The Prado at Balboa Park

The Prado, an award-winning, full-service restaurant located in the House of Hospitality, offers charming indoor and outdoor dining. The unique décor blends the historical aspects of the House of Hospitality and whimsical accessories inspired by the Park museum collections. The diverse cuisine includes an array of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and imaginative entrées. The lounge combines a lighter menu with a wide variety of margaritas, sangria, beer, wine and other beverages.
Reservations are accepted and recommended.

Botanical Building and Lily Pond

The view of the Botanical Building with the Lily Pond and Lagoon in the foreground is one of the most photographed scenes in Balboa Park and a “must-see” destination in San Diego.  Built for the 1915-16 Exposition, along with the adjacent Lily Pond and Lagoon, the historic building is one of the largest lath structures in the world.  The Botanical Building plantings include more than 2,100 permanent plants, featuring fascinating collections of cycads, ferns, orchids, other tropical plants and palms. The Botanical Building also presents some of the Park’s vibrant seasonal flower displays

1935 (Old) Cactus Garden

This historic garden was developed under the direction of Kate Sessions for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. It contains some of the largest cactus and succulent specimens in the Park and has also been developed to include the exotic African and Australian Protea plants. 

Alcazar Garden

Alcazar Garden, named because its design is patterned after the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain, lies adjacent to the Art Institute and Mingei Museum. It is known for its ornate fountains, exquisite turquoise blue, yellow, and green Moorish tiles and shady pergola. This formal garden, bordered by boxwood hedges, is planted with 7,000 annuals for a vibrant display of color throughout the year. The garden has been reconstructed to replicate the 1935 design by San Diego architect Richard Requa.

Desert Garden

The Desert Garden was established at the Park Blvd. location in 1976 and contains more than 1,300 plants, including succulents and drought-resistant plants from around the world, within its 2.5 acres.

The peak blooming period is January through March; however, these plants are interesting at any time of year because of their unusual shapes

Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden

The stunning Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden displays approximately 1,600 roses of more than 130 varieties on a three-acre site full of fragrance, color, and beauty. The garden is in bloom from March through December, with the roses usually at their peak in April and May. New varieties are introduced each year in order to display some of the latest plants available in the commercial market. In addition to enjoying the beauty of the garden, it is a great place to evaluate roses for planting in private gardens.

Marston House Garden

The Marston House Garden, a formal English Romantic-style garden with California influences, represents a slice of San Diego history. The formal garden was designed by Hal Walker and William Templeton Johnson in 1927 and is located on the 4.5 acre grounds of the George White and Anna Gunn Marston House, a beautiful example of the Arts and Crafts style.

Palm Canyon

Palm Canyon is a tropical oasis, containing more than 450 palms (58 species) within its 2 acres. A true hidden spot in Balboa Park, the winding paths take the visitor into a shady, lush canyon. The original group of Mexican fan palms - so prominent in the canyon - date back to 1912. In 2001, the California Conservation Corps restored the historic trail that connected Palm Canyon to the Old Cactus Garden. The garden also features a picturesque wooden footbridge leading from the Alcazar Gardens parking lot to across the street from the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

Veterans Memorial Garden

Located on a one-acre parcel of land in front of the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, the garden was dedicated on Veterans Day, November 11,  2005. The Garden honors veterans of all eras who served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Wartime Merchant Marine.

Zoro Garden

A sunken stone grotto garden that was designed as a nudist colony during the 1935 California-Pacific Exposition--is now a butterfly garden containing both the larvae and nectar plants needed for the complete life cycle of butterflies. Miniature indentations built into rocks collect small pools of water for the monarch, sulfur, and swallowtail butterflies that can be seen among the colorful perennials and majestic ficus trees that surround the garden.