Balboa Park San Diego

Getting in Touch with Nature at Balboa Park

The largest park in California, Balboa Park, is home to the San Diego Zoo, dozens of museums and several gardens.  If you have never been here than it is worth a visit. You could spend your entire San Diego, California vacation at Balboa Park and not see everything there is to see.

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The park houses the the San Diego Zoo, the Science Center, and the Museum of San Diego History. In addition it is home to 15 major museums, several theaters, botanical gardens, several flower gardens and fountains.

San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park

No trip to San Diego is complete without a visit to the world famous San Diego Zoo. In the month of October kids can go free with a paying adult. (Please verify before planning based on this information).


Gardens Within The Park

Most of the gardens are free in Balboa Park with the exception of the Japanese Garden. Many of the museums are free on Tuesdays. You can pick up a map of the park at the Visitor’s Center.

Inez Grant Parker Rose Garden

Across the pedestrian Bridge at Balboa Park you will find a beautiful rose garden with over 2,000 roses in every color. The garden is 3 acres and along the pathways and fountains there are nearly 200 varieties of beautiful roses.

If you love to visit botanical gardens, this is a great spot to see and smell the roses. And it is free to see! Located across from the San Diego Natural History Museum, it is accessible by the Park Boulevard pedestrian bridge.

Zoro Garden

The Zoro grotto garden located within Balboa Park use to be a nudist colony in the 1930’s, now it is a lovely butterfly garden. Early in the morning we saw many butterflies sipping the nectar from their favorite flowers. This is a neat garden because it is sunken in, tucked away within the trees.

Palm Canyon

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

Spreckels Organ Pavilion

Alcatrez Garden

Japanese Garden