Public Gardens Listing: Balboa Park (San Diego, CA)

Balboa Park San Diego

While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.

If you live in or are visiting the San Diego, California, area, why not visit the Balboa Park gardens?

  • Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego, and it contains more than just gardens. Balboa Park also includes the San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Natural History Museum, George W. Marston House, the world-famous San Diego Zoo and more.
  • The San Diego Zoo is a short walk away from The Botanical Building. The zoo also has a fantastic plant collection and gardens in the park, so be sure to spend a day at the zoo to see the animals and the gardens, as well. A great aerial view of the zoo’s 700,000 plants (including 280 endangered and threatened plant species) can be seen from the zoo’s Skyfari aerial tram.
  • Balboa Park includes many individual gardens, including Alcazar Gardens, Cactus Garden, Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, Marston House Garden, Palm Canyon, Zoro Canyon, Japanese Friendship Garden, The Botanical Building and reflecting pool and more.
  • Balboa Park was the location of the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 and the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935. It is one of the oldest sites in the United States dedicated for public recreational use, and it is a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Check the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation’s website ( for shows in Balboa Park, including the Bonsai and Beyond Show, Dahlia Society Show, Cactus and Succulent Shows, Orchid Shows and more.
  • The Botanical Building was build for the 1915-1916 Exposition. It is one of the largest lath (latticework) structures in the world, and it contains more than 2,100 plants, including ferns, orchids, Venus flytraps, palm trees and more.

Balboa Park Quick Info
(619) 239-0512
1549 El Prado, San Diego, California 92101
Admission to Balboa Park and the Botanical Building is free
Open Friday through Wednesday from 10am-4pm
Closed Thursdays and holidays
(The Memorial Botanical Library and office are open from 10am-2pm on Thursdays.)



Additional information