Culture, science and nature merge at San Diego’s Balboa Park

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Welcome to ever changing, always amazing Balboa Park in San Diego.

Where culture, science, and nature collide, Balboa Park is home to more than 17 museums, multiple performing arts venues, lovely gardens, trails and many other creative and recreational attractions, including the world-famous San Diego Zoo. With a variety of cultural institutions among its 1,200 beautiful and lushly planted acres, there is something for everyone.

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens and walking paths, it contains museums and several theaters. There are also many recreational facilities and several gift shops and restaurants within the boundaries of the park.

Placed in reserve in 1835, the park’s site is one of the oldest in the United States dedicated to public recreational use. Balboa Park is managed and maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of San Diego.

Named for the Spanish maritime explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the park hosted the 1915–16 Panama–California Exposition and 1935–36 California Pacific International Exposition, both of which left architectural landmarks. The park and its historic Exposition buildings were declared a National Historic Landmark and National Historic Landmark District in 1977 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Balboa Park is 150 miles from Toluca Lake. Southbound from I-5, take the Tenth Ave. exit, turn left on “A” St. and left on Park Blvd. Follow the signs to Balboa Park.

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Lynne Tucker is a travel writer and photojournalist for Camelot Journeys. She is based in Palm Desert.


About Author

Lynne Tucker is a travel writer and photojournalist based in Palm Desert.

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