Balboa Park San Diego

Balboa Park San Diego is a 1,200 acre, urban recreational and cultural park just minutes from downtown. It is one of the most popular attractions in San Diego and is the veritable epicenter of public activities where people young and old can enjoy a range of activities (many of them free) from theaters to museums to shopping and dining.

Throughout the year there are a variety of Balboa Park events including high profile concerts and plays at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion (featuring the largest outdoor organ in the world) and the Old Globe Theatre, which is a captivating replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Besides doing your own advance research, consider calling ahead to the Balboa Park Visitors Center to find out about the most up-to-date things to do at Balboa Park.

Balboa Park Science Center
Balboa Park Science Center

The Balboa Park museums are some of the biggest draws of the entire park. They cover a broad spectrum of topics and interests. Most of the Balboa Park museums are set along El Prado, a long promenade that extends through the center of the park. Among the most popular are the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum. The Museum of Man is a museum of archaeology and anthropology that explores the development of the pre-Columbian, western Americas and exhibits a fascinating range of artifacts from civilizations like the Mesoamericans, Maya, and Moche.

Balboa Park Map
Balboa Park Map

The San Diego Museum of Art was opened in Balboa Park San Diego in 1926 as the Museum of Fine Arts. This highly respected gallery contains countless works of art, some of which date back to 5000 B.C. There is a strong emphasis placed on Spanish artists and the museum has permanent works from artists the likes of El Greco, Murillo, and Ribera. The San Diego Air and Space Museum is also among the most popular Balboa Park Museums. Each of them lends to the cultural relevance and significance of the city of San Diego. You can purchase a Passport to Balboa Park, which gains you admittance to thirteen museums.

One of the most popular Balboa Park events is the pipe organ concert at Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Both residents and tourists flock to Balboa Park to hear the impressive 4,500-pipe organ play song after song every Sunday at 2 p.m. These concerts are held year round so any time you visit San Diego, you will have the opportunity to catch a show. There are also plenty of nice and casual dining establishments where you can enjoy brunch before heading over to enjoy the show in the warmth of the San Diego sun.

Balboa Park San Diego
Balboa Park San Diego

Some of the most sought-after Balboa Park events are the performances staged at the Old Globe Theatre. The Old Globe was built in 1935. There are fifteen plays produced every year, including ones from Shakespeare, which is fitting as it is a spot-on replica of the Shakespeare Globe. This is the flagship theater in the Simon Edison Center for the Performing Arts. The Lowell Davies Festival Theatre is another notable and impressive part of the complex. It is an outdoor theater that seats 615 people where a number of plays and events are staged throughout the year.

Balboa Park Bell Tower
Balboa Park Bell Tower

You cannot help but be impressed by the sheer number of things to do and places to see in San Diego. Once you plan out your itinerary you will simply need to find a place to stay. There are plenty of hotels near Balboa Park as this is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the city. It is peak season nearly year round in terms of tourism for San Diego as the weather is beautiful much of the time. Book your accommodations in advance in order to take advantage of favorable rates at hotels near Balboa Park San Diego.

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