Head south about 20 miles from Solana Beach and you’ll find one of the oldest parks in the United States dedicated to public recreational use. Since 1835, Balboa Park is where culture and nature meet. Lush grounds, from gardens to forests, fountains to playgrounds, and sweeping architecture from Spanish Colonial Revival to mid-century Modern span the heart of the Park. More than 17 museums filled with everything from dinosaurs to space travel, science to the study of humankind, photographs to old masters, and automobiles to orchids. Plays, musicals, orchestras, ballet, heritage dancing, song, and the World Famous San Diego Zoo, round out a vast array of things to see and do.
Balboa Park Website
Museums for All Interests
Balboa Park boasts 17 museums and cultural institutions with an incredible diversity of collections. From art, science, and space to humans, architecture, and international culture, there’s something for everyone.
With more than 10 dedicated performance spaces, and additional stages and entertainment added for different seasons and special occasions, you can always be swept away into another world through an inspiring performance.
Be sure to check out Spreckels Organ Pavilion
, the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world with free weekly concerts on Sundays or catch an acclaimed performance at The Old Globe Theatre
built in 1935 and modeled after Shakespeare’s Old Globe in London.
Attractions Around The Park
There are hidden gems all over the 1,200 acre historic urban cultural park including the California Tower
. The nearly 200-foot-tall Tower and Dome of the California Building are covered with intricate carvings, colorful tile, and glass beads. While exploring the park, you may also find the El Cid Statue
, Spanish Village Art Center
or the Moreton Bay Fig
An Abundance of Gardens
San Diego Zoo
100 acres in size, the “World Famous San Diego Zoo” was a pioneer in the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits. It is well known for its lush, naturalistic habitats and unique animal encounters and is home to more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals representing approximately 660 species and subspecies and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 plants.
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