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“Museums galore” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Balboa Park

Balboa Park
1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
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San Diego City Tour
Ranked #2 of 495 things to do in San Diego
Activities: Biking, City walk sightseeing, Walking, Viewing wildlife, Getting married
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: One of the most popular urban parks in the United States, this bucolic paradise is packed with an array of attractions, including the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Stroller parking, Activities for older children
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Museums galore”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful area. Numerous museums to visit. There is even a free park tram to get you from side to side of this enourmous park. Interesting history. The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park. Definitely worth going to walk around or visiting a museum or just sitting and enjoying the architecture.

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3,755 reviews from our community

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Tidewater, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great entertainment on a budget.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

We were at the San Diego Zoo and could see the towers of Balboa Park across the hill, so we went to visit it the next day. Some of the museums cost money, but if you're on a budget you can still have a really good time! Plan on walking, parking is pretty far from anything in the park. My husband and I and two young kids spent all day there, and didn't spend any money except on food. We all loved different things about it.

The architecture and grounds were beautiful - lots of gardens and fountains and ponds, also a beautiful indoor (and cool relief from the heat) botanical gardens. There were street performers everywhere, and not just mediocre ones, but actual talent! Lots of different types of museums, a nice big playground, walking trails, etc. If you're hungry, don't miss The Prado - it was a little on the expensive side, but one of the best food experiences we had in San Diego.

However it was a little hard to navigate - we couldn't find a map anywhere in the park, so we downloaded one for our android phone to find our way around. And the bathrooms at the playground were disgusting - no doors on the stalls and absolutely filthy!! Even my 8-year-old son refused to use it, but decided to wait until we got back to the hotel.

Overall though I wouldn't have missed it for the world! We all loved it!

Visited June 2013
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Corona, California
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Beautiful Park, Bad Signage”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Went to Balboa Park to take my dogs to the dog park. Drove around for about 30 minutes and could not find any of the 3 dog parks. Finally found someone walking their dogs and asked where the dog park was.

Once we got there it was a lot of fun. Nice large park with trees and benches. Seperate drinking fountains for both people and dogs. All the dogs where nice, only had one owner that was too busy on his phone to pay attention to his dog.

Overall a good experience.

Visited July 2013
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Galliano, Louisiana
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“So much to do and see here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

My daughter has been living in San Diego since 1997. I have visited there many times and go often to Balboa Park. I never get tired of going there. So much to see and do. This time we took the toddler and her road a train, played on tree stumps, and so much more. I love the museums, especially the train and vintage cars. All of it!

Visited July 2013
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Atlanta, GA
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“One of the best urban parks in the country”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013 via mobile

OK - for those who taint their reviews with reference to reducing star ratings because it's just a park, you really might want to rethink writing reviews. This is an outstanding park - a true urban oasis. It's gorgeous, filled with so many eclectic and interesting people, has a myriad of wonderful museums, fountains, an international cottage village, sculpture, numerous activities, etc. It's amazingly walkable. Granted - parking is not easy and I'm a visitor but have seen the addition of a multi-level parking structure (which can be built partially underground and made very unobtrusive otherwise) make a huge difference in major parks in other cities. We loved the zoo but went to that on one day and spent a separate day at the park otherwise. Could have spent two or three more to visit all the museums. Don't miss this on your visit to SD.

Visited July 2013
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