If you could only visit one specific place on the West Coast, you might want to choose Balboa Park, because here you can find the greatest assembly of nature and culture anywhere in the region. For the nature lover, there are gardens and forests and lush grounds everywhere. For the student of architecture, there are a number of buildings from the Spanish Colonial Revival period as well as mid-century modernism.
For the lover of history, there are more than 17 museums which are chock-full of themes such as space travel, dinosaurs, automobiles, artistic masters of antiquity, and even orchids. For culture lovers, you’ll find the San Diego Zoo which has achieved legendary status, as well as performing arts which include orchestras, ballet, musicals, plays, recitals and heritage dancing. Suffice to say that whatever your interests are, you’ll probably find something to fascinate you within Balboa Park.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys shopping more than observing nature, you will certainly enjoy yourself at the Bibliotique at the San Diego Museum of Art, where you’ll find a great many artifacts and items of historical interest available for sale. There are also gift shops at the Veterans Museum within the Park as well as at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Both of these museums offer souvenirs such as shirts, jackets, and hats to remind you of your visit to Balboa Park.
When you’re ready to take a break from all your walking and observing, you can sit down and enjoy a tasty lunch at the Café in the Park, or at Panama 66, which is located in the San Diego Museum of Art. You’ll also be able to enjoy a fine sitdown dinner at The Prado in Balboa Park, so whatever your tastes are in food and drink, you’ll be able to find suitable fare at one of these places.
Among the spectacular natural displays you’ll see at Balboa Park, there is the Botanical Building and Lily Pond, which feature a number of different flowers blooming naturally in the area, as well as the beautiful Lily Pond itself. For those who appreciate shrubbery from the old West, you’ll enjoy visiting the 1935 Cactus Garden which features a number of different cactus plants, some of which are truly spectacular in their growth. Finally, you can enjoy touring the grounds of Alcazar Garden, where you’ll see palm trees, flowers, native Western shrubs, and some beautiful landscape to boot.
Performing arts lovers may want to stop in at either The Old Globe or Spreckels Organ Pavilion to catch a performance at one of those venues. The San Diego Youth Symphony is also on hand for various occasions throughout the year to provide performances of classical music, as well as contemporary compositions.
If you’re afraid of missing anything important in Balboa Park, you can avail yourself of the free park tours which are offered through the Visitor Center, or you can arrange for a custom private tour for your group. There are also special tours of the Japanese Friendship Garden which are available, and which can be very useful in learning about all the exotic vegetation there.
Some of Balboa Parks neighboring communities we service.
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