Petco Park#13 in Best Things To Do in San Diego
Price & Hours
Often considered one of the top baseball stadiums in the country, Petco Park is a must-visit for San Diego Padres fans or for anyone who wants to witness a baseball game and take in the striking San Diego skyline. The park, which was built in 2004, sits beside the city's historic Gaslamp Quarter and offers visitors views of San Diego's East Village. The stadium reflects its Southern California location through the light sandstone exterior and decorative palm trees and vegetation, as well as through its diverse dining options. Those who work up an appetite cheering on the team can snack on fish tacos, sashimi or kale quinoa salad in addition to typical ballpark bites like hot dogs and hamburgers. Visitors say the food selection is one of the highlights of the ballpark, and some locals admit to attending games simply for the tasty grub. San Diego's notoriously sunny and dry weather also makes Petco Park an ideal baseball stadium: The Padres rarely see home games rained out, so it's highly unlikely visitors will need worry about their plans getting canceled.
The stadium offers tours for anyone who wants to learn more about the ins and outs of the park. The daily tours highlight the press box, the dugout, the Padres Hall of Fame and more. Tours last about 80 minutes and tickets cost $20 for adults and $17 for seniors, members of the military and kids 12 and younger. Visitors can purchase tickets online or in-person at the Western Metal Supply Building Ticket Windows on Seventh Ave and K Street up to 30 minutes before the tour starts. The tour schedule differs, depending on game days, but any interested travelers can find the times on the ballpark's official website. On game days, visitors can pay $25 for a pregame tour. These tours cover most of the same sights as the daily tours but also let visitors witness the excitement and energy of game preparation.
The Padres play at Petco Park throughout the typical MLB season from April to October. Single game tickets start around $15 but increase depending on the day, the opposing team and the seating location. Of course, the seats closest to the field provide a great viewing experience, but many say the views of the field and the city skyline from the upper decks rival those of the lower seats.
Parking at Petco Park can be reserved online, and prices range from $10 to $35 based on proximity to the stadium. Visitors willing to get some exercise can also park at various garage locations in the Gaslamp Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods, and walk to the stadium. For more information, check out the San Diego Padres official website.
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#1 Balboa Park
Home to the renowned San Diego Zoo. this 1,200-acre park is the city's cultural hub. Located in downtown San Diego (about 2 miles north of the city center), Balboa Park is a great place for a stroll, bike ride or picnic. Wander around the park's many gardens while admiring the intricate Spanish-Renaissance architecture that permeates the grounds (the best examples are the California Building and the House of Hospitality). The Botanical Building is a great starting point in Balboa Park. The building is one of the most photographed places in Balboa Park and is one of the largest lath structures in the world. But don't just look at it. The famous botanical building features more than 2,100 permanent plants, including striking collections of tropical plants and orchids. The park also features a cactus garden, rose garden, a Japanese-style garden as well as a palm tree canyon, among many others.
But if you find yourself growing antsy just walking around and smelling the roses, there are plenty of attractions located here (many of them free). Take in a show at the Tony Award-winning Old Globe Theatre, visit the Spreckels Organ Pavilion to see one of the world's largest outdoor pipe organs, or the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater if you got the kiddos in tow. Museums are just as aplenty, with enough to suit all types of interests. Art lovers will enjoy the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts and Mingei International Museum while science enthusiasts will enjoy the Fleet Science Center and the Museum of Man. If you're traveling as a family, take some time to check out the San Diego Air & Space Museum or the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the world's largest operating model railroad museum. There's also an automotive museum and the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum, dedicated entirely to San Diego's sports history.
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