Explore San Diego
Type: Family Friendly, Museums, Parks, Zoos
With over 85 cultural and recreational facilities, Balboa Park is a must-see. It's probably best to start at the Visitor's Center for a map and events calendar, and to purchase a Balboa Park Explorer... Read More
With over 85 cultural and recreational facilities, Balboa Park is a must-see. It's probably best to start at the Visitor's Center for a map and events calendar, and to purchase a Balboa Park Explorer Pass, which provides entrance to most of park's attractions. The zoo is a big attraction, but there are also 16 museums, cultural centers, lawn bowling, a carousel, and a miniature railroad ride. Wander through multiple gardens or the botanical building (with over 2000 plant species), take in an outdoor organ concert, or enjoy a presentation at one of several theaters. Getting around the massive complex is easy, thanks to the free tram. Entrance to the park is free; attractions within the park are priced individually. Pack a picnic.
Hours:Due to COVID-19, please check with the attraction for the most recent updates to their opening hours.
- Entrance to Balboa Park Free
Passport to Balboa Park Adult $40; Child (6-12) $21
- Romantic Things to Do: "Download the Balboa Park iPhone app for maps and updates. The gift shops have pretty jewelry, too, for a special gift."
- Free Things to Do: "San Diego residents should check the schedule for Residents Free Tuesdays, where a rotating list of museums offer free admission."
- Parks: "The Balboa Park Explorer Pass will provide entry to all of Balboa Park's museums at a reduced rate versus buying individual tickets."
- Best Attractions & Activities, Things to Do with Kids: "Download the Balboa Park iPhone App which will tell you everything you need to know about visiting this historic area. Don't forget to duck into the gift shops for unique gifts all ages will enjoy."
- Outdoor Activities: "Download the Balboa Park mobile app for maps, hours and events happening during your visit."
- Best for Romantic Things to Do Because: Plan a day date exploring the quieter parts of Balboa Park from the gardens to hiking trails.
- Best for Free Things to Do Because: It's the nation's largest urban cultural park. The Timken Museum is always free as are the gardens.
- Best for Parks Because: It's the nation's largest urban cultural park with 16 museums and multiple gardens.
- Recommended as Best Attractions & Activities Because: It's the nation's largest urban cultural park and full of diverse fun for all ages. The gardens are stunning, too.
- Best for Things to Do with Kids Because: The nation's largest urban cultural park has 15 museums to browse and a number of stunning gardens.
- Best for Outdoor Activities Because: It's the nation's largest urban cultural park, free to enter and a must-visit San Diego attraction.