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Balboa Park: Historic Highlights and Secret Spots

Learn, Explore & Enjoy Balboa Park!

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Explore one of the country’s best urban cultural parks. Balboa Park has a bit of everything, including grand architecture, diverse museums, cultural institutions, and captivating gardens. You visit spots that even locals don’t know about. Add discounted museum admission with tour purchase!

San Diego Balboa Park Tour Highlights

  • Discover the inspiring, quirky, and fascinating history of one of the nation’s largest urban cultural parks
  • Uncover historical and architectural treasures hiding in plain sight
  • Explore a botanical garden’s vibrant collection of more than 2,100 plants
  • Learn about the early 20th century expositions that shaped Balboa Park
  • Find the best spots to photograph Balboa Park’s beautiful Spanish colonial revival architecture

Skip the Line! Enhance your experience by exploring 4 of 16 participating cultural organizations for a discounted rate, plus no need to stand in line for tickets. Choose “Adults + One Day Explorer Pass” at Checkout, or see “Additional Information” on booking page for passes and restrictions.

Organizations that accept the pass are:

Centro Cultural de la Raza, Japanese Friendship Garden, Mingei International Museum (currently closed for renovations), Museum of Photographic Arts, Fleet Science Center, San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego History Center, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Man, the NAT (San Diego Natural History Museum), Timken Museum of Art, Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, WorldBeat Center

Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, one beverage at a park coffee cart

Exclusions: Food and drinks beyond what is included, souvenirs and personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide.

Schedule details

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Meeting point: Next to Founder’s Plaza statues between 6th Ave and Balboa Drive on Laurel Street at the west entrance of Balboa Park. They are located in Sefton Plaza and are directly across the street from the Lawn Bowling Club.
  • Starting time: 10.00 AM
  • Ending point: Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park.