Balboa Park in San Diego is one of the most famous parks in the United States. Balboa Park, a National Historic Landmark, spans 1,200 acres and offers many options to visitors on how to enjoy the park. Plenty of open space, natural trees, and rare flowers make the park beautiful and set an amazing backdrop for the Spanish Revival style architecture. The enormous size of Balboa Park makes it one of the largest downtown parks in the country. With a full 18 hole golf course, 9 hole executive course, archery range, one of the best disc golf courses at Morley Field, and much more makes Balboa Park a great spot for recreational activities. Beyond the looks, what really sets Balboa Park above any other parks are the museums and other attractions
Balboa Park Museums
Balboa Park has some of the best San Diego museums. The museums located inside Balboa Park are the Museum of Man, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Reuben Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, and the Timken Museum of Art.
Balboa Park Gardens
The Balboa Park gardens are worth visiting for their sheer splendor and uniqueness. Check out the Alcazar Garden, the Botanical Building with its reflecting pool, the Cactus Garden, the Casa del Rey Moro Garden, the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Marston House Garden, the Palm Canyon and Zoro Garden.
Balboa Park attractions
Balboa Park is home to the world famous San Diego Zoo. The world's largest outdoor pipe organ can be found in Balboa Park at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Organ and other musical acts are played in the Organ Pavilion regularly. A replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre known as The Old Globe Theatre, can be found inside Balboa Park. The Starlight Bowl amphitheater is located inside Balboa Park and seats 4,300 people. The San Diego Civic Light Opera call the Starlight Bowl home and perform many Broadway musicals each year. Being underneath the flight path of the San Diego Airport, the performances are occasionally disrupted by airplanes flying overhead. The conductor stops the performance briefly and the performers pause, often in the middle of a solo or while balancing in a difficult one footed pose. Not to be missed are the International Cottages. Dozens of different countries are represented in the International Cottages where each cottage is decorated in the style of the country it represents. Flags of each country fly outside each cottage and visitors have a chance to see a glimpse of the furnishings and decorations from the different cultures. Each Sunday from 12-4, local San Diego residents from their respective countries volunteer to dress up in authentic clothing while serving cuisine samples from their respective countries inside the International Cottages.
San Diego Balboa Park Visitor Tips
A local's opinion of Balboa Park is that it should not be missed. A family oriented park that offers a vast variety of activities for guests. Pack a lunch and some water and enjoy a picnic in one of the hundreds of beautiful outdoor spots. The San Diego Zoo is world renowned and is guaranteed to be a good time. What is great about Balboa Park is how inexpensive the entire experience is for visitors. There is no admission to the park which allows you to enjoy the gardens and natural beauty for free. The museums are reasonably priced and the San Diego Zoo is more then fair for the opportunity to see some of the world's rarest animals up close and personal. Definitely check out the reflecting pool which makes the surrounding Spanish architecture look truly amazing.
Balboa Park Dog Friendly
Balboa Park is one of San Diego's dog friendly parks that allows owners to take their dogs with them throughout the park. Leashes are required throughout the park except in the fenced in dog park area.