• Attractions & Experiences

    Balboa Park Carousel

    An old favorite is the Balboa Park Carousel. Did you know this is one of a handful of carousels in the U.S. that includes the traditional brass ring game? Take a ride and try your skill by reaching out to grab the ring!

    Casa De Balboa

    As you walk by the Casa de Balboa, look up towards the roof. Can you spot the caryatids or weight-bearing pillars shaped like people? Architecture fans and curious observers alike have been discussing just who these caryatid figures might represent. What do you think?

    Spreckels Organ Pavilion

    Take a walk to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. In 2014, the San Diego post-hardcore band Drive Like Jehu played a reunion concert here, accompanied by San Diego Civic Organist Carole Williams. The appeal of playing with a live organ helped convince the band to get back together.

    California Tower

    Have you heard California Tower bells marking the hour or chiming a pleasant tune? These notes aren’t coming from actual bells, but from chimes controlled by an electric carillon. End your day with a Tower Tour to learn more about the instrument…and take in the spectacular view!

    Adult and child riding on a camel on a carousel

    Carousel

    A rare chance to ride an original menagerie carousel.

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    A red brick lined fountain in the center and two sets of red bricked stairs on the right and left hand side leading up to an outdoor patio with tables and red and purple umbrellas.

    Casa del Rey Moro Garden

    House of the Moorish King Garden

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    A diverse crowd of people sitting in the stands at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

    Spreckels Organ Pavilion

    Home to the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world.

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    California Tower view from the Alcazar Garden.

    California Tower

    A soaring icon of San Diego overlooking Balboa Park.

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  • Museums

    San Diego Natural History Museum (the NAT)

    Time for a bit of the macabre at the San Diego Natural History Museum. The Skulls exhibition displays over 200 bone structures from a wide range of animals, from tiny mice to big-horned sheep.

    San Diego Model Railroad Museum

    Take a trip to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, where you can discover whimsical scenes in miniature. Spot the canyon climbers, the church filled for a wedding, the shark in the swimming pool, and the overturned chicken delivery truck!

    San Diego Automotive Museum

    Roll on over to the San Diego Automotive Museum and check out Louie Mattar’s Fabulous Car. In 1952, San Diego garage owner Louie Mattar modified this 1947 Cadillac, adding a makeshift shower, washing machine, and even a kitchen sink, in order to set a cross-country endurance record by driving from San Diego to New York and back without stopping.

    Timken Museum of Art

    Pay a visit to the Timken Museum, which holds an art collection donated to the City of San Diego by the Putnams, wealthy and reclusive siblings who lived in a Hillcrest mansion during the mid-20th century. The mysterious siblings traveled around town in a curtained limousine.

    Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego

    Visitors would likely not guess that the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego, today an experimental contemporary art center, was originally founded as the San Diego Business Man’s Art Club. In 1950, the organization’s name was changed to the San Diego Art Institute, and in 1953, accepted its first woman. More recently, the organization merged with the Lux Art Institute of Encinitas and became the Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego.

    A group of diverse aged adults looking at a mammoth fossil display at the San Diego Museum of Natural History.

    San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat)

    Explore the natural wonders, both past and present of Southern California

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    Entrance to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. The entrance is a red painted wall with an arched glass windows and black framed glass doors.

    San Diego Model Railroad Museum

    Climb aboard and appreciate the wonders of beautifully engineered imagination.

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    Building and entrance to the San Diego Automotive Museum.

    San Diego Automotive Museum

    Exploring the history and evolution of the automobile.

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    Front entrance of the Timken Museum of Art building.

    Timken Museum of Art

    Discover fine art in the "jewel box" of Balboa Park.

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    Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego's front entrance in the House of Charm building.

    Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego

    The Park's home for progressive and experimental art.

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  • Gardens Parks & Trails

    Zoro Garden

    Speaking of Balboa Park expositions, take a peek at the Zoro Garden. Now a peaceful butterfly refuge, during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition this space was an exhibit featuring…nudists! Visitors could get a full view for a quarter, or catch glimpses through knotholes in the surrounding fence for free.

    Three people walking down a stone walled ramp into Zoro Garden.

    Zoro Garden

    A former nudist colony turned butterfly garden.

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  • Food & Drink

    Panama 66 at The San Diego Museum of Art

    Stop for a drink at Panama 66, a Balboa Park bar and restaurant. Enjoy lots of local beers on tap, California wine, craft cocktails, and food made with local ingredients, all in an art-filled outdoor setting.

    Detailed metal door entrance to Panama 66 at the San Diego Museum of Art. The bar and California Tower can be seen in the background.

    Panama 66 at The San Diego Museum of Art

    Draft beer, craft cocktails and locally sourced food. Entertainment varies throughout the week.

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Plan Your Visit

A roadway in front of Plaza de Panama and the San Diego Museum of Art with a white jeep stopped to let a group of adults and an adult with a motorized wheelchair cross the road.

Get Directions

Whether by car or plane, we’ve got the details you need to get here.

Park Map and Directions
Diverse groups of people surrounding three white pop-up tents on the El Prado walkway outside of the House of Hospitality.

Events

See what's happening in the park the days you are here.

Upcoming Events
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Get Your Tickets

From museums to musicals to Shakespeare under the stars, immerse yourself in all the arts, sciences, and history you can handle.

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An advertisement for the Fleet Science Center's Color in a New Light exhibition.