Below is a list of the top and leading Parks in San Diego. To help you find the best Parks located near you in San Diego, we put together our own list based on this rating points list.
San Diego’s Best Parks:
The top rated Parks in San Diego are:
- Sunset Cliffs Natural Park – is a 68-acre resource-based park
- Balboa Park – was primarily called City Park
- Civita Park – is the focus of attention of the neighborhood’s network of parks, open space, and trails
- Mission Bay Park – is the biggest aquatic park of its kind in the country
- South Embarcadero Park – provides pristine views of the city skyline
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park committed in 1983 and it is a 68-acre resource-based park extending along the Pacific Ocean bordering the western edge of Point Loma. The 18-acre linear section of the park rests to the west of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard between Adair and Ladera streets. The 50-acre hillside section, a specified multiple species conservation area, links to the 640-acre Point Loma Ecological Reserve beginning at the Navy property to the south.
The park’s topography contains elaborately carved coastal bluffs, arches, and sea caves. It affords inspiring panoramic ocean views. From the cliffs, California gray whales often can be seen migrating yearly from the Bering Sea to Baja California, and back.
Park, Natural Cliffs
“Lots of surfers and great views, you can get down to the sand but it’s a bit of a hike wear good shoes to climb up and down.” – Lisa B.
Balboa Park was primarily called “City Park,” but was called after Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, in respect of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, held in the Park that year. Balboa Park was declared a National Historic Landmark, and a National Historic Landmark District in 1977.
Ever-changing. Always amazing. Where culture, science, and nature meet head-on, Balboa Park is home to more than 16 museums, multiple performing arts venues, lovely gardens, trails, and many other creative and recreational attractions, including the San Diego Zoo. With a variety of cultural institutions among its 1,200 beautiful and lushly planted acres, there is something for everyone.
Explore, Plan Your Visit, Outdoors
“World Class park, wonderfully kept, interesting museums and plenty of hiking trails and places to picnic. You can visit Balboa Park often and it is constantly changing. I love spending the day here exploring, hanging with family and Pokemon Hunting.” – Maribel W.
Civita Park is one of the largest public parks in the city of San Diego to be built in decades. The 14.3-acre, multi-level Civita Park is the focus of attention of the neighborhood’s network of parks, open space, and trails that encompass nearly one-third of the community.
Park, Playground, Open Space, Trails
“Awesome playground in mission valley. Great play areas for older kids and little toddlers and all ages in between. There is a cool sand pit. The ground is padded for safety. There are gardens all around. One of our fave playgrounds in San Diego.” – Juliana K.
Mission Bay Park
Mission Bay Park is the biggest aquatic park of its kind in the country. It comprises over 4,235 acres in approximately equal parts land and water. Mission Bay parades 27 miles of shoreline, 19 of which are sandy beaches with eight locations assigned as official swimming areas. At the western side is a network of channels and islands – an ideal spot for everyone from windsurfers to water- skiers.
You can swim, love the sun or rent a boat to explore the thousands of acres of waterways. Mission Bay Park offers boat docks and launching facilities, sailboat and motor rentals, bike and walking paths, basketball courts, and playgrounds for children. It is one of San Diego’s most enjoyable spots to visit.
Windsurfing, Water-Skiers, Boat Docks & Launching Facilities, Sailboat & Motor Rentals, Bike & Walk Paths, Basketball Courts & Playgrounds
“Great to see the park and rides opening back up again. Still limited capacity on rides and in certain areas but better than previous months. Not all the food and beverage stalls are open and some start to close well before the rest of the park does so consider the timing of food and snacks if your going to stay until the fireworks at night.” – David B.
South Embarcadero Park
South Embarcadero Park is located near a lively downtown and provides pristine views of the city skyline, vibrant waterfront, twinkling yachts in the marina, and the world-famous San Diego Convention Center. Its several amenities make it the ideal place for your next private event. The San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association is constructing a lasting outdoor performance and event venue in Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Amenities, Special Events, Weddings/Receptions
Address: 200 Marina Park Way, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 686-6200
“The less frequented of the two parks, but now home to the amazing music venue which looks like a huge conch shell. This is a great place to bring your dog and/or to do a workout circuit!” – Wendy S.
Shera Elliott graduated from the New Mexico State University with a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior & Health Care Management. Shera grew up in Los Angeles, but moved to Las Cruces for college. Shera has written for several major publications including the Albuquerque Journal and NPR. Shera is a community reporter and also covers stories important important to all Americans.