Me Only Better

San Diego's Crown Jewel - The Balboa Park


Balboa Park is San Diego’s crown jewel and it is one of the premiere urban parks of the nation. It covers over 1,200 acres of land and includes lots of features for tourist attractions. Some of these features include about 15 museums, trails, recreational and passive park space, gardens, performing arts and international culture organizations, most importantly, the world famous San Diego Zoo.  recreational experience for visitors.

All of these features make it a site that provides a historical, educational, horticultural, and recreational experience for visitors.

The Park at San Diego City is well known for its astonishing architecture depicting Spanish Colonial Revival and also for the hosting of International Expositions in 1915 and 1935. It was the first time Spanish colonial revival architectural style had ever been used for buildings in the United States. It is also popular for its aesthetic displays of seasonal flowers, meandering paths through rolling lawns, and shady groves of trees.

Maintenance and Management

Balboa Park, formerly known as City Park, is maintained and managed by the Developed Regional Parks Division of the City of San Diego Park & Recreation Department and it used to be an undeveloped land of about 1,400 acres. It was only in 1892 that they began the process of landscaping on the site and afterwards, they constructed the water systems and roads. The old name, “City Park” was changed in 1915 when the Panama-California Exposition was to be hosted by San Diego, California. As it didn’t seem like a memorable name, the public were requested by the park commissioners to submit suggestions for the new name. Some of the name suggestions submitted by the public include San Diego Park, Miramar Park, Silver Gate Park and Horton Park. After much consideration, park commissioners decided on “Balboa Park” which was named after Vasco Nuñez de Balboa who was the first European to spot the Pacific Ocean while doing exploration in Panama.

Balboa Park is a very popular tourist attraction site in San Diego that has an annual estimate of about 14 million visitors coming to the park.

The park museums hold displays of world folk art, internationally significant art treasures, unique model railroads, exotic animal species, rare aircraft, sports memorabilia and many more historic items. Another notable place also located in Balboa Park is The Old Globe Theatre. The Globe presents at least 14 productions and 550 performances on its three stages every year. The park also has a sports complex named after John Morley, who was Park Superintendent from 1911-1939, a period that was essential to park’s development as two international expositions were held during that period. The sports complex includes facilities like a velodrome (bicycle track) where masters world cup championships are held, a swimming pool, USTA-awarded tennis courts and a disc golf course.

There are also other areas for recreational activities in Balboa Park like picnic and family play areas, canyon trails for hiking, three leash-free dog parks, a golf course and an area for lawn bowling.

Free Admission on Tuesdays!

Free admissions are offered to residents and active military and their dependents every Tuesday. Free admission on a rotating basis at the museum is also offered every Tuesday.

Another place of interest: San Diego Museum of Art