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Hidden (and not-so-Hidden) Places in Balboa Park

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San Diego's Balboa Park contains 1,200 acres of gardens, trails, museums, restaurants, fun activities, and tucked-away local treasures.
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1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
In the lower level of the Casa Del Balboa building in Balboa Park is one of the world's largest indoor model railway displays. There are several rooms, where you can see huge displays of trains going through miniature towns and landscapes. Parts...
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1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92102, USA
Located in the outdoor sculpture garden next to the San Diego Museum of Art is a little cafe that serves fresh food from local growers. You can either order your food from the to-go counter and sit with it in one of the oversize couches nearby or...
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1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
If you're interested in the history of San Diego, this is a great place to stop when you're at Balboa Park. There are several galleries displaying regional art, the Kumeyaay culture (local Native people), history of the Spanish and the Japanese...
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1800 Zoo Pl, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Located at the edge of Balboa Park, near the San Diego Zoo, is a 4 acre miniature railroad ride geared for children. Adults are required to sit with them in the train.
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1770 Village Pl, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Spanish Village is a well known part of Balboa Park, and is one of my favorite places to visit. It's created using the romanticized version of a Spanish villa and about 250 local artists are represented here. In many of the houses, you can watch...
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2191 Pan American Rd W, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
There are about 32 countries represented in this little section of Balboa Park, each country housed in its own cute little Spanish Colonial cottage built for the 1935 Exposition. Pictured here are the houses for China and Scotland. The little...
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2171 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
The gift shop is in the area of the Hospitality Houses and is packed with souvenirs from Balboa Park and San Diego. You will also find a lot of handmade items from around the world, and things like camera batteries, and water bottles (it can get...
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Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park, 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
The Mingei is one of my favorite museums in Balboa Park. Featured here are exhibitions that show the skill and craftsmanship of folk artists from around the world. Their gift shop is amazing and filled with gorgeous items and books about the items...
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2215 Pan American Rd E, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
The Japanese Friendship Garden is a beautiful Japanese garden that represents the Japanese philosophy of the universe and its elements. There's a koi pond, a rock garden, and a little area in the back where you can see some beautiful bonsai trees....
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1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
The building housing the gorgeous botanical garden in Balboa Park is often photographed, as it sits rather picturesquely at one end of a beautiful lily pond. The structure was originally built for the 1915-16 Exposition and houses a large...
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1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
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After exploring Balboa Park for a few hours, this is the place to be for a cocktail or lunch. The food is really good, and the chef has won multiple awards over the years. They've got great mojitos, and my new favorite drink, the caipirinha (sugar...
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Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, USA
Balboa park is a landscape of arts and culture in San Diego, including museums, such as The Natural History Museum, and the Museum of Photographic Arts. The photo above is of the large koi pond outside the botanical garden house. It makes for a...
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1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
With over 7,000 images from 850 artists, the Museum of Photographic Art displays a collection of pictures depicting the transformation of photojournalism and social documentaries from the early 19th century to modern day. Boasting works from Alex...