Water feature and intricate buildings in Balboa Park San Diego.

Balboa Park - The Cultural Heart Of San Diego

Stay at the Hilton hotel near Balboa Park to explore the history, legacy, and future of this San Diego cultural gem.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a magnificent cultural oasis that includes 17 museums, tranquil gardens and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. At 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in North America and a must see on any visit to San Diego. Located just a few miles from our hotel on Mission Bay, the park has a rich history reflected through stunning architecture, art installations, and cultural events throughout the year.

Visitor Center

The best way to start your adventure in Balboa Park is with a stop at the Balboa Park Visitor Center. Located across from The Prado Restaurant in the House of Hospitality, the Visitor Center has the most current and comprehensive information about the Park’s activities and attractions. Open from 9:30am-4:30pm daily, the Visitor Center offers brochures, maps, audio tours, free guided tours of the Park, transportation information, dining advice and more. Guests at our resort near Balboa Park have easy access to the Visitor Center.

The Balboa Park visitors center.

Top 5 Things To Do In Balboa Park

The San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is arguably the most famous zoo in the world. As the pioneer of cageless exhibits meant to recreate natural habitats, it’s home to almost 4000 animals consisting of over 650 species. It’s also one of only four zoos in the US that houses giant pandas and the first American zoo to breed them successfully. Only 8 miles away, our hotel close to Balboa Park affords easy access to one of San Diego’s most famous attractions.

El Prado

El Prado is the main pedestrian walkway in Balboa Park and acts as one of San Diego’s top public gathering areas. It’s home to many of the park’s cultural landmarks with buildings such as the Museum of Man, Museum of Art, the Old Globe Theater and more lining the boulevard. The Spanish Moor style architecture and lush greenery makes El Prado an inviting public area that locals are proud to call their own.

El Prado in Balboa Park.
The Botanical Building in Balboa Park.

Botanical Building

The Botanical Building’s unique lattice-like structure and its location next to the Lily Pond make it one of the most photographed spots in all of Balboa Park. Built for the Panama-California Exposition in 1915, the building remains one of the largest lath structures in the world. The free-of-charge attraction houses more than 2100 plants and features seasonal displays as well as a scratch and sniff garden that appeals to children of all ages.

Spanish Village Art Center

The Spanish Village Art Center is so named because of its courtyard surrounded by Spanish tiled buildings built in 1935. The colorful courtyard houses a community of over 200 working artisans spanning a wide range of disciplines that offer daily demonstrations of their crafts. Guests at our resort close to Balboa Park can take part in classes and workshops, buy pieces of art or just wander around and take in the scene.

The Spanish Village Art Center.
The Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion

The Spreckels Organ Pavilion is named after the donors of the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world, John and Adolph Spreckels. The organ has more than 5000 pipes with the longest being 32 feet. Since 1917 the city of San Diego has employed civic organists who play free concerts every Sunday at 2pm. As one of the top hotels near Balboa Park, guests of the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa are invited to enjoy all the pavilion’s entertainment functions.

Where To Eat Near Balboa Park

Acqua California Bistro

At our hotel close to Balboa Park, we offer waterfront dining at Acqua California Bistro which features New American cuisine. Providing a breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner services with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, Acqua has something for everyone. You can also enjoy dining to live music on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings.

Acqua restaurant during the day.
Happy hour drinks and food.

Olive Lounge

The Olive Lounge features indoor and outdoor seating with fire pits and modern decor. Sample the extensive cocktail menu, choose something from the award-winning wine list or enjoy the rotating craft beer selection with the all-day dining menu. Also featured from 2pm to 6pm every day is the Olive Lounge’s signature AFTER2 Happy Hour.

Best Hotel Near Balboa Park

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa on Mission Bay is one of the best hotels close to Balboa Park and provides instant access to all of San Diego’s attractions. Enjoy a variety of amenities and special programs serving every age group and interest. We offer great indoor and outdoor dining, direct access to the ocean and the perfect location for any family vacation. Check back often for special package deals and discounts.