AAA/Photo submitted by Maria White
AAA/Photo submitted by Maria White
Balboa Park/Richard Benton
AAA Editor Notes
Balboa Park is at 1549 El Prado, roughly bounded by Sixth Ave., Upas St., 28th St. and Russ Blvd. This 1,200-acre recreation and cultural center is one of America's oldest city parks and boasts 17 museums; such performing arts venues as the Old Globe Theatre and the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater; numerous gardens; 65 miles of hiking and biking trails; and multiple athletic facilities, including a golf complex with views of downtown San Diego and Coronado.

As the location of the Panama-California Exposition (1915-16) and the California Pacific International Exposition (1935-36), the lush grounds shelter many Spanish Colonial Revival buildings, which were built as temporary exhibit halls for the historic events. El Prado, a central promenade and boulevard in the western half of the park, is lined by several of the remaining structures—including the architecturally stunning California Building, now home to the San Diego Museum of Man. A city icon, it showcases a blue-and-gold dome with a starburst tile design and the 200-foot California Tower—Balboa Park's most prominent feature. The three-tier tower contains a 100-bell carillon that chimes every 15 minutes.

Guided tours are available. Pet friendly (call for restrictions/fees.). Recreational activities are permitted. Picnicking is permitted. Food is available.

Amenities & Services
Swimming Pool
Pet Friendly
Fitness Center
ECO Friendly
Electric Charging
Business Center
Grounds free. The 1-day Explorer Pass (includes admission to five participating Balboa Park museums) $48; $29 (ages 3-12). The 7-day Explorer Pass (includes admission to 17 participating Balboa Park museums) $59; $32 (ages 3-12). The 7-day Explorer Pass plus 1-day admission to San Diego Zoo $103; $68 (ages 3-12). Annual Explorer Pass (valid for 12 months from date of purchase) $129; $99 (ages 65+ and students with ID); $229 (family, two adults and up to four children ages 3-17). Tickets are available at the Balboa Park Visitors Center in the House of Hospitality building or at the museums.
Grounds open daily 24 hours. Guided park tours, which depart from the Balboa Park Visitors Center, are offered throughout the week; phone ahead for schedule.
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