What is There to See at the Balboa Park in San Diego?

Balboa Park in San Diego includes over 1,200 acres of museums, gardens, restaurants and recreational facilities where visitors are immersed in international and local culture. With 15 museums, 16 gardens, the world-class San Diego Zoo and much more, Balboa Park is a must-do when visiting San Diego.

After a day exploring everything there is to see and do at Balboa Park in San Diego, recover with a lazy day by the beach nearby! Get all the details and best recommendations of things to do by the sea by requesting a copy of our FREE Vacation Guide!

What is There to See at the Balboa Park in San Diego?

We could never list all the phenomenal things there are to see and do at Balboa Park in San Diego. But, here is a list of a few of our favorite things to recommend!

A Rare Miniature Railroad

All aboard this antique model G16 mini-train for a trip through four-acres of Balboa Park. Only 50 of these rare trains remain today. You can also check out the San Diego Railroad Museum for more info about this interesting topic.

Local Artistry in the Spanish Village Art

Artists display their paintings, jewelry, glass, sculptures and more inside the Spanish Village Art Center.

The Most Photographed Scene in Balboa Park

The Lily Pond, lagoon and Botanical Building are a beautiful sight, so it’s no surprise that they create the most photographed scene in the park. The Botanical Building is one of the world’s largest lath structures where over 2100 plants are on display.

Butterfly Garden

Monarch, sulfur and swallowtail butterflies gently flutter through their habitat in the Zoro Garden, a sunken grotto garden built in 1935. The garden includes everything necessary for the complete lifecycle of butterflies.

Badminton, Table Tennis or Volleyball Tournaments

The Balboa Park Activity Center is a 38,000 square-foot, first-class sports facility. Check out the list of activities or to register for a class.

Drummers and Dancers Performing Everything From Samba Reggae to a Rio-Style Carnival

Throughout the park, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for live music and dancing!

Views of the Southern California Vista From the California Tower

The California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man has been closed since 1935 – until now. Visitors are invited to climb the tower’s spiral staircase to the eighth floor where the views of San Diego and beyond can be seen for about 23 miles to the horizon.

The Apollo 9 Command Module Spacecraft and a Flying Replica of Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis

The San Diego Air and Space Museum includes some of the world’s most iconic and historic aircraft and spacecraft. Interactive exhibits, a 3D/4D movie theater, and collections from the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and more are on display.

Musicals, Symphonies, Ballet, and More

Purchase tickets for theater, ballet or musical productions, or take classes at Balboa Park throughout the year. You can also enjoy a wonderful show at the historic Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

San Diego Zoo

At the San Diego Zoo animals live as they would in their natural habitat since this zoo uses open-air, cageless exhibits. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the zoo’s three giant pandas. The San Diego Zoo is one of the few zoos in the world to house these adorable, endangered bears. Before your visit, meet the pandas on the zoo’s webcam.

Explore The Best of San Diego with Penny Realty!

Balboa Park is just one of the many reasons San Diego is a top vacation destination. In addition, the area features beautiful beaches that are perfect for a relaxing vacation away. Whether you’re searching for a spring break getaway, a week-long summer vacation or a getaway during fall or winter, Penny Realty offers the best selection of beach rentals in San Diego. Contact us today about renting the perfect condo or home for your stay in San Diego, Mission Beach or Pacific Beach!

Photo Credit: Julof90