This article was published on January 12th, 2014
It’s rare to find a park with so much to see and do in one location as Balboa Park in San Diego, California. There are so many activities a visitor could spend days exploring the 1,200 acre urban cultural park.
Named as a National Historic Park, Balboa Park is home to museums, the San Diego Zoo, walking and hiking paths, and spectacular gardens. Many of the buildings on the site remain from two major events held on the grounds; the 1915–1916 Panama–California Exposition and 1935–1936 California Pacific International Exposition.
Because of the history in the area and the past exhibitions, much of the architecture is of Spanish design and influence. These buildings have been preserved over the years and have been repurposed into wonderful art galleries and museums. From natural history to aviation, and architecture, to railroads, science and sex / torture, there are plenty of exhibits to see.
In addition to the beautiful gardens and parkland, there are a host of sporting facilities including an 18-hole golf course, a velodrome, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, archery ranges, disc golf course, and a public swimming pool.
Over 12 million people visit the park each year, including 150,000 people who attend the two-day San Diego Pride festival. Other parades, fairs and race events, like the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon and the America’s Finest City Half Marathon begin or end in Balboa Park.