Every tourist to San Diego eventually visits Balboa Park, and most are delighted by the experience. Of the many museums located among the beautiful grounds, at least one museum will be interesting to the most jaded tourist, teenagers included. Since other reviews already say how enjoyable Balboa Park is, I will only make some practical points. (1) Parking is free and there is no entry fee into the park. The cost of admission is only for entrance into a museum, and varies according to the museum chosen, e.g., the Art Museum (housing by far the most valuable collection) is free, while the Natural History Museum costs $17. It is possible to get a one-day pass to most Balboa Park museums for under $50, but one day is not enough to see everything in the park. For tourists who want to see everything in Balboa Park, the usual method is to set aside one day of each San Diego vacation to see part of the park, then see another part of the park on the next San Diego vacation, etc. (2) When school is out, even on weekdays, the tram is jammed with tourists by 10AM and it is impossible to find a seat. At such times it is better to first try your luck parking in ostensibly completely full parking lots nearest the museum you want to see, before settling for the further lots that still have parking spaces. In any case, be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, for the tram will be too crowded to ride most of the day. (3) The park has many fast-food eateries, and they are remarkably good. We expected the typical bland-to-bad fast food served in most parks and fairs, but were pleasantly surprised at how fresh and tasty the food is here. (4) Avoid the beggars. California is liberal politically so the authorities allow unlimited begging in the park. We saw many beggars, some of whom were quite aggressive and rude. We saw tourists solicited by "Feed the Children" and the like, say "no" and then be cursed at. Don't let something like this spoil your visit.
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