Beautiful Balboa Park feels like its own city, specializing in serenity and knowledge.
With 15 museums, offering everything from photography to model trains, it has been dubbed “Smithsonian of the West.” There’s the Museum of Man, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Air & Space Museum; you get the picture.
And this ignores the Park’s performing arts, from the Old Globe Theatre (built in the style of Shakespeare's Old Globe in London) to free organ concerts every Sunday. As soon as you Cross Cabrillo Bridge—a 1,500-foot, seven-arch span—you feel like you’ve entered a gentler more erudite place. Botanical gardens and winsome sculptures call to mind less frenetic times.
A variety of tours are offered. Consider purchasing a Passport to Balboa Park; it will save you money and covers 13 of the Park's museums and, for a small additional fee, admission to the San Diego Zoo.