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3 . Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a must-see attraction while you're visiting San Diego. In fact, there is so much to see in Balboa Park - museums, gardens, theaters, the zoo - that you'll need several days to stroll through its 1,200 acres of beautiful buildings and gardens. Many of Balboa Park's graceful buildings were erected in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition.

Balboa Park include 15 museums, including the San Diego Natural History Museum, the oldest scientific institution in Southern California, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Timken Museum of Art, the Mingei International Museum of Folk Art, as well as museums devoted to aerospace, sports, photography, railroads, and automobiles. Many of the museums also include gift shops. The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is one of the largest planetariums and science centers in the United States, features interactive exhibits for children of all ages, and includes an IMAX theater.

If you're a theater or music lover, you can reserve seats at the Tony Award-winning Old Globe Theater, which produces plays year-round on three stages. In the summer, enjoy free Twilight in the Park organ concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. On Sundays, enjoy the many art fairs and cultural events at the Pacific Relations Cottages.

Take advantage of San Diego's mild and sunny weather and explore the many Balboa Park Gardens, including the Rose Garden and the Japanese Friendship Garden, as well as the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

You can also enjoy a good meal in Balboa Park. The park includes several conveniently located food carts and restaurants, including the Dinosaur Cafe in the Natural History Museum, the Flight Path Grill at the Air & Space Museum, the Tea Pavilion in the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Sculpture Court Cafe, Lady Carolyn's Pub at the Old Globe, and the award-winning The Prado.

No matter what time of year you visit San Diego, you'll find something to enjoy in Balboa Park.

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