Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”. And we definitely agree.

Spring is upon us so what better way to embrace the season than to enjoy Balboa Park’s gardens?! Balboa Park is home to over 10 gardens that attract hundreds of visitors all year long. After strolling through the Park or visiting the museums, stop by one of the gardens to enjoy the beauty of nature. These are our top 3 favorite gardens to relax in!

Top 3 Gardens in Balboa Park

Inez Grant Memorial Rose Garden

Roses are red, some roses are blue, this rose garden is perfect for you! This garden is absolutely stunning and filled with nice aromas. The Rose Garden displays around 1,600 roses of more than 130 varieties. The garden is bloom from March through December, however the best time to visit is in April and May when the roses are at their peak. You can find a variety of roses here such as Hybrid Teas, Florabundas, and Grandifloras. Feeling tired? You can sit under the pavilion under the trellis for some nice shade. Be sure to also check out the cactus garden right next door! Both gardens are only a short walk across a bridge located next to the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Hours of Operation: Open 24/7 365 days

Admission: Free

Alcazar Garden

Want to experience Spain without paying thousands to travel there? Visit the Alcazar Garden in Balboa Park! Designed by San Diego architect Richard Requa in 1935, this garden is modeled after the gardens of the Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain. The Alcazar Garden contains 7,000 annuals and gorgeous, ornate fountains. Our favorite part about this garden is the shady pergola you can relax and enjoy the scenery in. You can also take some great (dare we say, ‘instagramable’) shots of the California Tower. This garden is located just west of the Mingei International Museum and San Diego Art Institute.

Hours of Operation: Open 24/7 365 days

Admission: Free

Zoro Garden

Fun fact: During the 1935 California-Pacific Exposition, the Zoro Garden was a nudist colony. But now, it is home to fully-clothed butterflies! This garden features a sunken stone grotto and contains the plants needed for the life cycle of butterflies. Ficus trees, California Lilacs, and monkey flowers surround this lovely garden. The best part? You can see monarch, skipper, sulfur, and swallowtail butterflies as well! Nothing says spring like butterflies and flowers. Be on the lookout for a butterfly release in April! This garden is located between the San Diego History Center and Fleet Science Center.

Hours of Operation: Open 24/7 365 days

Admission: Free


We are super excited for the spring season! Whether you love nature or need a quiet place to relax, there are many Balboa Park gardens for you to choose from. For a full list of gardens in Balboa Park, visit here.

What will you EXPLORE?

–       Jenny Nguyen, Balboa Park Explorer Team Member