Where Is It?
As you walk along The Prado, passed the last museum, The Museum of Man, keep your eye out for a small gate. Once you hear barking, you’re there.
Here’s the address: Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92104
The PROS: Spacious
Balboa Park’s dog park is so far the largest I’ve visited in San Diego. More than twenty dogs with their human friends will have more than ample room to run and roam. Your dog will love the open space. In all my visits with my dog, I still have not explored all of it. There are several places to enter and exit the park for accessibility to your parked car. It’s on a hill, but the decline is very slight. You’ll hardly notice. At the bottom is the grassier area while everywhere else is dirt, providing a variation in terrain. Both dog and human will enjoy a stroll around the large lot. The large space makes it one of my favorite places to take my dog as well as the fact that there will always be a lot of dogs and people to play with there whenever you visit.
The CONS: Lack of Shade and Seating
With the amount of sun we get regularly here in San Diego, more shade would be appreciated. The park has only a couple of scraggly trees and two of those are large enough to provide shade, but in such a large space, it isn’t much. Furthermore, you’ll be out there for at least an hour if you want to let your dog have a good run and sufficient exercise. Standing in the sun will definitely get to you. I suggest bringing a hat and wearing sunscreen. It is San Diego after all.
Seating includes one bench and a tree stump, for those who consider the latter as seating. The desperately tired would. Again, an hour or so of standing will tire anyone out. At least the dogs can sit anywhere they want. Be aware that everyone, including the dogs will be vying for a spot on that lone bench under the shady tree.
Like most dog parks, Balboa meets the basic needs: water fountain for dog and human and baggie stations. Any other entertainment features are unnecessary. The sheer number of dogs will be more than enough for everyone. However, although there is a dog fountain provided, remember that it’s a large park and that there is only one fountain. Your dog will need to drink and stay hydrated with all the fun and sun and walking from one end of the park to the other for water will get tiresome and your dog won’t appreciate being dragged away from all the fun. I suggest bringing a bowl and an extra water bottle for him. The other dogs will thank you too.