Directions and Parking
Latest Traffic Alerts
Central Balboa Park is undergoing many changes to its appearance and parking. Be sure to check the latest traffic alerts so that you are up-to-date on parking, drop-offs, valet service, deliveries, special events, and overall park access, including possible road closures.
Cabrillo Bridge/Laure Street Overpass Renovation January 2 through April 30The 100 year-old Cabrillo Bridge is undergoing renovations from January 2-April 30, 2014, at which time it will be closed to automobile traffic. Use the Park Boulevard entrances to Balboa Park, or park along Balboa Drive and Sixth Avenue and then enter the park on foot across the bridge, which will be open to pedestrians and bicycles.
Closest ParkingThe best place to park is on Balboa Drive or Sixth Avenue on the west side of the Cabrillo Bridge, just off of Laurel Street. Pay attention to signs: on some stretches, parking is not allowed before 10 a.m. for street-cleaning on different days. After parking, you'll see the grandest entrance to the park as you head east on foot across the Cabrillo Bridge toward the arches of the California Quadrangle and toward the California Dome and Tower.
Coming from the west, Laurel Street changes to El Prado as it enters Balboa Park across the historic Cabrillo Bridge. The San Diego Museum of Man is in the California Building, a San Diego landmark with its tower and tiled dome, located at the east end of Cabrillo Bridge at the entrance to Balboa Park. The most direct approach to the Museum is from the west via Laurel Street/El Prado. The Museum of Man (in red) and parking (in yellow) are shown on the map at the bottom of the page. For a larger version of the map, click here (PDF format).
From Downtown San Diego:
Head north on 6th Avenue, and turn right at El Prado.
From the south via Interstate 5:
Head northwest and continue on I-5 northbound. Take Exit 16B (6th Avenue), turn right onto 6th Avenue, then turn right onto El Prado.
From the east or west via Interstate 8:
From I-8 East or West take Hwy 163 southbound. Take Exit 2C (University Avenue), and continue straight on 6th Avenue. Do not turn on University, but turn left at El Prado.
From the east via U.S. 94:
Take 94 westbound to I-5 northbound, then take the 6th Avenue exit, turn right on 6th Avenue to El Prado, then turn right at El Prado.
From the north via Interstate 805:
Take I-805 south to Hwy 163 toward Downtown. Take Exit 2C (University Avenue), and continue straight on 6th Avenue. Do not turn on University, but turn left at El Prado.
From San Diego International Airport:
Take Harbor Drive east to Laurel Street, turn left and follow Laurel up the hill, continuing to Balboa Park. Laurel Street becomes El Prado at the entrance to the Park.
Park in the vicinity of 6th Avenue and El Prado, in the Alcazar Garden Parking Lot, or in the Organ Pavilion parking lot for easy access to the heart of Balboa Park. There are also numerous smaller lots throughout the Park. Click here to download a Balboa Park map showing parking lots and tram stops—the Museum of Man is No. 7 on the map.
Valet parking is offered in front of the House of Hospitality and The Prado restaurant in the Plaza de Panama. Hours of service are Tuesday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday from 5:00 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. There is no valet parking on Mondays.
Balboa Park Tram:
We encourage visitors to use the FREE BALBOA PARK TRAM. The tram parking lot is located on the east side of the intersection of Park Boulevard and Presidents Way. Ride the tram to the stop near the San Diego Museum of Art and House of Hospitality. The Museum is a short walk down the Prado, west toward the Cabrillo Bridge. The tram runs every eight minutes and travels in a loop through the Park. Tram stops are shown on the Balboa Park map.
View Larger Map