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Top 10 Attractions in Balboa Park

Balboa Park isn’t any old city park. It’s San Diego’s heart and soul. It’s a cultural powerhouse, an epicenter of fun and excitement, and the city’s premier relaxation destination. With a multitude of bike lanes throughout the park’s seemingly infinite 1,200 acres, exploring the country’s largest urban cultural park is a cyclist’s dream. Conveniently located only 10 minutes away from Balboa Park is Unlimited Biking. Rent a bike for the day to explore the many wonders of this park. Biking Balboa Park is the best way to see all of the amazing attractions, scenery and historic landmarks. Here are the top 10 attractions in Balboa Park:

  • Cabrillo Bridge

The most scenic entryway into Balboa Park, this iconic arch built for the 1915 exposition connects the city to the heart of the park’s El Prado cultural district. Walking this elevated overpass is delightful, but biking it is a thrill like none other. 

  • California Tower

For breathtaking 360-degree views from the Pacific Ocean to the Cuyamaca Mountains, look no further than California Tower. Perched atop the Museum of Us, the diverse range of architectural styles, arched arcades, and painstakingly detailed ornamental flourishes make this lookout tower a must-see.

  • House of Pacific Relations

Want to explore the whole world without leaving Balboa Park? The House of Pacific Relations features 31 cottages showcasing different cultures from across the globe. Even if you don’t arrive in time for its annual ethnic food fair or International Christmas Festival, special events and lawn programs are a consistent fixture. 

  • Botanical Building and Lily Pond

One of the largest lath structures in the world, The Botanical Building is also one of the most photographed locations in San Diego. With a stunning collection of over 1,200 tropical and flowering plants, this water-laden section of the park is a bastion of beauty and quietude. 

  • San Diego Museum of Art

With 17 museums in Balboa Park, there’s no shortage of inspiring institutions for a quick culture fix. The oldest and largest in the region, The San Diego Museum of Art features a delightful sculpture court, an immaculate garden, and over 30,000 works by the likes of Matisse, Dali, and Monet. 

  • San Diego Zoo

There’s a reason the San Diego Zoo is the most visited zoo in the country. A pioneer of open-air, cageless exhibits, this sprawling showcase of wildlife houses over 4,000 animals of 650 different species. The Skyfari gondola lift is an excellent way to see the zoo’s incredible range of ecosystems. 

  • Spanish Village Art Center

The minute you step foot into Spanish Village Art Center, it feels like you’ve entered a time machine into early 20th century Spain. Currently housing over 250 local artists, this SoCal pueblito is the city’s premier stop to observe painters, sculptors, metalsmiths, and jewelers hard at work on their latest masterpieces. 

  • Japanese Friendship Garden

An expression of friendship between San Diego and its sister city, Yokohama, the Japanese Friendship Garden combines traditional Japanese elements with Balboa Park’s ever-pleasant climate and landscape. The minimalist elegance of this San-Kei-En’s stone designs, waterways, and koi ponds are tranquil enough to have anyone forget they’re in a big city.

  • Balboa Park Carousel 

Located on the corner of two bike-friendly thoroughfares, the Dorothea Laub Carousel has been the backdrop of San Diego family memories for over 100 years. One of a handful of carousels in the world that still offer a historic brass ring toss game, this park staple is a must-visit for travelers with children (or anyone who needs a break from pedaling)

  • Spreckels Organ Pavilion 

Did you know Balboa Park is home to the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world? With over 5,000 pipes (some as tall as a telephone pole,) this highly embellished 100-year old musical behemoth is known for its enormous sound. If you visit on a Sunday, be sure to stay for the free concerts at 2:00 PM. 


Renting a bike with Unlimited Biking is the perfect way to explore all of these attractions in Balboa Park. With our high-quality bikes and friendly service, you’ll have everything you need for a memorable adventure. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, biking through Balboa Park offers an unparalleled experience of its beauty and history. Gear up with Unlimited Biking and make the most of your visit to this San Diego treasure!

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