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Balboa Park in San Diego

Balboa Park is a large recreational and entertainment complex in San Diego that offers diverse leisure activities for every tourist — 19 gardens, 17 museums, 13 recreational areas, 9 stages for performances, various attractions and playgrounds, restaurants, dog lawns and walking trails.

Balboa Park — The Emergence of a Miracle in San Diego

Balboa Park — San Diego Reserves & Parks — American ButlerBalboa Park has existed for more than 150 years and provides many activities for the whole family. The land, on which epic green spaces are now located, stood idle for two decades before the first steps in the direction of improvement began.

The park is central to the history of San Diego. While in the middle of the XIX century the city was inhabited by only 2,300 residents, its leaders had a keen desire to create a cult park.

Over the years, the development of City Park, as it was then called, was insignificant. In 1892, the local gardener and botanist Kate Session rented 36 acres of land for the nursery. In exchange for the use of land, she agreed that it would be open for free visits. Another condition was that she would annually donate hundreds of trees and plants to the city for improvement.

In 1910, when preparations were being made for an exhibition dedicated to the opening of the Panama Canal, the park was renamed. The new name was given in honor of the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa — the first European to cross Central America and see the Pacific Ocean. Scheduled for one year, the exhibition was later extended to a second. During this time, more than 3.7 million people visited it.

Twenty years later, the Pacific International Exhibition was held in San Diego to stimulate the local economy during the Great Depression. Additional facilities were added to the park, including the iconic Old Globe Theater.

In 1977, Balboa Park and surrounding buildings were declared a historical monument and entered into the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the park is the center of art and culture of San Diego.

Balboa Park — San Diego attractions photo — American Butler

What to visit in Balboa Park

Having survived from fires, wars and strife, the green space in the city center now provides a worthy alternative to the beach. 365 days a year, Balboa Park offers recreational opportunities, family fun and sports facilities. Check out these iconic places during your San Diego vacation.

  • San Diego Air and Space Museum

Balboa Park San Diego — photo Old Globe Theater — American ButlerThis museum has a collection of spacecraft and aircraft from around the world. Check out our simulators and 3D cinema, a copy of the Spirit of St. single seat Louis, the real GPS satellites and the Apollo 9 spacecraft module.

  • San diego zoo

The world famous San Diego Zoo occupies a huge part of Balboa. Visitors can enjoy exploring different species of animals and their lifestyle. Giraffes, orangutans, elephants, giant turtles — symbols of the reserve.

  • Spreckles Organ Pavilion

Located in the heart of Balboa Park, this open organ pavilion seats up to 2,500 people. The first of its kind in the open air has impressed guests since 1914. All concerts are free and open to the public. Take chairs and blankets with you and have a picnic while listening to music under the evening sky.

  • Old Globe Theater

The mission of Old Globe is to preserve, strengthen and develop the American theater. It shows performances both outdoors and indoors year-round. You will be amazed at the complexity and variety of productions and talent of artists.

Additional Information
Address San Diego, CA
Telephone + 1-619-239-0512
Cost Free
Mode of operation The park is open 7 days around the clock
Web site Visit website

An American Butler tour is a convenient way to explore Balboa Park.

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  • 2.Comments and ratings
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  • 4.Payment history
  • 5.Subscribe to news and updates
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