Balboa Park is one of the most iconic locations in San Diego, CA. With so much to see and do, Balboa Park is a favorite spot for visitors and locals alike. Make sure to hit all the highlights of the park with our helpful list to get the most out of your fun-filled San Diego day.
Morning at the Zoo
Since a day at Balboa Park isn’t complete without a visit to the San Diego Zoo, this famous attraction would serve as an excellent starting point to the day. A morning excursion allows visitors to see more animals while missing the midday crowds. Make sure to visit the pandas in Panda Canyon and walk the new Tiger Trail which opens on May 24! Book a cheap hotel next to the San Diego Zoo so that you can avoid San Diego traffic.
After a few hours with the wild animals, exit the Zoo and head south into the main hub of Balboa Park by walking through the Spanish Village Art Center. This quirky attraction is home to dozens of local artists. Browse through their studios or catch a live art demonstration. If you’re starting to feel hungry, make a quick stop at the Village Grill. This outdoor eatery offers inexpensive and delicious food.
Tour the Museums
Not far from the Village Grill is El Prado, Balboa’s main thoroughfare and the central location for most of the museums. The Ruben H. Fleet Science Center, a perennial favorite, is found here. This interactive museum is a big hit with visitors of all ages because of the IMAX theater and the multitude of hands-on exhibits. Another favorite is the San Diego Natural History Museum which features several permanent collections along with special rotating installments.
Anyone looking for a more artistic museum should head west along El Prado to the Museum of Photographic Arts or the Timken Museum. Make sure to take advantage of the Passport/Zoo Combo, a pass which includes entrance to the zoo and all museums. Families can also take advantage of the savings offered with the Go San Diego Card which includes discounted admission at 46 local attractions including the Zoo and San Diego SeaWorld. For more information about SeaWorld click here and to buy your Go Card visit smartdestinations.com.
Grab some Grub
After a couple hours of museum hopping, a bite to eat is just the thing. A good budget option is one of the museum restaurants. Of course, if you happen to be in Balboa on a Sunday, head towards the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. One of the cottages should be hosting a lawn program that includes food. Expect to be tempted by lamb shawarma or Polish pierogies. The experience is an excellent way to end to the day!
A trip to San Diego simply isn’t complete unless you plan a day at Balboa Park. Pack a picnic, plan your discounts and fill up on a complimentary breakfast if you have a room booked at a cheap San Diego hotel nearby like Pacific Inn & Suites. Pacific Inn is less than 3 miles away from Balboa Park, making it an easy walk or cheap cab ride away if you would like to avoid the busy park traffic.
If you call us and book your stay today, you could qualify for up to 12% off just for booking in advance. You can also purchase your discounted Zoo or SeaWorld admission tickets from us to receive 15% off on your hotel stay. Call us now at 1-800-571-2933 to see how much money we can save you during your upcoming San Diego vacation.