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“Stunning gardens and architecture” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Balboa Park

Balboa Park
1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
619-239-0512
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$34*
and up
San Diego City Tour
Ranked #2 of 519 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Activities: Biking, City walk sightseeing, Walking, Viewing wildlife, Getting married
More attraction details
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 older children, Activities for young children, Stroller parking
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Stunning gardens and architecture”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

This beautiful place is a haven for garden lovers. Water gardens with new Japanese garden extension ( better than the one in San Francisco). Take a stroll around a pond and look for the turtles chomping on water Lilly leaves, or under a huge canopied conservatory, discover plants from all parts of the globe, including a great display of flowering orchids. A lovely place to spend a couple of hours on a hot morning. A good selection of museums are close by. A lovely spot that is not to be missed when visiting San Diego.

Visited August 2013
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4,538 reviews from our community

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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Nice park, uninteresting museums.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

Enjoy the park, skip the museums none are worthwhile. Spend more time at the city's other attractions instead.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ubud
Level Contributor
122 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Not to be missed when in San Diego!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

Balboa Park is a hub of San Diego's arts and cultural life. The architecture is beautiful and worth visiting alone. The Reuben H Fleet Science Center with the domed IMAX theater is a great place for children and adults alike. I have been there many times as it is one of best IMAX theaters in the world and the kid in me loves the exhibits in the discovery halls.

You can simply arrive and spend a day exploring or carefully plan your visit to include the museums, performance and an ever changing cultural calendar that is one of the richest in the country.

If you haven't been before then go to the website - balboapark.org - where you can see the variety the park has to offer from botanical to fine arts and performances. The "Plan Your Visit" section of the website is helpful for first timers.

If you plan on exploring the park over a couple of days then you would be wise to purchase with the Passport to Balboa Park or the Stay for a Day pass if you are there for a day. These passes save time and money and can make your experience easier.

Visited May 2013
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South Carolina
Level Contributor
112 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Don't pass this place by!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

The books all said visit... we were skeptical... and ended up coming back a second day!! What an amazing place to visit! Free parking and some of the exhibitions are free as well. We did pay to go in the Science center, Museum of Natural History and Railroad Museum; IMAX movies available in some instances; all WELL worth the trip. Plenty of free exhibits as well... floral, artists center, Spreckles Organ concert, Cultural houses... all GREAT!!! California residents can attend free on Tuesdays;

Visited September 2013
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New Jersey
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Don't miss when in San Diego”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

Spent time here near the holidays. They had a great holiday fair and decorations throughout the park. Specially like the Spanish Village Arts Center. Really nice touch, and was great to meet local artist and be able to purchase their work.

Visited December 2012
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