • Renee C.
    Renee CalvoJuly 2, 2013
    The best time to walk is before noon. The crown are minimal and the weather is nice :)
  • Craig
    CraigJanuary 29, 2014
    Lots of free stuff to see, along with some w/ admission fees (like the SD Museum of Art)
  • Veronica A.
    Veronica AFebruary 24, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    You can always find something new; wonderful trails along the 163 freeway off of 6th avenue.
  • Hilton Gaslamp
    Hilton GaslampAugust 9, 2011
    We are so fortunate to have this beautiful park right in the heart of San Diego! Don't miss free Tuesdays in the park if you are a San Diego resident. Just a cab ride away from us!
  • Jesse M.
    Jesse MauryFebruary 18, 2016
    Miles of trails and wonderful views
  • Thrillist
    ThrillistJune 14, 2013
    Hit up the nation’s largest sports museum and don’t miss the 40 exhibits of local athletes who are way better at sports than you.
  • Kelly W.
    Tons of gardens, museums, and parks to walk around. Bring water and comfy walking shoes.
  • Dassia L.
    Dassia LegorretaJune 25, 2014
    Just keep walking and discovering the trees, the museums and the artist on the Main Street
  • Nikki V.
    Nikki VongnavanhSeptember 16, 2016
    Love this place during December. December nights! The best thing San Diego could ever do during Christmas for the city.
  • Meredith
    MeredithDecember 29, 2014
    Tons to see and do. If you love taking photos and walking around gardens, plan for a whole day here.
  • Sasha T.
    Sasha TkachenkoMarch 19, 2015
    It's huge! Many museums and gardens and routs for walking.
  • Marija N.
    Marija NechaevaNovember 5, 2012
    I like this park and have a good time there today with family!!! Fresh air, awesome nature and kindly people!
  • Priyadarshini S.
    Priyadarshini SinghaOctober 19, 2014
    For a low price you can see a lot of things :) nice gardens!
  • Kevin A.
    Kevin AdlerJanuary 24, 2015
    The Humanist Fellowship of San Diego sets up a stand on Saturdays! Free hula hooping and knowledge.
  • Sandro A.
    Sandro AlbertiAugust 12, 2013
    At 9 am mid-week, it's pretty empty, and you can hear the performers practicing for the evening events at the Spreckles Organ. #picturesque
  • Asia M.
    Asia MinorAugust 17, 2016
    Lot's of museums, gardens, the Globe theater, cafes, pubs, huge park- free trolley
  • Sean M.
    Sean MillerAugust 20, 2015
    Great place to get some exercise. A must visit if you are staying in San Diego.
  • Juan Camilo G.
    Juan Camilo Gallo-H.November 26, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Beautiful day today , very sunny. One of the best plans to do in San Diego.
  • Smith e.
    Smith erinoSeptember 25, 2016
    Really, really cool! Great scenery and an awesome assortment of museums and stuff.
  • Pelin G.
    Pelin Güvenç KefelApril 4, 2016
    Been here 10+ times
    Another really great place to visit in San Diego. Don't forget to climb the California Tower 😊
  • Natasha L.
    Natasha LoomisFebruary 3, 2015
    Beautiful. Cute. Amazing. Calm. Peaceful. So many great memories come to mind in this gorgeous park. :) #datenight
  • William S.
    William StudartDecember 28, 2015
    It's a huge and beautiful park, full of museums and the zoo
  • Maya B.
    Maya Byrne3 weeks ago
    Beautiful park with clean restrooms. Perfect place to spend an afternoon
  • So Cal Bounce
    So Cal BounceApril 7, 2012
    Unfortunately Balboa Park does not allow Bounce House Rentals anywhere in the park, but check out our Parks Page and find parks near you that do. Read more
  • BabeeKay
    BabeeKaySeptember 29, 2012
    So many museums to chose from. The only thing you'll be asking yourself is "what's for lunch"? :)
  • Leah S.
    Leah SadowskiSeptember 10, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Every time I go here I find another treasure I didn't know about! If you are a dog owner/lover you need to check out the dog park and have a drink at the sculpture garden/cafe.
  • Vladyslav Z.
    Vladyslav ZakharchenkoSeptember 3, 2016
    This place is good for a locals. If you're a tourist you'll be distracted. Exploring thus place will take days.
  • Deyanira R.
    Deyanira RodriguezOctober 11, 2015
    Really lovely place to rest, relax, exercise, or just to stay
  • Jill R.
    Jill ReederFebruary 4, 2014
    A MUST do/see in San Diego! So much to see and do.
  • Melissa D.
    Melissa DelaCalzadaMarch 21, 2010
    Residents Free Tuesday--Complete ScheduleAs a public service, Balboa Park organizations offer free admission on a rotating basis on the first 4 Tuesdays of the month to San Diego City & County resid Read more
  • Marco
    MarcoJune 29, 2013
    You must visit The Natural History to check the California Giant's Shark.
  • AAM
    AAMMarch 7, 2016
    I had so much fun 💕🌸full with incredible Museums...
  • Just S.
    Just Sayin’March 30, 2015
    An absolute must see if you're in San Diego. Like a dream.
  • Lisa O.
    Lisa Owens-LyonsApril 29, 2014
    Been here 50+ times
    What a great place to hang out! So much to see and do!
  • Lucile F.
    Lucile FrancoisOctober 11, 2015
    Blew me away so much to see and such a wonderful experience.
  • B
    BFebruary 1, 2016
    Cheap and delicious greasy slices of pizza. Staff wasn't super friendly but we'd go back if we were here longer.
  • WordSmart C.
    WordSmart CorporationApril 13, 2012
    Spain and later Mexico made a practice of setting aside large tracts of land for the common use of citizens. This land included the site of present-day Balboa Park.
  • Ingred C.
    Ingred ChamberlinJune 16, 2012
    Check out the Automotive Museum's Steampunk Exhibit this summer. Discounted admission if you're dressed steampunk.
  • Desirae
    DesiraeMay 23, 2013
    Been here 50+ times
    It is completely legal to drink on some of the lawns in the park. Be mindful of the signs.
  • Zare F.
    Zare FerragiJune 1, 2014
    A perfect lunch scape for those attending a conference at Downtown
  • D. G.
    D. G.March 6, 2015
    Not as great as I thought it would be but it's still a must visit place.
  • Bradford R.
    Bradford RileyJuly 30, 2016
    Excellent place for a run. SD runners club puts water out on Saturday mornings.
  • Minifer S.
    Minifer SupertrampSeptember 23, 2015
    Beautiful sight and lots of different museums for all interests.
  • O.R. L.
    O.R. LitchneyAugust 20, 2016
    It's a beautiful park to take your dogs for a walk.
  • Caroline L.
    Caroline LiAugust 23, 2016
    Picnic spots all around, great for a date or family day
  • Juan Camilo G.
    Juan Camilo Gallo-H.December 7, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Great experience attending december nights , good food and ambiance.
  • Jennifer R.
    Jennifer RazoOctober 28, 2012
    Valet parking is only $10. Worth it on a busy weekend.
  • Pablo Alberto C.
    Pablo Alberto CaminoFebruary 10, 2016
    Primero recorrer el parque a pié, maravillosos senderos para perderse. El zoológico merece un día aparte. El domingo escuchar un concierto de órgano y no olvidar pasar por el jardín japonés.
  • Gret-xen R.
    Excelente lugar para estar en familia, picnic en el parque, juegos y caminar. La pasamos increíble. Lleva sombrero y protección solar.
  • Guillermo F.
    Guillermo FloresJuly 12, 2016
    Excelente parque. Inmenso con múltiples opciones para pasear y pasar el tiempo. Museos y el zoológico. Céntrico y tranquilo.
  • Natalia P.
    Natalia PoliMay 7, 2016
    Maravilhoso, dá para ficar dias no Balboa e não conseguir ver todas as atrações. Visitei o zoológico e amei!
  • josephine k.
    josephine kimJanuary 27, 2016
    너무나 여유롭고 좋은 곳 뮤지엄도 있어 문화생활 즐기며 한가하게 산책하고 커피브런치 등등도 즐길 수 있어요
  • Anais
    AnaisAugust 20, 2016
    Place sympa avec musique et plusieurs musées et restaurants
  • Rasputin V.
    Rasputin ViktorFebruary 14, 2016
    Не думайте, что получится просто пробежаться по парку за часик, отведите на прогулку день:)
  • Jou F.
    Jou FlandesSeptember 2, 2014
    La casa de Prado y el restaurante el ambiente californiano es lo mejor
  • Ksenia S.
    Ksenia SlavnikovaMay 31, 2015
    Красиво и умиротворенно. Не очень много людей. Потрясающая архитектура
  • M C.
    M CJanuary 9, 2016
    Un domingo relax para caminar y gozar de la naturaleza y un café o té japonés
  • Albert S.
    Albert SeguraAugust 25, 2013
    Agradable paseo con wifi gratuito en todo el parque. El jardin botanico y el lago central esta bien
  • SarkASStiKo A.
    Bello Parque con muchas actividades cercanas, Spanish Village, museo, y Zoo de San Diego muy cerca.
  • Дмитрий Ю.
    Неописуемая красота. Очень красивый парк. Если в Сан Диего, обязательно посетить!
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