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Balboa Park
Balboa Park

Balboa Park

star-5
1,292 Reviews
View operating hours
1549 El Prado, San Diego, 92101

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.

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Recent reviews from experiences in San Diego

star-5
Best time ever!
Denay, Jul 2021
Platinum Balboa Park and Downtown Segway Tour
Best time ever! Best way to see Balboa Park. Can’t wait to do it again. Our tour guide, Hugh, made the experience even better. I will recommend this tour to everyone I know.
star-5
Nice tour
EJ_, Jul 2021
Platinum Balboa Park and Downtown Segway Tour
It was so fun learning how to ride segway and exploring Balboa park plus getting new info about the park.
star-5
Lovely and informative!
Jennifer_G, Jul 2021
Balboa Park Highlights Tour with Coffee
Our tour with Jennifer was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. She was a wealth of knowledge on the history of Balboa park, and pointed out things we wouldn't have otherwise noticed or known about. What a great jumping off point for planning future visits to Balboa as well!
star-5
Great Attraction
Tondalaya_B, May 2021
GPS Talking GoCar 2HR Tour: Downtown & Balboa
Fantastic!!!!! My husband and I absolutely love it .The tour of parts of San Diego were very informative. From the check in to checkout the staff was very friendly and informative I would highly recommend GO CARS TOURS!!!!!
star-4
New experience
ElizabethSarah_B, May 2021
GPS Talking GoCar 2HR Tour: Downtown & Balboa
The experience was nice! It was a bit windy on the day we went so it was a little hard, but wasn’t too much of a problem. We did go of course and into another route, but still saw some nice sights. Cassandra was really nice & helpful.
star-5
Awesome Adventure
San_Diego_919, Apr 2021
San Diego Balboa Park Scavenger Hunt Adventure
A lot of fun and a great way to get exercise and spend time with the family!! You will not regret the activity.
star-5
Fun Time in Balboa Park!
hcanary, Sep 2019
San Diego Balboa Park Scavenger Hunt Adventure
We had so much fun doing this scavenger hunt! The locations are interesting, the challenges are creative and fun, and the little notes are very helpful regarding restrooms and refreshment options. Thank you for helping us have a great morning at Balboa Park!
star-5
Outstanding Segway ride
Cheesehead, Jun 2021
Platinum Balboa Park and Downtown Segway Tour
Hugh did a great job as tour guide. Balboa Park by far was the best area to view. Hugh was always looking out for our best interest.
star-5
We learned so much! And the smoothies were delish!
Stacy_M, Jul 2021
Balboa Park Highlights Tour with Coffee
We learned a lot on this walking tour. It was very laid back and a nice stroll through the park. Our guide Jennifer was super knowledgeable and pointed out things we may have missed if we were just wandering through on our own. It was worth taking the tour! The drinks were an extra bonus. It wasn't just coffee. You can get delicious smoothies as well. Jennifer also recommended a great restaurant and helped us find the best place to catch an uber at the end of the tour. It was a great day in the park!
star-5
lots of fun
Steven_M, Jul 2021
Platinum Balboa Park and Downtown Segway Tour
Hugh was a great guide loved his mentoring with the segway Was very good with saftey Was very personable and charming to everyone
star-5
Loved my trip
Kim_B, Jun 2021
Platinum Balboa Park and Downtown Segway Tour
Halfway mark in Balboa park. Break needs to be longer for quick shopping. 😊 15 minutes not enough time to shop and or get a drink.
star-5
Fun
Amy_B, Jul 2021
Platinum Balboa Park and Downtown Segway Tour
Hugh was great! So fun!! He was especially great for somebody who was nervous about the Segway. What a beautiful way to see the city.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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