Balboa Park, San Diego

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 114 Reviews

1549 El Prado (619) 239-0512

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  • Balboa Park
    by apbeaches
  • Bird of paradise flower at Balboa Park
    Bird of paradise flower at Balboa Park
    by Jefie
  • Balboa Parl's Botanical Building
    Balboa Parl's Botanical Building
    by Jefie
  • A visit to Balboa Park is a must for first timers

    by DesertDarlene Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Statue of Balboa at night

    This park was left over after the end of the California-Panama expositio in 1919. Many of its buildings are world famous. Some of them were used as a setting for Xanadu in the move Citizen Cane.

    The park is filled with museums and other outdoor activities.

    The park itself is free and there are often free activities inside the park. The museums usually charge an admission, but at times, even those can be free.

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    California Lovin'

    by dinhyen Written Feb 25, 2003

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    San Diego Botanical Garden at Balboa Park

    Balboa Park is a gem right in the middle of the city. Originally developed for the world fairs in the mid-1910s and mid-1930s, the Park is home to several museums, galleries, cultural centers, gardens, a theater, and the San Diego Zoo! The park itself is a lush horticultural paradise. But what I found most interesting about the complex is its architecture. Intricate and exotic Spanish colonial design motif dominates here, and many buildings are attractions in their own rights. This place is not to be missed!

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    Museums Center

    by wwliu Written Nov 20, 2006

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    Balboa Park seems like a museums center which inludes 50 museums. The architecture there is divisity of styles. The whole park like the biggest museum that every conner you may find something special. During the holidays, it is usually hold some activities with the typical decorations. In normal days, the environment is quiet and beautiful. Every tuesday, there are three museums free. Meanwhile, there is a free concert hold in every Sunday's afternoon.

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    San Diego Hall Of Champions

    by Jim_Eliason Written Aug 26, 2007

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    San Diego Hall Of Champions
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    This Balboa park museum is a hall fo fame of sorts for San Diego's most famous sports figures. It features the famous players for the Padres and Chargers and also famous San Diegans who made it big on pro teams of other cities.

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  • Spreckels Organ

    by Phalaenopsis03 Updated Jun 26, 2006

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    Concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion (2.26.06)
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    The Spreckels Organ is one of the world's largest oudoor pipe organs, and from mid June to August, visitors to Balboa Park can enjoy free concerts held on Sundays from 2pm - 3pm (rain or shine) at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. As these are open-air affairs, I highly advise you to dress accordingly. During the spring and summer months, it can especially get hot and uncomfortable. My friends and I had to prematurely leave a concert once because the sun's rays were beating on us too hard. So I definitely suggest dressing in light-colored clothing and some sort of hat. And oh yeah, don't forget to pack a little picnic basket with goodies to munch on during the concert.

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    Balboa Park

    by anagrettel Written Apr 15, 2006

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    Balboa Park, one of the most popular places for tourists, is a great place to visit and discover, with14 museums, theaters, a sports complex, playing fields, a rose garden, the largest open-air pipe organ (with 3,500 pipes), sparkling fountain, a lily pond and even an antique carousel -- you need more than a day to see it all.
    Most of the ornate Spanish-Colonial style buildings in the heart of the park, including the 200-foot California Tower, are left over from the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition
    Situated in a spanish-colonial revival church with sculptures of explorers and pioners on it facade, thisis the "Museum of Man" (in the picture)

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    Extreme Gardening?

    by hotlipz Written Mar 28, 2006

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    I love gardening, so Bilboa Park was anamazing place for me to visit. The sad thing is that most of the plants that grow in this beautiful, formal garden are mostly not hardy in England. It was warm, bright the air full of beautiful scents (especially the lavenders) - a wonderful example of formal gardens and beautiful architecture. It's easily accesible via theSan Diego bus tour (see travel tips) and well worth a visit.

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  • BALBOA PARK

    by sabsi Updated Jun 14, 2005

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    Museum of Man, Balboa Park
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    My favourite part of San Diego was Balboa Park and its great buildings. Unfortunately we didn't have time to visit any of the many museums or the famous San Diego zoo but we had a look around the park's main street El Prado nevertheless.

    Most of the buildings in Balboa Park were built for the Panama-California International exposition in 1915 and 1935 in a spanish moorish style. They are sourrounded by big trees, colourful flowers and the free trolley riding by from time to time.

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  • SHAKESPEARE IN SAN DIEGO

    by sabsi Written Jun 14, 2005

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    The old Globe
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    I was very suprised to find a Globe Theatre in Balboa park - "The old Globe". It didn't really quite fit here but it's nice to see one again. It's not as nice as the one in London though - it's a bit "plasticy". However, it's much older than the one in London. It was built for the California-Pacific International Exposition in 1935.

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    Palm Canyon Balboa Park

    by AVG2319 Written Nov 11, 2008

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    Across the Parking lot from the Alcazar Garden, Palm Canyon in Balboa Park will take you across a wooden footbridge, down some stairs to a wide winding path through lush palm trees. Some of the Palm trees date back to 1912. Palm Canyon has more than 450 palms and is home to many squirrels. We enjoyed watching them play and eat. You can hear them knawing on their food, this is how quiet it is in Palm Canyon. While you walk through Palm Canyon you can often hear the organ from the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

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    Balboa Park

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Apr 25, 2007

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    Balboa Park is considered the US's largest "urban cultural park" with 15 museums and and World Famous San Diego Zoo. Admission to the park itself is free, but each of the various museums has a fee, but a "passport" gets you into the zoo and most of the museums at a discounted rate: $55. Without the zoo, the passport is just $30. With 12 million visitors per year, this is the 6th most visited city park in America, but only the 2nd most visited in the city behind Mission Bay Park!

    The zoo is at the northern end of the park, while the majority of the museums and other attractions are at the center of the park on the east-west axis between 6th Ave and Park Blvd.

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    Can't miss it, so romantic.

    by zazatann Written Dec 5, 2004

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    This park is one of the most romantic place I have ever been. I went there twice because it was 'The music in the Park' events. I love it so much. Just pity that i went there alone. I'd be a very romantic place to hold in hand with someone, who i care.

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    Moreton Bay Fig Tree

    by Yaqui Written Apr 25, 2010

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    This living piece of history was planted in 1915 and considered one of Balboa Park landmarks. It's over 70 feet tall, with a canopy spread of 125 feet and a trunk diameter of 13 feet. It is located across from the San Diego Natural History Museum. It has a fence all around it to keep folks from disturbing it to keep it healthy.

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    Balboa Park-Sculptures

    by Dabs Updated Nov 9, 2008

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    Nikigator
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    Thanks to an exhibit of French artisit Niki de Saint Phalle's sculptures at the Garfield Conservatory in Chicago, the instant I saw "Nikigator" (1991) outside the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, I knew that it was one of her sculptures. Her sculptures are colorful, whimsical, exaggerated and larger than life, many of them are women known as "nanas" and many are animals.

    There are two other of her sculptures in Balboa Park that I saw, also near the Mingei Museum is "Poet and Muse", and near the Hall of Champions is "#23 Basketball Player" which coming from Chicago I knew to be Michael Jordan's number with the Chicago Bulls.

    Niki de Saint Phalle lived in San Diego from 1994 until her death in 2002. I saw references to Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Escondido's Kit Carson Park, a sculpture garden which was her last major project but I couldn't get what appeared to be the official website to open up. But I assume it's still there and it looked like a cool place to visit if you enjoy her work.

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    Balboa Park

    by apbeaches Written Jul 16, 2008

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    Balboa Park is a 1,200 acre urban cultural park in San Diego, California, United States. Placed in reserve in 1835, it is one of the oldest sites in the United States dedicated to public recreational usage. Besides open areas and natural vegetation, it contains a variety of cultural attractions including museums, theaters, gardens, shops and restaurants as well as the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. The park is managed and maintained by the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.

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