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The attractions of balboa park in san diego

The 1,200-acre premier urban park is a designated National Historic Landmark that for more than a century has engaged children and adults in celebrating curiosity, beauty and culture. Feed a love for art at the San Diego Museum of Art. Explore its collection of Spanish and Italian old masters and 19th- and 20th-century American paintings and sculptures. See a replica of Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Other museums highlight local, natural and military history.

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Because Balboa Park museums operate independently, opening times, dates and admission fees vary. Adult and child versions of the 90-minute narrative are available. Or, pick up materials to explore the park independently. A 45-minute guided tour of the historic Botanical Building explores its origins, design and horticulture.

Things to Do Near Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

These free tours begin at 11: Ranger tours take place Tuesdays and Sundays starting at 11 a. Discover the tranquil beauty of the Japanese Friendship Garden on a guided tour of either the upper area with its bonsai collection or lower level with its cherry tree grove.

Friendship Garden tours are free with garden admission. No weather worries in planning Balboa Park tours as Southern California 's mild, sunny weather supports outdoor activities year-round.

Free Things to Do in Balboa Park, San Diego

Admission to park grounds is always free. Enjoy the outdoor gardens, roses, butterflies and blooming cacti and heritage architecture.

Park at the Inspiration Point lot to catch the free tram to attractions and museums. The tram runs daily from 9 a. Pick up is every 10 minutes.

Guided Tours Offer the Insider Perspective

It can be a longer wait during busy times. Get in the holiday spirit at Balboa Park December Nights. Eateries throughout the park satisfy every budget with an array of restaurants, cafes and snack carts serving grab-and-go goodies. The 1,000-acre zoo offers a variety of tours and safari experiences for observing its 660 animal species.

  1. Hop next door after exploring the zoo to another Balboa Park attraction that rates high with kids, the 1910 carousel. Other museums highlight local, natural and military history.
  2. Park at the Inspiration Point lot to catch the free tram to attractions and museums. Organ music constantly plays in the background.
  3. Donated to the City of San Diego in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition, the organ has more than 5,000 pipes that range in length from the size of a pencil to 32 feet.
  4. Friendship Garden tours are free with garden admission. I thought the botanical garden was particularly pleasant with the impressive array of plants located in such a small place, and I also enjoy the koi pond located outside.

Flightline, a zip-line ride, soars 130 feet above ground to view wildlife from on high. Behind-the-scenes tours and the Keeper for a Day program provides educational experiences in off-exhibit areas. Save big during the month of October when zoo admission is waived for kids 11 and younger.

Hop next door after exploring the zoo to another Balboa Park attraction that rates high with kids, the 1910 carousel.

  1. To climb the California Tower, you must physically be able to ascend and descend 125 steps within a 40-minute period, including 10 to 15 minutes on the viewing deck.
  2. Parking — I first have to mention that parking is free and mostly abundant in Balboa Park, which is a huge relief. Park at the Inspiration Point lot to catch the free tram to attractions and museums.
  3. But have no doubt it is more than worth the effort. Those who are residents of San Diego city or county, or those who are active military personnel, are able to take advantage of even more free activities every Tuesday, when the museums open their doors free of charge.
  4. Admission to park grounds is always free.
  5. Most attractions in the park open at 10. And as the park developed and expanded, several venues and attractions within the park have become representative of the destinations rich and storied history.

Its hand-painted menagerie, mural and band music evoke a vanished era of childhood fun.