Balboa Park Highlights Small-Group Walking Tour

Urban Adventures USA

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Customer Reviews

5 Ratings

Relevant Reviews


K W ·
· December 21, 2017
Fantastic - I was the only person booked on, but the tour went ahead. Jennifer was a great guide. It was informative and gave a great insight into the park and different areas with recommendations based on your was like waking around with a knowledgeable friend. The park pass was definitely a worthwhile purchase too.


Kimberly C ·
· October 7, 2017
Our tour was through Urban Adventures and our tour guide was Jennifer. It was just me and my husband, so ended up being a private tour for just the two of us. Jennifer is wonderful... really knows everything about the park, including lots of out of the way, interesting things we would not have seen otherwise. She's very friendly and is a wealth of information about travel in general. We will definitely look into using Urban Adventures in the future!


David M ·
· October 2, 2017
This was an excellent tour of Balboa Park and Jennifer was a wealth of information and history. Highly recommend it and her.

What You'll Get

Balboa Park is home to gorgeous gardens, lovely walking paths, and plenty of cultural gems, from theatres to museums featuring the arts, the sciences, and more. You’ll get a full overview of the park and its rich history on this San Diego walking tour that explores how the park has become a symbol of the city.

We’ll kick things off at the Founder’s Statue on the west side of the park. We think you’ll agree San Diegans were visionaries, when they set aside 1800 acres of land for the park all the way back in 1867. Then we’ll stop at the California Tower, built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, has since become a city landmark. The face of the tower depicts the early history of the city.

Next up, we’ll head to Alcazar Garden, which was inspired by the same-named gardens in Spain. Used for both the 1915 and 1935 expositions, the garden offered fair-goers a respite from the hustle and bustle of the exposition, and provides a picturesque foreground to photos of the California Tower. Snag the perfect Instagram shot while you’re here (remember, #localsknow).

Following after, we’ll head to the Old Globe Theater which is a Tony Award-winning, world-renowned professional theatre group modeled after The Globe Theatre London.

From there, we’ll walk through the heart of the Prado, where you’ll get to spy unique building façades and roof supports that most visitors don’t notice.

We’ll also check out Zoro Gardens, a sunken garden that was once a nudist colony (seriously) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. Today, it’s a butterfly garden that contains everything butterflies need for their full life cycle.

We’ll then continue past the Bea Evenson fountain, the Natural History Museum and we’ll pop into the Spanish Village Art Center to observe artists at work in their studios. By now you will have worked up a thirst so we’ll grab a drink at a local coffee cart before continuing on past one of the largest Morton Bay fig trees in California and the San Diego Junior Theater.

But we’re not done yet! We’ll then head to the Botanical Building (currently closed on Thursdays), home to more than 2,100 plants. It’s the perfect stop for photographers and flower-lovers alike, and the adjacent lily pond full of koi makes more than just a pretty picture — you’ll learn how the pond was an important part of the war effort during WWI and how it helped injured sailors and soldiers during WWII.

Our tour will end at the Plaza de Panama, but before we say goodbye, your guide will give you directions to the nearby Visitor Center (for snacks, maps, souvenirs, and museum passes), suggestions for places to eat, and tips on what else to see and do within the park.

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please wear casual dress and comfortable shoes, and take current weather conditions into consideration
  • The tour does not include museum access, though the guide can provide tips and information on visiting Balboa Park's museums
  • This is a family-friendly tour
  • This small-group tour requires a maximum of 12 people
  • Very occasionally museums, gardens and roadways are closed due to special events or routine maintenance. If this occurs, we will find a similar alternative for you to visit during your tour. 

  • Local English-speaking guide

  • One beverage at a park coffee cart

  • Food and drinks beyond what is included
  • Souvenirs and personal shopping
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Museum entrance

Departure Point

Next to Founder’s Plaza statues between 6th Ave and Balboa Drive on Laurel Street at the west entrance of Balboa Park. They are located in Sefton Plaza and are directly across the street from the Lawn Bowling Club.

Departure Time

2 hours 30 minutes

Return Details
Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park
San Diego, 92101

Voucher Info
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

The tour identified in this promotion is made available through Viator. Groupon is not affiliated with or sponsored by the Urban Adventures USA in connection with this deal. Please contact Groupon customer service for all inquiries related to this offer. Inquiries placed to Viator will be directed back to Groupon.

This offer is not eligible for promo codes.

The Fine Print

ALL SALES FINAL. Voucher valid only for date and time listed; may not be exchanged or redeemed for other dates. Purchaser name and phone number must be provided at checkout; this information will be shared with Viator and the tour operator for purposes of order fulfillment. Groupon promo codes may not be used for this offer. Groupon voucher Terms of Sale and Extraordinary Event Policy do not apply. See Viator voucher terms under "Viator Vouchers" here. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services. Offer is not eligible for our promo codes or other discounts.

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