Cultural Heart Of San Diego
Explore the cultural heart of San Diego.
Balboa Park is a spectacular cultural treasure trove with 17 museums, lush gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park is North America’s biggest urban cultural park, measuring 1,200 acres and featuring breathtaking architecture, art installations, and cultural events throughout the year. The park has a storied history reflected in magnificent architecture, artistic installations, and cultural programs that take place all year long.
The Balboa Park Visitor Center is the ideal place to begin your visit to Balboa Park. The Visitor Center, which is located across from The Prado Restaurant in the House of Hospitality, offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about the Park’s activities and offerings. The Visitor Center, which is open Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 4:30pm, offers brochures, maps, audio tours, free guided visits of the Park, transportation information, dining advice, and more. The Visitor Center is conveniently located nearby Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa in Balboa Park.
Top 5 Things To Do In Balboa Park
SAN DIEGO ZOO
The San Diego Zoo is undoubtedly one of the most well-known zoos in the world. It is home to almost 4,000 animals, including over 650 species, and was the first zoo in North America to create cageless exhibits that attempted to replicate natural habitats. It also houses the only two giant pandas in the United States and was the first American zoo to successfully breed them.
El Prado is the major walkway through Balboa Park, serving as one of San Diego’s most popular public places. It’s home to several of the park’s cultural nearby attractions, including the Museum of Man, Museum of Art, Old Globe Theater, and other structures along the boulevard. El Prado is a lovely public space that locals are happy to call their own thanks to its Spanish Moor style construction and lush vegetation.
The Botanical Building’s unusual lattice-like design and proximity to the Lily Pond have made it one of Balboa Park’s most photographed locations. One of the world’s largest lath structures remains one of the Panama-California Exposition’s buildings, which was built in 1915. There are more than 2,100 plants, as well as seasonal displays and a scratch-and-sniff garden that appeal to kids of all ages in the free-of-charge attraction.
SPANISH VILLAGE ART CENTER
The Spanish Village Art Center is located in the midst of a labyrinth of tiled buildings that were constructed in 1935. The lively courtyard houses a community of over 200 professional artists from a variety of specialisms who provide daily demonstrations of their skills.
SPRECKELS ORGAN PAVILION
The Spreckels Organ Pavilion is named for John and Adolph Spreckels, the individuals who funded the world’s biggest outdoor pipe organ. The instrument has over 5,000 pipes and the longest is 32 feet long. Since 1917, San Diego has employed civic organists to perform free concerts every Sunday at 2 p.m. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa guests are welcome to use all of the pavilion’s entertainment features as one of San Diego’s top Balboa park hotels.
Is Balboa Park free?
Yes! Balboa Park is a public park offering free entrance to playgrounds, fountains, dog parks, trails, and gardens so you and see famous statues, artwork, architecture, and beautiful natural surroundings. There are 17 museums and other venues for special events that may require admission.
How far is Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa from Balboa Park?
Estancia La Jolla is about 15-20 minutes away from Balboa Park or 16 miles. For your convenience, please see the map below for directions.
Guests and locals are invited to attend a rotating selection of signature events at Estancia La Jolla. Culinary evenings, morning fitness, happy hour, and more make up our always changing line up.