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Balboa Park Museums - 13 of them!


Balboa Park Botanical Building
Balboa Park Rose Garden
Belmont Park
California Building


San Diego-- There's no  more culturally enriching or entertaining public park in the USA than Balboa Park. There are so many things to love about, including the year-round gentle weather, soothing fountains, koi ponds, and world class museums and galleries, all steps from one another. Can you dig that fact that are 13 of them? 

Balboa Park Botanical Building - San Diego California

san diego museums balboa parkThe next time I visit San Diego, I intend to an extra day (two if I could spare them), to do Balboa Park. Or maybe I'll just do a museum day trip and see how many museum I can physically tackle in one day. I am buying a  Passport to all 13 museums, a 7 day offering allowing you to enter each museum once within seven days of first use.  I can testify that the $40+ savings is a bonus, and more than you'll need to dine on a wonderful meal amidst the lush gardens of Balboa Park. Or in my case, more than pay for my gas to drive from Orange County, with a little left over to apply toward lunch or souvenir post cards.

I usually spread myself too thin when visiting San Diego. I have a list of favorites to see and do that include Hotel del Coronado, Ocean Beach, Mission Bay, Horton Plaza, Old Town and San Diego Zoo. Each takes time, and if you're only in town for a day or two, your can't do it all.

trolley tourI tried it when I purchased a one day pass on the Old Town Trolley Tour. It picked up near my Coronado hotel, then my thinking was that I could run into a bunch of attractions for quick updates, hop back on the circulating trolleys, and save time and money in parking. It's a great theory. I did get out at Balboa Park and wander the gardens, plus dine in a fabulous outdoor restaurant overlooking a garden where a couple walked their paces in practice for their upcoming wedding. But I looked at my clock, and I hadn't even stepped foot in a museum yet. I had to get back on the trolley to catch the zoo and see the Giant Panda bears. My day was superb, the trolley ride was a joy, and I'd do it again.

Passports for children ages 3-12 are value-priced based on admission rates at eleven of the thirteen attractions listed above. Two of the museums (Model Railroad and SDAI) offer free admission for kids with adult admission.

13 Museums and Attractions:
Japanese Friendship Garden
Mingei International Museum
Museum of Photographic Arts
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
San Diego Air & Space Museum
SDAI- Museum of the Living Artist
San Diego Automotive Museum
Museum of San Diego History
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
San Diego Museum of Art
San Diego Museum of Man
San Diego Natural History Museum
San Diego Hall of Champions

San Diego's Balboa Park was ranked in 2004 as the world's 13th best park by the nonprofit Project for Public Spaces.