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Balboa Park

Sprawled on an area of 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is one of the main recreation spots in San Diego. It hosts a myriad of entertaining and relaxation options, such as theaters, museums, gardens, picnic sites, carousels and restaurants. The park site was placed under government protection as a public recreation space in 1835, which makes it one of the oldest parks in the USA.

Museums and theaters

Balboa Park boasts an impressive number of cultural sites, making it a point where nature and culture meet. Aside from enjoying the vast vegetation zones and blossoming flower gardens, visitors can enjoy outstanding theater performances and impressive exhibitions. The park takes pride in offering a selection of 17 museums to culturally eager visitors. Each of them has a special theme, so you are free to choose the one that sparks your interest most. You can learn the history of San Diego or explore the culture of other nations, like the Japanese art collection.

In addition, you can know more about the historical evolution of aviation, trains and cars or take delight in a unique photography art gallery. Since most museums are located in near vicinity to each other, you can attend more exhibitions in a single day without wasting time on changing destinations. Speaking of theaters, there are more than 10 performance places where you can watch anything from comedies and tragic dramas to ballet and musicals.


Another major asset of the park is the sprawling vegetation zones and flower gardens. Take a sit on a bench enjoying the sweet smell of roses and the beauty of blooming orchids and lilies, or take a walk through one of the vegetation alleys being sheltered by the shadow of immense trees. Don’t hesitate to visit the Botanical Garden which abounds in recreation places and makes you familiar with a plethora of new species. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the flora and climate of San Diego. Moreover, you can explore other climates and reliefs, like the dessert garden, which is dedicated to a vast diversity of cacti.


Whether you are a foreign tourist or a San Diego resident, Balboa Park has what to surprise you with. Spanish colonial revival architecture, century-old trees, impressive bridges and towers, breath-taking promenades, all of them will please your eyes while you wander around the huge park. If you come with kids, you can take them to the San Diego Zoo, which is also within Balboa Park boundaries. There are also carousels and mini trains for keeping the little ones entertained.

Craft studios

Enjoy how masters work in craft studios and don’t miss the chance to create something yourself. The masters are happy to instruct you and come with the best tips and support to ensure you do the job right and create beautiful artwork.

Sport sites

The park is home to Morley Field Sports Complex which allows for practicing numerous kinds of sport. There is a golf course, an archery range, a softball field as well as a swimming pool. San Diego Velodrome is also part of the complex. In this way, Balboa Park is not only a cultural and recreational site but also a sports hub where major sports events in San Diego take place and where people can recreate themselves playing some golf or tennis.

Food establishments

The territory of the park abounds in eating spots made to meet any cravings. You can enjoy either a quick snack under an umbrella outside or a plentiful meal in an elegant restaurant. The wide variety available allows you to choose the cuisine and the design of the restaurant you are going to eat in.

Is it worth visiting?

Balboa Park is a huge cultural and recreational spot that provides a lot of entertainment for people of all ages. Whether you like theater performances, adore vegetation or yearn for a romantic promenade, you should visit Balboa Park. The choice of activities is so large that everyone can find something close to their heart. Kids can also enjoy the park by attending the San Diego Zoo, taking a carousel or mini train ride, or just strolling through the beautiful gardens chasing butterflies and enjoying the sweet smell of flowers.

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