One of the most popular places to visit in San Diego and all of Southern California. With over 1,200 acres of land, Balboa Park is the largest urban park in the U.S.! Yes, bigger than New York’s Central Park, Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, or San Francisco’s Golden Gate. This is a great place for the entire family to explore. Balboa Park has everything from miles of hiking trails, 15 major museum and gardens, and the world renowned San Diego Zoo & Safari. I’ve been here twice and it’s not enough. You can spend days and even a week exploring every inch of this wonderful place. If you love arts and kids love animals, there’s no better place in San Diego that can satisfy everyone’s favorite activity.
Phone: (619) 239-0512
Address: 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California, 92101
Hours: The Balboa Park grounds are open 24 hours a day, the Visitors Center is open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, and museum hours vary by institution.
Things To Do: here’s the list of all museums at Balboa Park. Some notable ones are the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Rose Garden, and they celebrate Diwali here at Balboa Park!
Fee: the park is open for the public free of charge but museums and gardens do cost money. *parking is also free!!
Food: There are a couple of expensive restaurants in the park, but there are also affordable food options as well. You may want to pack a picnic! This place is beautiful and eating lunch under the sun surrounded by beautiful garden and building is like living in a dream. If you’re seeking outside affordable delicious food option outside of Balboa Park, then I highly recommend the Escape Fish Bar. It is only 10 minutes drive (2 miles) away from the park.
With so many museums to explore and gardens to appreciate, my favorite thing to do at Balboa Park is just to simply walk around and observe all the wonderful architecture. This place will make you forget that you’re in California because you will like you’re walking around Rome or some other European cities. This is a great getaway from the crazy Downtown San Diego.
It is located right in the city, which makes it even more accessible. I organize a large group of 50 people here once and everyone could have a better time. Because of the range of activities that one can do, no one will go bored here. My personal favorite museum at Balboa Park is the Museum of Photographic Art. It is so incredible and the pictures there are just magical. I love photography. I wouldn’t call myself a photographer but I definitely have appreciation for that.
If you’ve been here before, please share with me your experience. Especially if you’re a local, let me know your tips and tricks on how to get more out of this place. It is fantastic that I want to visit every month!