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California

Balboa Park - A Taste of Escape in Sunny San Diego

San Diego, California is one of the most popular cities in the country, known for its gorgeous Pacific Ocean beaches, sunny weather and surfing, among other attractions. San Diego is the eighth largest city in the country as well as the second largest city in the state of California, next to Los Angeles. One must-see during a visit to San Diego is Balboa Park.

Balboa Park is an urban cultural park located in the heart of the city and stretching 1,200 acres. Balboa Park is registered on U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is San Diego’s #1 historic landmark. The park is full of green spaces and mature, unique trees. The urban forest space is largely the work of a plantsman named Kate Sessions. Kate Sessions, also known as the “Mother of Balboa Park,” was an avid gardener and horticulturist. She was born in San Francisco in 1857 and moved to San Diego in 1883. Sessions opened a nursery and owned a flower shop as well as fields. In 1892, Sessions reached a deal with the city of San Diego to lease 30 acres of land, where Balboa Park is today. In exchange for use of the land to grow her nurseries, she agreed to plant 100 trees a year within the park and 300 trees around other areas of the city as well. Prior to her engagement with the land, Balboa Park was almost completely barren. Thanks to her work, she imported and planted plant species from around the world. Her trees can still be seen thriving within the park today.

In addition to green spaces, walking trails and gardens, Balboa Park boasts a number of attractions, including theaters, museums and the renowned San Diego Zoo. Museums located within Balboa Park include the Centro Cultural de la Raza, San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego Hall of Champions and Veterans Museum & Memorial Center in addition to many others. Balboa Park offers an Explorer Pass, allowing you admission into the many museums within the park to maximize your experience.

The park also offers visitors shopping and dining options during their time in the park. The San Diego Zoo is one of the most notable attractions inside the park, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with nearly 660 species of animals. For more information on purchasing tickets and planning a trip to the San Diego Zoo, click here. When visiting San Diego, Balboa Park is a park that you won’t want to miss!


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