Your Destination Guide to San Diego

Destination Guide San Diego - Your Destination Guide to San Diego, CA

Join the Community

Log In

Parks and Gardens

Parks and Gardens
Parks and Gardens

© Chris Radcliff

The buzz of bees, the crisp air, the cool shadows, the sunny slopes. Visiting one of San Diego's many parks and gardens is a great exit strategy in the event of city overload. The variety of plantlife and even climates is astounding. Consider the Quail Botanical Gardens, a veritable paradise of 3,000 plant varieties thriving in zones ranging from the high desert to a tropical rainforest. The famous Balboa Park, San Diego's crown jewel, encompasses numerous landscaped and garden areas, as well as several gardens famous on their own, such as the Japanese Friendship Garden. To enjoy a less manicured experience, try Mission Trails or Palomar, both offering natural forested areas great for camping, picnicking, and hiking.

San Diego | Parks and Gardens

Alcazar Garden
  • Alcazar Garden
  • Walking through the pedestrian breezeway in Balboa Park, you might not know that a courtyard patterned after the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain exists a few feet away.
  • View More >
Desert Garden
  • Desert Garden
  • The lush Desert Garden is a treat for the eyes and is open every day of the year. Located in the historic Balboa Park near the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden and just north of the Park Boulevard pedestrian bridge, the Desert Garden is a vibrant oasis of succulent blooms and gorgeous cacti.
  • View More >
Gardens of Balboa Park
  • Gardens of Balboa Park
  • Within the center of this city by the sea is Balboa Park, a cultural and botanical oasis providing a mind-boggling breadth of educational and sensory offerings, including numerous gardens. Blessed...
  • View More >
Heritage Park
  • Heritage Park
  • From their quiet hilltop perch, Heritage Park Victorian Village's seven Victorian structures peek down at Old Town San Diego's bustling streets.
  • View More >
Inez Grant Parker Rose Garden
  • Inez Grant Parker Rose Garden
  • Take a moment to stop and smell the roses at Balboa Park's Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, one of Balboa Park's most popular gardens and a highly desirable wedding location.
  • View More >
Japanese Friendship Garden
  • Japanese Friendship Garden
  • The tranquil and stunning Japanese Friendship Garden has its origins in the Japanese Tea Pavilion built in 1915 for the Panama-California World Exposition. After the Exposition, it continued to operate for thirty years, cared for by volunteers.
  • View More >
Kate Sessions Memorial Park
  • Kate Sessions Memorial Park
  • The panoramic views of San Diego and tranquil refuge from boisterous Pacific Beach all make the steep trek up Mount Soledad to Kate Sessions Regional Park worth your effort.
  • View More >
Mission Trails Regional Park
  • Mission Trails Regional Park
  • The rugged terrain of Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) evokes a San Diego of the distant past, with all of its natural beauty and plentiful opportunities for outdoor enjoyment.
  • View More >
Old Town Historic Park
  • Old Town Historic Park
  • Old Town salutes its humble heritage with the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Prior to the founding of Mission Basilica, San Diego was a simple Mexican pueblo consisting of a few adobe huts and the rudimentary trappings of a small village.
  • View More >
Palomar Mountain State Park
  • Palomar Mountain State Park
  • Enjoy the fresh crisp mountain air and the simplicities of nature at Palomar Mountain State Park, featuring breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean and acres of natural forests, streams and ponds.
  • View More >
Quail Botanical Gardens
  • Quail Botanical Gardens
  • Few locations in the world can boast as many horticultural habitats as the Quail Botanical Gardens located on over 35 acres in Encinitas 30 miles north of San Diego.
  • View More >


  • 75°
  • A Few Clouds
A Few Clouds