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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Japanese Friendship Garden ("the Garden") is an expression of friendship between San Diego and its sister city, Yokohama. It illustrates two cultures and creates an immersive experience into Japanese culture. The Garden's design is based on centuries-old Japanese techniques adapted to San Diego's climate and florae and seeks to foster a relationship between humans and nature, providing a respite attuned to Japanese simplicity, serenity, and aestheticism.
Peruse a comprehensive assortment of natural history products featuring dinosaurs and murals from Fossil Mysteries, the A.R. Valentien Signature Collection of botanical art products, and inspiring gift ideas with a sustainable message.
All garden tours are FREE with paid admission!
We are closed New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, and Thanksgiving Day.
Upper Level - This tour consists of the upper 2.5 acres only.
No RSVP needed – your tour starts at the Front Entrance Gate
Lower Level - This tour consists of the lower 4.5-acre canyon expansion area.
Step back in time and experience one of the most interesting places in Balboa Park: The Historic Botanical Building. 45-minute docent-led tours showcase the origins, design and horticulture of Balboa Park’s historic Botanical Building.
Learn the fascinating story of English immigrant and world renowned begonia expert, Alfred D. Robinson—the man behind the building.
Tours will leave from the south end of the Lily Pond, at 11:00 am, every 3rd Friday.
Approximately one hour long, these tours meet at 11 a.m. every Sunday at the Visitor Information Center in the Park's House of Hospitality. Park Rangers discuss the historical and botanical treasures of Balboa Park. The Park Rangers are committed to helping visitors have a wholesome, safe, and rewarding outdoor experience.