Nearly everyone in America has heard of San Diego’s Balboa Park, and most have at least seen parts of it in popular movies, but few have an idea of just what’s inside these imaginary walls. When most people hear the word park, they think of plenty of green grass, walking trails, gardens and wildlife. Well, this particular park is a whole lot more! If you ask your San Diego movers what’s there, you will likely find your heart beat a little faster with excitement when they tell you. Go explore; unpacking can wait!
- San Diego Zoo – Is there really a zoo in a park? There sure is! More than 4,000 endangered and rare animals live here from over 800 species and subspecies. From cuddly koalas to rare giant pandas to swinging orangutans, there is plenty to see here.
- Spanish Village Art Center – The city’s largest community of artists make up 37 studios and galleries. They also offer daily art demonstrations. Whether you are interested in basket weaving, sculptures, painters, jewelry designers, clay artists, photographers, etc., there is something for everyone.
- Balboa Park Carousel – This 1910 carousel is one of the few originals in the world with a brass ring game. Jump on and enjoy a 5-minute ride on one of America’s favorite landmarks.
- Balboa Park Miniature Railroad – This rare antique will take you for a 3-minute ride across 4 acres of the park.
There are at least 15 museums to enjoy in Balboa Park. A few favorites include:
- San Diego Air and Space Museum – History of science, space and aviation are displayed here. Plus, there are ever-changing traveling exhibitions.
- San Diego Art Institute – This 10,000-square-foot gallery displays an exhibit by a new artist approximately every 4 weeks.
- San Diego Natural History Museum – From dinosaurs to chocolate to fossils, there are exhibits here to interest visitors of all ages.
- The San Diego Museum of Art – This is the largest and oldest museum in the region with major art exhibits brought in from around the world.
You can’t appreciate the diversity of the gardens at Balboa Park until you experience them for yourself. Just a few of the many here waiting to be explored include:
- 1935 Cactus Garden – Some of the largest specimens in the world are here, including African and Australian varieties.
- Botanical Building – You can’t visit Balboa Park without snapping a few photos here. Although there are orchids, ferns, palms and pretty tropical plants, it is the Lily Pond that really draws the attention.
- Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden – You can almost always see a wedding taking place here, or pictures being taken. It is one of the most beautiful places in the state, with roughly 2,500 roses. April and May are the best months to see them in full bloom.
- Dog Parks – Balboa Park is so large that there are three dog parks inside, one of which is 5 acres!
- Recreation – Enjoy a tennis club, golf course, senior lounge, lawn bowling, gymnasium, sports complex and more.
- Trails – Whether you like to walk or run, there are a few different trails to keep you busy.
- Restaurants – If you ask your San Diego movers for a restaurant recommendation, there is a good chance that they will recommend someplace inside the park. A few popular favorites include Albert’s Restaurant, Dinosaur Café, Flight Path Grill, GRO Café, Home Plate Bar and Grill, Lady Carolyn’s Pub, Sculpture Court Café, The Prado at Balboa Park and Village Grill. Of course, some of the best food is simply found on the multitude of snack carts throughout the park.