Balboa Park is America’s largest urban park, home to 17 museums, 8 performance spaces, 15 restaurants and a number of attractions including the San Diego Zoo. There are 19 separate garden areas, 65 miles of hiking and biking trails, 5 children’s play areas and 3 dog parks. With so much to choose from, it’s easy to spend a whole day in Balboa Park.
The Natural History Museum here is particularly accessible and offers free wheelchair rental, assistive listening systems and entrance for service dogs. Each museum is run independently, so visitors should check accessibility
before a visit. Wheelchair users and those with limited mobility can benefit from the long smooth walkways around the park; it is recommended to avoid the hilly areas. You can also rent an Electriquette Wicker Cart (you must be over 16 and have a driver’s license) and ride down the historical Prado, or rent a surrey bike with place for 2, 4 or 6 people to tour the streets or the bike trails.
The Japanese Garden and the Rose Garden have smooth, wide paths suitable for wheelchairs. The two public restrooms in the park have wheelchair accessible
facilities. Many, but not all, of the museums and restaurants have an accessible bathroom. The Prado Restaurant, which offers fine dining and California cuisine, in the park is wheelchair accessible.
There are many accessible tram and bus stops around the park. Check the park map
to see the stop that is closest to where you would like to visit. The map also shows the location of the many parking areas; all have accessible parking places but at peak season these are filled quickly so it’s advisable to arrive before 10 a.m. There are two taxi stands in the park, one by the San Diego Zoo and the other in the Plaza de Panama in the center of the park.