|PLAZA DE PANAMA|
“THE LANDS ARE TO BE HELD IN TRUST FOREVER-----FOR THE PURPOSES OF A FREE AND PUBLIC PARK AND FOR NO OTHER OR DIFFERENT PURPOSE.”
-San Diego City decree, 1871
I first visited Balboa Park when my daughter started her studies in San Diego in the year 2000, and have been intrigued by it ever since. Now I visit regularly, always choosing a good weather day which isn't hard to do in San Diego. I love to enter via the Cabrillo Bridge and then through the West Gate Archway. There is a beautiful view of the California Building Tower, and the pleasant sound of bells from inside where the 100 Bell Ona May Carillon chimes every 15 minutes.
At the end of the bridge, I often walk up El Prado enjoying the shimmering pools, gardens, fountains and Spanish Colonial buildings. It is designed in the same style as the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and it's easy to see the similarities.
Balboa Park (1,200 acres) is larger than CentralPark (840 acres) in New York City. You can always find something to do here because it has more attractions than any other urban park in the nation. To me it's the park of parks. Here are some of the many things to see and do:
- 15 museums
- San Diego Zoo
- Old Globe Theater complex
- Restaurants, cafes and snack carts
- Spreckels Organ—the world's largest outdoor pipe organ
- 15,000 trees of over 350 different species
- The Moreton Bay Fig Tree
- Lawn bowling, golf and tennis
- 65 miles of hiking trails
- Alcazar Garden and numerous others
- The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater
- House of Pacific Relations International Cottages
- Spanish Village Art Center
- Fountains, plazas and archways
- Japanese Friendship Garden
|SPANISH VILLAGE ART CENTER|
This past week I made two visits. The first day I went to the Photographic Museum Library. It has one of the largest photography book collections in the country—way too many for one visit. It is well worth a visit if you have the time and enjoy photography, as I do. A reservation is required. Afterwards, I stopped at The Prado for lunch. It's one of my favorite restaurants, mainly because of the setting and ambiance. I always enjoy the pressed arugula salad ($9.95).
Later in the afternoon, Ron joined me and we went to the Air and Space Museum which was free to residents on this 1st Tuesday. It provides a great journey through the history of flight with over 60 aircraft and space vehicles on display. The museum is currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary.
|BALBOA PARK DECEMBER NIGHTS|
|PLAZA DE BALBOA|
|CASA DEL PRADO|
CHRISTMAS TREES AROUND THE WORLD