The Top 5 Places to Visit Around Balboa Park

February 24, 2016

If you are visiting San Diego, one of your stops will probably be visiting Balboa Park. This iconic area houses a number of museums, cultural centers, and activities. With all the options, it might be hard to figure out what to do first. Here are five interesting spots to consider visiting when you go to Balboa Park.

The Spanish Village Art Center is a hidden jewel of Balboa Park that is tucked away in an area of the park that is by the zoo in the northeastern corner. At the Spanish Village Art Center, you’ll find a number of colorful working art studios all built to look like a Spanish village. Here, watch artists work and if you like what you see, purchase paintings, photos, ceramic pieces, jewelry and more.

The Botanical gardens in Balboa Park offers a number of different gardens that are all breathtaking. Visit the marquee gardens where you’ll find picture-perfect rose gardens or venture for something off the beaten path like the Trees of Health Garden where you can see an African tulip tree, a cinnamon tree, and a honey mesquite tree.

The Timken Museum of Art is a free museum that houses big name artists. Here, you can see Rembrandt’s “Saint Bartholomew”. In fact, this is the only Rembrandt painting that is on public display in all of San Diego. You’ll also find “Portrait of a Young Man in Armor” by Ruben.

Balboa Park also houses the world’s largest operating model railroad museum. At the Model Railroad Museum you will find four scale and model layouts that depict railroads of the Southwest. There is even a Toy Train Gallery and an interactive play area for children. Often overlooked because of the larger destinations such as the zoo, the Model Railroad Museum is worth a visit.

The Balboa Park Activity Center is your destination for a round of table tennis, badminton and volleyball. This first class sports facility is housed amidst beautiful landscaping, spacious plazas and public art. If you’re up for a friendly round of badminton, this is the place to go to.

If you will be staying at one of the hotels near Balboa Park San Diego, come enjoy your time at the park, and make sure to visit one of the many hotels in the area. For more information visit