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“Beautiful Balboa” 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 #15 of 327 Activities in San Diego
Type: Playgrounds, Gardens, Parks, Sightseeing Tours
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: Stroller parking, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Billings, Montana
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful Balboa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2014 NEW

Large and Lovely outdoor park with many museums. Most of the gardens are free. Most museums have an admission fee.
Very enjoyable!

Visited December 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cameron Park, California
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Beautiful!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2014 NEW

Spanning 1,200 acres of lush, beautifully landscaped, is known as San Diego's "crown jewel" offering cultural and outdoor recreation. it does not offer the metropolitan pace---instead it offers palm trees, art exhibits, two World Fairs (1915 and 1935.) Ornate Spanish Colonial buildings! Area a MUST to SEE!

Visited December 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“Best park I have ever been too!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2014 NEW

Go to the zoo, go to all the museums, or just take a nice leisurely walk throughout the park, vary clean and beautiful.

Visited December 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
“A Lovely Day Out.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2014 NEW

We spent a very pleasant day here. The Guided Tour from the Visitor Centre was definitely worth doing - most informative and interesting. The San Diego Art Museum was very good, the Timken Museum of Art was lovely (and free!) as was the Botanical Garden. Overall, a lovely place. Recommended.

Visited June 2014
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San Diego, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Balboa Park has plenty to offer!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2014 NEW

Balboa Park has many attractions and amenities for all the family to enjoy, so whatever peeks your interest, chances are you will most likely find more than one thing that you'll like to do here.

You will need at least a couple of days to see it all! Bring comfortable shoes, money, bottled water, and camera. There are some restaurants around, but you might opt to bring a picnic with you instead.

What you will find here? Museums, unique art, beautiful gardens, wonderful architecture and design, interesting history, captivating animals, friendly dog parks, spectacular fountains and Koi ponds, free music and live performances, shopping, food, and cherished memories being made...

The San Diego Zoo, happens to be one of the few zoos in the world that houses the adorable giant pandas! This famous zoo also pioneered the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits that re-create natural animal habitats, housing over 3,700 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies! I like that this place has a more natural feel to it, not as enclosed and confined like other zoos, and the animals have more freedom to roam around like in their original habitats.

Balboa Park has many great Museums and Art Centers you can visit:
Centro Cultural de la Raza, Marston House, Mingei International Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Reuben H Fleet Science Center, San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego Hall of Champions, San Diego History Center, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Natural History Museum, The San Diego Museum of Art, Timken Museum of Art, Veterans Museum & Memorial Center, and the WorldBeat Center. These Museums offer incredible exhibits throughout the year, and you may also find an artistic souvenir or gift at one of their Museum stores...

Don't forget to take a stroll in one or more of the beautiful gardens in the area, there are many to choose from: The Cactus Garden, the Rose Garden, Australian Garden, California Native Plant Garden, Veterans Memorial Garden to name just a few. The Japanese Friendship Garden offers a variety of events and weekend classes, as well as a Zen garden where you can meditate. Its winding paths will take you to a Koi pond, and there is also a bonsai exhibit to enjoy.

One of my favorite places in this area is the Botanical Building and the Lily Pond and Lagoon. It is one of the most photographed scenes in Balboa Park for a reason!

If you have time to see more, there are several Performing art shows and activities that are offered throughout the year as well, live music, dances, puppet theater performances, affordable dance classes, etc. The Spreckels Organ Pavilion has one of the world's largest outdoor pipe organs, where a civic organist performs free weekly Sunday concerts. If you like high-quality theater productions be sure to check out the internationally acclaimed, Tony Award® -winning Old Globe, one of the most esteemed regional theaters in the country.

As you can see, families with young children and or teens, couples, groups of friends, or just by yourself, there no doubt about it, many things for everyone to enjoy, participate in and have fun with...







at the quaint Spanish Village you can visit local artists studios and shop for unique art, the famous San Diego Zoo, free concerts, beautiful gardens!

Visited June 2014
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