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Plan the Perfect Day at Balboa Park


Whether you’re a southern-California newcomer or you’ve lived here all your life, it’s easy to see why Balboa Park is the heart and soul of San Diego. From world-class museums and performing-arts centers to laidback running trails and majestic gardens, it’s the perfect place to spend a day with friends or just explore on your own.

At The REY, we know how lucky we are to live within walking distance of Balboa Park, and we hope you feel the same. If you’re looking for a few ideas on how to plan the perfect day at Balboa Park, here’s how we would do it. 

Visit the Museums

Art aficionados love that Balboa Park is home to more than 15 major museums, some offering free admission to San Diego residents on Tuesdays. Visit the San Diego Art Institute to attend one of the many workshops on rotation. Learn about Life Drawing and embroidery or come watch a movie handpicked by the Artist in Residence.   

Balboa Park’s Can’t-Miss Museums:

  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • Mingei International Museum
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • Japanese Friendship Garden

Go for a Hike

One of our favorite things to do at Balboa Park is to bust out our running shoes and hit the trail. The park is home to 19 running and biking trails originating from five different gateways. The closet Balboa Park gateway to The REY is Park Boulevard Trails Gateway. Choose from four different trails, ranging in intensity from easy to difficult.

Park Boulevard Trails Gateway:

  • 3.0 mile trail – Easy
  • 1.2 mile trail – Easy
  • 3.7 mile trail – Medium
  • 6.0 mile trail – Difficult

Stop by Morley Field Sports Complex

Another great way to spend the day at Balboa Park is to drop in at Morley Field Sports Complex. Bring your racquet for a tennis match or work on your backstroke at the swimming pool. There’s even disc golf, a velodrome arena, and bocce ball courts available.  

Activities to Do at Morley Field Sports Complex

  • Tennis 
  • Swimming
  • Archery
  • Disc golf
  • Bocce ball
  • Velodrome cycling

Finish the Day with Happy Hour at The Prado

What better way to end the day than with happy hour at The Prado? Enjoy cheap drinks and small bites without ever leaving Balboa Park. The Prado combines the best of a casual atmosphere with delicious food and drink. Craving something sweet? We’re all about the Sorbet Trio – pear, forest berry, and mango sorbet with two types of sauces. Share it with your date or eat it all to yourself— who are we to judge?

The Prado Happy Hour - Tuesday-Friday (4-6pm)

$5.50 drink specials include:

  • Local Draft Beer
  • Prado Well Drinks
  • House Margarita
  • Lounge Chardonnay, Cabernet
  • Strawberry Margarita
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Spanish Blend Wine
  • Prado Mule

Now that you know our tips for spending the perfect day at Balboa Park, it’s time to get started planning your own. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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