Free Romantic, Scenic Picnic and Historical Parks to Visit that are alcohol friendly in San Diego County   

#1 Balboa Park, San Diego (North Downtown Area) Address 1549 El Prado San Diego, 92101 Visitor Center Phone# 619-239-0512 Visitor Center Hours: 9:30am-5pm

Park is open: 24/7 Free Park entrance & free parking in/around Balboa Park  and the: Balboa Park Mobile App

  • At 1.8 square miles Balboa Park is the largest urban park in the United States. The land set aside for Balboa Park was established in 1868.
  • There are 17 Museums, 10+ Restaurants and food carts. 65-miles of hiking trails, 10 gardens to explore, The Spanish Art Village, International Cottages, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, spectacular historical Spanish architecture and so much to explore throughout the park.
  • I’ve developed a 45-Minute walking tour through Balboa Park. Email me if you would like a free pdf copy:  

Lawn Areas within Balboa Park where you can drink alcohol responsible, 12pm-8pm 7 days a week. (No Glass) Dogs are allowed on leashes.

-Botanical Building East & West Lawns  ( Renovation of these areas is taking place in 2023) My Favorite Picnic Spot in Balboa Park.

Federal Lawn (President’s Way and Pan American Rd., SW Corner; near the Comic Con Museum)

House of Pacific Relations Lawn (at the split of Pan American Rd and Pan America Place)

International Lawn (in the center lawn area at the International Villages) My #2 Favorite Picnic Spot in the Park.

-Moreton Bay Fig Lawn (In front of the Natural History Museum)

Pan American Plaza Lawn (Between Pan American Rd. West & Pan American Place; in front of the Balboa Park Club)

-Recital Hall Lawn (Between Pan American Rd. West & Pan American Place; in front of the Recital Hall)

#2 Carmel Creek Park- (Del Mar/Carmel Valley Area) Address: 4260 Carmel Center Rd San Diego, CA 92130

-Beautiful Family Park where you can have an alcoholic drink or two, but no glass.

-Trees, Picnic Tables, Nice Playground, and dogs allowed on leashes.

#3 Lake Murray Community Park – Address: 7001 Murray Park Drive, San Diego (La Mesa)

-Large Open, grassy park located around the Lake Murray Reservoir. Paved Loop bath for bike riding and walking, picnic tables, playground for the kids, dogs allowed on leashes and alcohol friendly.  

#4 Presidio Park : Address: 2727 Presidio Dr, San Diego, CA 92103 (Located above Old Town San Diego) Park Information:  

-Presidio Park was established in 1937.  In 1769 it was the first European Settlement location on the US’ West Coast. Beginning centuries before that large portions of San Diego County and coastal Baja Mexico where inhabited by the Kumeyaay Native Americans.

-Park Size 40 Acres, Dogs and alcohol allowed (no glass) from 8am-8pm, Park closes at 7pm during winter months.

-Presidio Park is divided into 4 lawn/park areas-Inspiration Point, Palm Canyon, Padre Cross, and The Arbor + Junipero Serra Museum in the Padre Cross area, built in the 1920’s.

#5 Tecolote Community Park: Address: 4675 Tecolote Rd. San Diego ( Kearny Mesa/Linda Vista Area)-

-Alcohol and dogs allowed on leashes; no glass.

-Right next to this park is the Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and Nature Center at 5180 Tecolote Rd.

-Which has 6.5 miles of hiking, jogging and biking trails and lots of bird watching.

-Tecolote Nature Center at the Park is open Wed.-Sat. 10am-4pm you can get trail maps,  and the Kumeyaay Village is located in the native plant garden outside the nature center.

-Or you can print this trail map of trails within Tecolote Canyon:  

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