Visit to Balboa Park, San Diego

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During our recent stay at Pio Pico Thousand Trails RV Park we made many day trips in to San Diego. We went to most of the star attractions that San Diego has to offer. Of course we went to the world-famous San Diego Zoo and the beaches but my favorite was a visit to Balboa Park, San Diego.

Welcome to Balboa Park: the nation’s largest urban cultural park. Home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attraction.

We arrived in the early afternoon planning on taking some sunset shots inside the park. There was a free trolley car ride from the parking lot into the park area. Once inside the park it was overwhelming at first due to the enormous size of the grounds. Link to park map. The park boosts 15 major museums! Once we got our bearings we headed down to the beautiful Museum of Man building.

Located beneath the ornate 200-foot California Tower, the San Diego Museum of Man is the city’s only museum devoted to anthropology. With its Spanish colonial and mission style architecture, the landmark building was originally constructed for the 1915–16 Panama-California Exposition. Today, a key focus of the museum is to create and display dynamic and educational anthropological exhibits about people and places throughout the Americas and around the world.

We spent a few hours just meandering the grounds taking in all the historic architecture, enjoying the gardens, fountains and the general relaxing ambience of the place.  One garden in particular that I enjoyed more than the rest was the 1935 (old) Cactus Garden.

This historic garden was developed under the direction of Kate Sessions for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. It contains some of the largest cactus and succulent specimens in the Park and has also been developed to include the exotic African and Australian Protea plants. It is located on the west side of the Balboa Park Club.

It was fun exploring all the different funky looking cacti on display and because of it’s age dating back to 1935 many of the cacti had grown huge!  Also a treat was to view  several humming birds darting about inside the cacti feeding on the blooms.

Like I said there were other highlights on our San Diego trip: Watching the sunset on downtown from Coronado Island, Visiting the world-famous San Diego Zoo, exploring the coast from Carlsebad down through Del Mar, Torrey Pines, La Jolla and Mission Beach.

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Our 2 weeks in the San Diego area flew by and we are heading out to the desert of Southern Arizona next. We had a great time in San Diego, Balboa Park really stood out for me. Next visit I will have to reserve more time for the park and really explore the museums. The only bad thing I can say about San Diego is TOO MANY PEOPLE!  Back to the boonies to decompress. :)

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