Offshoot Tours

Offered every Saturday by trained volunteers, the tours start at 10:00am for an easy-paced one-hour walk with rotating themes. Tour themes include Balboa Park history (first Saturday of the month), palm trees (second Saturday), other trees in the Park (third Saturday), desert vegetation (fourth Saturday) and tour del dia (fifth Saturday).

There are no tours from Thanksgiving through the 2nd Saturday in January. Reservations are not required. Tours meet at the Visitors Center

Architectural Heritage Tours

The 1915 Panama-California Exposition held in Balboa Park introduced Spanish Colonial Revival architecture to Southern California and to millions of visitors. The California Building and its tower, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, and the "temporary" buildings along El Prado have stirred the souls of San Diegans for over 90 years.

Take a step back in time with Architectural Heriage Tours hosted by The Committee of 100

These tours are offered on the first Friday of each month at 10:00am.

Audio Tour

A fascinating audio tour of Balboa Park can be rented at the Balboa Park Visitors Center. There is an adult and child version of the tour, which covers Park history, architecture, horticulture, and cultural attractions--all created by experts in the field.

Last tour at 2:30. Tour takes approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Sefton Plaza

Located near the Park's west entrance on Laurel Avenue, Sefton Plaza features several bronze statues that provide a look into Balboa Park's history. A bronze statue of horticulturist Kate Sessions, often referred to as the "Mother of Balboa Park" is located on the southwest corner of the Plaza. The six and one-half foot statue depicts Kate as she is most fondly remembered-in a hat and long flowing skirt, a trowel in one hand and a seedling in the other.

Lady Carolyn's Pub

The Old Globe's outdoor food and beverage pavilion offers hearty soups in a sourdough bread tureen, crisp salads, assorted desserts and beverages like cool Italian soda, rich cappuccinos, a robust Merlot, and steaming Irish coffee

Daniel's Coffee

Coffees, teas, lattes, pastries and more.

Now located at Spanish Village Art Center.


Craveology is the perfect location to pick up the lunch or treat you're craving. The casual, friendly atmosphere has a great selection of items, including salads, sandwiches, wraps, flatbread pizzas and panini. We can satisfy any growling stomach! And if you’re looking to rejuvenate from your busy day, order a fruit smoothie, frappé or one of our specialty coffees and have a seat at our beautiful patio, located in front of the iconic Balboa Park Bea Evenson Fountain. Admission to the Fleet is not required for a visit to Craveology, so stop by, feed your craving and enjoy the view.

Albert's Restaurant at the San Diego Zoo

Located in Lost Forest in the heart of the Zoo, Albert’s offers full-service dining where you can enjoy open-air deck seating overlooking a private waterfall. The menu features a variety of unique dishes: seafood specialties, beef and chicken entrees, healthful pastas, pizzas, exotic salads, sandwiches, and a children’s menu. A full service bar offers an extensive selection of craft beers, fine wines, and exotic cocktails.

Albert’s is open for lunch and summer evening dining.

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is 100 acres in size. It is well known for its lush, naturalistic habitats and unique animal encounters and is home to more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals representing approximately 660 species and subspecies and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 plants. It is viewed in several ways, first and foremost by walking along pathways, into aviaries, and through bioclimatic zones. Zoo guests may view rare giant pandas, cuddly looking koalas, reptiles of various shapes and sizes and many more interesting species. 

Trees for Health Garden

This educational garden promotes a better understanding of the value and uses of medicinal plants. The living collection of plants also helps develop public appreciation of local and global conservation and includes plants like Ginko, Cinnamon, Mulberry, and more.  The garden is located on the park's West Mesa, on the corner of Balboa Dr. and Quince St.