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“A San Diego Visit "Must"”
Review of Balboa Park

Balboa Park
Book In Advance
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$59.00*
and up
Private Balboa Park Segway Tour
Ranked #3 of 434 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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
Sun City, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A San Diego Visit "Must"”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

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.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mims, Florida
Level Contributor
211 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Go on a Sunday for a worldly treat”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

On Sundays, besides the free Organ concert, the houses of the world open up to give small presentations and treats from their representative countries. Now, take some dollars as they seem to provide this on a quid pro quo deal, you donate if you take. And that seems only fair, they shouldn't have to provide food out of their own pockets. It's a great treat from a foreign land for a buck, who wouldn't want to support that. Well, yours truly didn't know and thus didn't bring any singles and I didn't find anything compelling enough to leave a twenty. Which meant that we didn't try much, which was sad for me.

But the knowledge is free, so get your butt down there and check it out.

Oh yeah, and they have like a million museums and the like. The architecture walking around is incredible and a must see. Really, this park is too big to see in a single day.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank RoanP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
72 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Stunning parks, museums & architecture”
Reviewed January 7, 2014 via mobile

What a find! Free parking (with patience) and stunning 1700 Spanish buildings to wander through between museums. They charge admission (about $50 for 2 kids & 2 children in the Air & Space museum & Natural History that we went to). Lovely family day for all ages with plenty to see & learn.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Bruce G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“ok”
Reviewed January 5, 2014

My husband and I went to the park yesterday. It was nice. We took a lot of pictures. There were groups of people playing different kinds of music at the park. The visit was worth it.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Denise F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
82 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Beautiful place”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We stopped off at the park during our trolley tour and were amazed by the scenic beauty. The trails made me wish I had brought my running shoes! We didn't stop in any of the many museums but enjoyed a wonderful outdoor lunch at the Italian restaurant (forget the name) near the entrance. We would definitely go again and plan to spend more time!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank CMO2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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