Posted February 23, 2009 by Kate Hamman
San Diego's Balboa Park wows picnickers and park-lovers alike with its open spaces, architecture, and overall natural beauty. However, you'll also find a range of museums and the ever-so-famous zoo, all of which you can tour for one low price. After you've worked up an appetite, dine in an outdoor sculpture garden, and then return to a cozy inn right on the park's edge.
Passport to Balboa Park: Though you can enter the world's largest urban cultural park for free, it'll cost you to visit any of its 15 museums. However, if you plan on seeing more than one, you can save with the Balboa Park Passport. For $39, you can visit 13 of these museums over a seven-day period and save more than 50 percent in admission fees. Attractions include the San Diego Museum of Art ($10 admission), the San Diego Air and Space Museum ($15 admission), the San Diego Natural History Museum ($13 admission), and the Museum of San Diego History ($5 admission). For $35 more, you can add a deluxe one-day admission to the San Diego Zoo.
Sculpture Court Café @ SDMA: Come sit outside among the sculptures of artists such as Rodin, Calder, and Henry Moore while you enjoy a relaxing lunch at the San Diego Museum of Art. Sculpture Court Café serves only the freshest ingredients, and you can choose from a wide range of sandwiches, pizzas, and salads. Many of the items on the menu are priced under $10.
Balboa Park Inn: For an eclectic and ideally-located stay near the park, the Balboa Park Inn can't be beat. Choose from 26 suites, each decorated with a different color scheme and a whole lot of quirky flair. For instance, the Beach House Suite is painted in ocean blues and includes a tropical mural above the bed. Rooms start at $99 per night, and include continental breakfast and free parking.
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(Photo: Joanne DiBona)