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Balboa Park

No matter when you find time in a busy schedule to enjoy a well-deserved vacation to San Diego, California, you’ll find plenty of options for unforgettable fun to infuse into your stay. San Diego is a place filled with sunshine and easy access to entertainment of all types. If you’re looking for a one-stop resource for food, museums, attractions, and more, look no further than Balboa Park in San Diego the next time you’re in town.

A Family-Friendly Destination to Add to Your Itinerary

Sprawling over 1,200-acres of terrain, Balboa Park is sometimes referred to as San Diego’s ever-changing and always amazing backyard. Here, you’ll find a variety of museums to explore including the Centro Cultural de la Raza which celebrates Chicano, Latin, and Indigenous art and culture. You’ll also have easy access to the Comic-Con Museum as well as the Fleet Science Center and the Japanese Friendship Garden and Museum. The Institute of Contemporary Art is also located in Balboa Park alongside the Mingei International Museum. Be sure to set aside time for a trip through the San Diego History Center while you’re here as well as the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Attractions to Check Out

When you’re not exploring the many gardens that adorn Balboa Park or wandering along the scenic trails on a sunny afternoon, there are fantastic things to do in Balboa Park, San Diego. The San Diego Zoo is a family-favorite stop that calls Balboa Park home while the antique carousel is a must for those who are heading this way with little ones in tow. Take time to admire the Cabrillo Bridge during your Balboa Park Visit or take a ride on the fun, miniature train. The Photographic Arts Building is always inspiring while Sefton Plaza puts a spotlight on area history and the pivotal figures that were part of making Balboa Park what it is today. The Visitors Center is a great place to get up-to-date information on Balboa Park happenings. If it’s souvenirs you’re after, there are a variety of charming shops on-site. For guests who are looking for a more insightful visit with help from a local, you can set up a private Balboa Park tour through the visitor center while you’re here.

Dine in Style

While Balboa Park is bursting with options for fun for visitors of all ages, it’s also a place where you’ll find plenty of delicious moments to enjoy along the way. Eateries like Lady Carolyn’s Pub are perfect for grabbing small bites and drinks. Daniel’s Coffee has you covered when you could use a caffeine kick while Craft Cafes serves up lattes and pastries that are sure to delight. The Prado Perk is another savory stop to check out while you’re here while the Tea Pavilion brings delightful Japanese cuisine and chai to the table.

Fun Things to Do in Balboa Park, San Diego

While Balboa Park in San Diego is a public space and open for everyone to enjoy, there are day passes available to purchase when you know you’re going to want to explore a variety of stops in the area. The Explorer Pass is your best bet if you want to enjoy as many museums, events, venues, and tours as possible. You can also purchase individual event and venue tickets if you want to pick a few of your favorite places to explore while you’re here.

Book Your Stay Today

Elevate your San Diego stay in style when you book your accommodations through Vacation Rentals by Kimberly. Reach out today to learn more and to start planning.


  • Are there movie theaters at Balboa Park?

    Yes. A top activity to enjoy during your visit is time at the Fleet Science Center where guests can purchase tickets to specialized IMAX showings. These films are impressive, informative, and always inspiring to align with the mission of the science center itself.

  • What Balboa Park attractions are free to enjoy?

    Guests can always enjoy time wandering the Balboa Park trails and gardens for no cost at all. Places like the Timken Museum of Art and the Botanical Building are always free to enjoy as well. If you drop by on the weekend, you’ll find there are free Sunday lawn programs held outside the international cottage at 2:00 pm. There’s also a free Twilight in the Park concert series here each summer.

  • Is Balboa Park pet-friendly?

    Yes! If you’re traveling to Balboa Park with your furry friend in tow, they’re more than welcome in the majority of venues. That said, it’s always a good idea to ask individual destinations ahead of time if you plan on visiting as many stops as possible. If your dog isn’t allowed into a specific venue, there are a variety of dog parks in Balboa Park for them to enjoy as well.

  • Will my rental near Balboa Park come with Wi-Fi so I can plan my day ahead of time?

    Absolutely. When you book your vacation rental through Vacation Rentals by Kimberly, you’ll find all of our property options are set up to support Wi-Fi throughout. This gives our guests easy options for connecting whenever they need to.

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