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Balboa Park is undoubtedly San Diego's most popular attraction. It is huge at 1,200 acres andis the largest cultural urban park in the country with 15 museums, many gardens, fountains and the famous San Diego Zoo.
The land that Balboa Park is built on was reserved in 1835, which makes it the oldest plot of land to be used for public recreational purposes. In the late 19th Century, a public City Park was open but didn't have much development on it. In 1910, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce president G. Aubrey Davidson decided that the park should hold an expo to coincide with the opening of the Panama Canal in 1915. He said that they should use this opportunity to show off the great city of San Diego to the world.
A contest was held that year and the name Vasco Núñez de Balboa was chosen after the first European to see the Pacific Ocean. Between 1910 and 1914 construction was underway to prepare the park for the expo and much of the present-day design was from that era. Since then Balboa Park has hosted many huge events, fairs and was even training ground for the military and navy during both World Wars.
Balboa Park is an incredible park with tons of things to do and see. It is impossible to see everything in one day, but you should take in as many attractions and sites as possible. Balboa Park has a large concentration of museums covering various themes. Some of the museums include; the Centro Cultural de la Raza, Marston House,Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego History Center, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego Air & Space Museum, Reuben H Fleet Science Center, and the San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center and the renowned Timken Museum of Art.
Balboa Park is an amazing place to take your children. They will adore the world-famous San Diego Zoo, the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad, and the Balboa Park Carousel. They will also enjoy the United Nations Building.The park also has many open green spaces and places where children can play, and many special performances geared towards kids.
Balboa Park is an incredible park that always has events going on throughout the year. On any given day, you will find theatre events, musical shows, performances, exhibitions and films. If you're planning on visiting Balboa Park, then check out the calendar on the park's website so you can know what to expect. Some of the venues that hold musical and theatre events are the Old Globe Theater Complex, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, and the Starlight Bowl.
If you're in the park, you will also want to enjoy the beautiful architecture that adorns its many buildings. For example the El Prado Central area has many architectural gems made with a Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture style.
Balboa Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The park is so big that the museums and attractions all have different operating hours and admission prices.
Balboa Park is located at 1549 El Prado in San Diego.