Often referred to as the cultural jewel of San Diego, Balboa Park is one of the more popular places for visitors to explore, but many rush from one thing to the next. We're going to slow down and dive deep into the nooks and crannies of the park, discovering architectural details, delightful gardens, and cultural treasures most guests pass by. There's an Instagram-able spot around every corner! We'll start at the western end of the park and cross Cabrillo Bridge, entering the park as VIPs did at the beginning of the Panama-California Exposition. We'll zigzag our way along the Prado, the heart of the central mesa, taking in the shear beauty of the place. Specifically we'll: -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 - Discover how the park was formed 150 years ago, and how city leaders have used it to promote San Diego ever since - See where the Navy marched and nudists lounged in the early 20th century - Explore plant and tree filled gardens and a sculpture courtyard hiding in plain sight - Enjoy a beverage at a locally owned and operated coffee cart
Jen & Friends
I’m a native to San Diego and a professional tour guide here since 2002. I've led different types of tours but my favorite - walking tours - led me to own & operate San Diego Urban Adventures since 2017. My friends – Gabi, Elizabeth & Alyssa - and myself are passionate locals who love to show off our beautiful city while meeting people from all over the world – that’s you! We know the city in a way guide books don't, and we want you to see Balboa Park through our eyes. We love to answer questions about the park, or the city, or recommend our favorite craft beer or taco shop. Join us!
Enjoy a hot or cold beverage at a local coffee cart.
Access to discounted tickets for the park's museums. Note this is an additional cost, but is a discount on regular admission.
Map of the park to allow you to explore after the tour.
We'll walk across the Cabrillo Bridge and see the California Tower, Alcazar Garden, Old Globe Theater, Plaza de Panama, the Botanical building, Zoro Garden, the best coffee cart in the park, multiple museums, hidden statues, some crazy looking plants, an artist colony that is a work of art itself, hidden architectural gems, and the best bathrooms in the park.
This is a walking tour - we'll cover less than 2 miles but will be on our feet most of the time. Tour ends 10 minutes away from where it begins.