San Diego

We’ve compiled the best of the best in San Diego - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Balboa Park Carousel

    Balboa Park | Carousel

    Suspended an arm's length away on this antique merry-go-round is the brass ring that could earn you an extra free ride (it's one of the few...Read More

  • 2. Botanical Building

    Balboa Park | Garden/Arboretum

    The graceful redwood-lath structure, built for the 1915 Panama–California International Exposition, now houses more than 2,000 types of tropical...Read More

  • 3. Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden and Desert Garden

    Balboa Park | Garden/Arboretum

    These neighboring gardens sit just across the Park Boulevard pedestrian bridge and offer gorgeous views over Florida Canyon. The formal rose...Read More

  • 4. San Diego Air & Space Museum

    Balboa Park | Museum/Gallery

    By day, the streamlined edifice looks like any other structure in the park; at night, outlined in blue neon, the round building appears—appropriately...Read More

  • 5. San Diego Museum of Art

    Balboa Park | Museum/Gallery

    Known for its Spanish baroque and Renaissance paintings, including works by El Greco, Goya, Rubens, and van Ruisdael, San Diego's most comprehensive...Read More

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  • 6. San Diego Museum of Man

    Balboa Park | Museum/Gallery

    If the facade of this building—the landmark California Building—looks familiar, it's because filmmaker Orson Welles used it and its dramatic...Read More

  • 7. San Diego Zoo

    Balboa Park | Zoo/Aquarium

    Balboa Park's—and perhaps the city's—most famous attraction is its 100-acre zoo. Nearly 4,000 animals of some 800 diverse species roam in hospitable...Read More

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  • 8. Spanish Village Art Center

    Balboa Park | Museum/Gallery

    More than 200 local artists, including glassblowers, enamel workers, wood-carvers, sculptors, painters, jewelers, and photographers work and...Read More

  • 9. Spreckels Organ Pavilion

    Balboa Park | Plaza/Square/Piazza

    The 2,400-bench-seat pavilion, dedicated in 1915 by sugar magnates John D. and Adolph B. Spreckels, holds the 4,518-pipe Spreckels Organ, the...Read More

  • 10. Alcazar Garden

    Balboa Park | Garden/Arboretum

    You may feel like royalty here as you rest on the benches by the exquisitely tiled fountains—the garden's highlight—and it's no wonder: the...Read More

  • 11. Balboa Park Miniature Railroad

    Balboa Park | Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

    Adjacent to the zoo parking lot and across from the carousel, a pint-size 48-passenger train runs a ½-mile loop through four tree-filled acres...Read More

  • 12. Bea Evenson Fountain

    Balboa Park | Fountain

    A favorite of barefoot children, this fountain shoots cool jets of water upwards of 50 feet. Built in 1972 between the Fleet Center and Natural...Read More

  • 13. Cabrillo Bridge

    Balboa Park | Bridge/Tunnel

    The official gateway into Balboa Park soars 120 feet above a canyon floor. Pedestrian-friendly, the 1,500-foot bridge provides inspiring views...Read More

  • 14. Fleet Science Center

    Balboa Park | Museum/Gallery

    Interactive exhibits here are artfully educational and for all ages: older kids can get hands-on with inventive projects in Studio X, while...Read More

  • 15. House of Pacific Relations

    Balboa Park | Arts/Performance Venue

    This is not really a house but a cluster of red tile–roof stucco cottages representing 34 foreign countries. The word "pacific" refers to the...Read More

  • 16. Japanese Friendship Garden

    Balboa Park | Garden/Arboretum

    A koi pond with a cascading waterfall, a cherry tree grove, and the serene Inamori tea pavilion are highlights of the park's authentic Japanese...Read More

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  • 17. Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater

    Balboa Park | Arts/Performance Venue

    Performances incorporate marionettes, hand puppets, rod puppets, shadow puppets, and ventriloquism, while the stories range from traditional...Read More

  • 18. Marston House Museum & Gardens

    Balboa Park | Garden/Arboretum

    George W. Marston (1850–1946), a San Diego pioneer and philanthropist who financed the architectural landscaping of Balboa Park—among his myriad...Read More

  • 19. Museum of Photographic Arts

    Balboa Park | Museum/Gallery

    World-renowned photographers such as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Edward Weston are represented in this museum...Read More

  • 20. Palm Canyon

    Balboa Park | Trail/Path

    Enjoy an instant escape from the buildings and concrete of urban life in this Balboa Park oasis. Lush and tropical, with hundreds of palm trees...Read More

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