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Parks & Gardens



Balboa Park
1549 El Prado, Suite #1
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 239-0512
The beautiful Balboa Park is considered one of the largest cultural complexes in the United States. The Park covers an area of 1,200 acres and is minutes away from downtown San Diego. The Park boasts over 85 cultural and recreational organizations here, including fifteen museums and various performing arts groups, and home to world famous San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park is also acclaimed for its horticultural treasures - a host of glorious gardens including an award-winning rose garden and a butterfly garden; rare plant species; 58 different varieties of palm trees; and an outstanding Botanical Building housing over 2,000 different tropical plants. All these botanical marvels are set among manicured lawns, shady groves of majestic trees or nestled within peaceful vistas.


The rich ethnic diversity of San Diego is reflected in the Park's attractions: the Centro Cultural de la Raza; WorldBeat Center celebrating cultures of African origins; the Japanese Friendship Garden; and the House of Pacific Relations-17 cottages which are home to groups representing 30 different nations. Many of the museums along the Park's celebrated El Prado walkway are housed in magnificent Spanish Colonial buildings, originally built for the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition. It was the first time that this richly ornamented architectural style had ever been used in this country. Visit the museums with your Passport to Balboa Park, a discounted admission booklet that you can buy at the Visitors Center or in any participating museum. It costs $30, it's valid for a week, and gets you into 13 Park attractions-a $70 value!


Belmont Park and Wave House
3146 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: (858) 228-9310
Fax: (858) 488-6658
Belmont Park is San Diego's only beachfront amusement center and home of the historic Giant Dipper Roller Coaster and Plunge. Belmont Park carries on the tradition of old-time family fun featuring The Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, Chaos, Vertical Plunge, Krazy Kars, Tilt-A-Whirl, Liberty Carousel, Crazy Submarine, Thunder Boats, and Baja Buggies.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, CA 92093-0207
Phone: (858) 534-FISH (3474)
Faxx: (858) 534-7114
Birch Aquarium is thee interpretive center for the Scripps institution of oceanography in La Jolla, California. It is a public education center for Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD. There are more than 3,000 fish, an oceanographic museum, and a Spectacular view.

Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego
2215 Pan American Way, East
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 232-2721
Fax: (619) 232-0917
The Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego has roots in the 1915 World Exposition. After the Exposition, strong community interest kept the Japanese Tea Pavilion open for thirty years within Balboa Park, San Diego's Culture Center. With the development of San Diego's Sister City relationship with Yokohama in 1950, forty years of gift exchanges followed, kindling feelings of shared ideals represented by the Japanese Garden. In Balboa Park and features a koi pond and Japanese art exhibits. Available for weddings.

Mission Trails Regional Park
One Father Junipero Serra Trail
San Diego, CA 92119
Phone: (619) 668-3275
Fax: (619) 668-3282
The Park encompasses nearly 5,800 acres of both natural and developed recreational acres. Its rugged hills, valleys and open areas represent a San Diego prior to the landing of Cabrillo in San Diego Bay in 1542. Centrally located and only eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego, Mission Trails Regional Park provides a quick, natural escape from the urban hustle and bustle.

Pacific Rim Park
1401 Shelter Island Dr.
San Diego, CA 92106
Phone: (760) 436-3525
Fax: (760) 436-3997
Inspirational gateway park on Shelter Island, designed by James Hubbell, created by international students, honoring San Diego's Chinese and Russian Sister Cities-with the San Diego-Yantai Friendship Rose Garden in Yantai, China, and the Soil and Earth Park in Vladivostok, Russia.

Quail Botanical Gardens
230 Quail Gardens Dr
Encinitas, CA 92024
Phone: (760) 436-3036
Fax: (760) 632-0917
Quail Botanical Gardens is dedicated to the conservation of rare and endangered plants from across the globe. San Diego visitors and residents are invited to experience this spectacular collection of flora. Tours, nature walks, lectures, landscape advice and instructional programs are offered to advance public awareness of plant diversity

San Diego County Parks & Recreation Information and Reservations
2454 Heritage Park Row
San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: (858) 694-3049
Toll free: (877) 565-3600
Fax: (858) 495-5841
Choose from camping, picnicking, fishing, boating, hiking, historic sites, volunteer opportunities, weddings and visitor information. We've got it all! Here are some of the parks

Agua Caliente County Park
39555 County Route S-2
A very popular park during the winter, this desert oasis is known for its beauty and solitude, and for the soothing mineral waters in its two naturally fed pools.

Dos Picos County Park
7953 Dos Picos Road
Ramona CA 92065
Sheltered by steep, boulder-strewn mountain slopes, this park is designed to highlight the ancient oak groves that make your stay here memorable. Camping, picnicking, and weddings are welcome with prior reservations..

El Monte County Park
15805 El Monte Road
Lakeside, CA 92040
Seven grassy areas in this popular 98-acre park. Picnicking, weddings and parties are welcome with prior reservations.

Felicita County Park
742 Clarence Lane
Escondido, CA 92029
Seven areas on 53 acres of dense oak groves and grassy play area. Picnicking, weddings and parties are welcome with prior reservations.

Flinn Springs County Park
14787 Old Highway 80
El Cajon, CA 92021
There are three areas plus three small group areas on 40 acres. Picnicking, weddings and parties are welcome with prior reservations.

Guajome County Park
3000 Guajome Lake Road
Oceanside, CA 92054
Only minutes away from the Pacific Ocean, Guajome Regional Park is known both for its rich natural habitats (including a small but beautiful lake) and its historic Rancho Guajome adobe. Camping and weddings are welcome.

Lake Jennings County Park
10108 Bass Road
Lakeside, CA 92040
RV campers come to this lakeside park for a relaxing sense of being in the country, yet it's only a few miles from downtown San Diego. Perfect for camping and for bringing your RV.

Lake Morena County Park
2550 Lake Morena Drive
Campo, CA 92006
The spectacular lake is a magnet for anglers, yet the 3250 acres of this East County park offer something for every outdoor enthusiast, from hikers to picnickers to just plain campers.

Pine Valley County Park
28810 Old Highway 80
Pine Valley, CA 92062
There are three areas on 17 acres featuring tall pines and ancient oaks. Picnicking welcome with prior reservations.

Potrero County Park
24800 Potrero Park Drive
Potrero, CA 92063
Quiet solitude describes this park, but it's also near some adventurous places, such as historic Campo and the colorful Mexican town of Tecate. Camping and picnicking is welcome.

San Dieguito County Park
1628 Lomas Santa Fe Drive
Del Mar, CA 92014
Only minutes from the ocean are four areas in this 125-acre park. Picnicking and weddings are welcome with prior reservations.

Sweetwater Summit Regional Park
3218 Summit Meadow Road
Bonita, Ca 91902
This park specializes in accommodating equestrians, but all of those who love the outdoors will enjoy their stay in this park, which is also close to major attractions such as golf courses, the San Diego Zoo, and Tijuana. Camping is welcome.

Vallecito Regional Park
37349 County Route S-2
The reconstructed sod Butterfield Stage Station is at the heart of this desert refuge, which is a great home base from which to explore the wonders of the Anza-Borrego Desert. Camping is welcome.

William Heise County Park
4945 Heise Park Road
Julian, CA
Perhaps our most beautiful park, Heise lies amid 900 acres of mountain forests. The nearby town of Julian is a great place to visit. Camping is welcome.

The Flower Fields of Carlsbad California
5600 Avenida Encinas #100
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Info: (760) 431-0352
Phone: (760) 930-9123
Fax: (760) 431-9020
For over sixty years, Mother Nature has transformed the rolling hills of North San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty anywhere in the world in 50 acres of sheer delight. Group tours are available.
Season: Spring (Early March through early May)

 

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