Located in San Diego, California, Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre historic urban cultural park with a rich history. There are numerous museums, multiple theaters, and the San Diego Zoo, surrounded by open space sections and natural plant zones. There are also walking pathways and gardens throughout the park.
Several recreational facilities, souvenir shops, and eateries are inside the park’s limits. The park’s property, established as a conservation area in 1835, is one of the oldest in the United States to be dedicated to public recreational use. Balboa Park is managed and maintained by the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.
Buildings from 1915–1916, Panama–California Exposition, and the 1935–1936 California Pacific International Exposition were built-in Balboa Park, and both are considered architectural landmarks. 1977 saw the establishment of a National Historic Landmark District and the designation of the park and its historic Exposition structures as a National Historic Landmark and National Historic Landmark District, respectively, and the listing of the park on the National Register of Historic Places.
The park is large and rectangular, with the western boundary at Sixth Avenue. The northern side is at Upas Street. The eastern side is a8th Street, and Russ Boulevard is the southern side. Although the park is rectangular, the northwest corner was modified by adding a natural area known as Marston Hills. The southwest corner occupies a portion of the Cortez Hill neighborhood of Downtown San Diego. Also downtown is San Diego High School, which is separated from the park by Interstate 5, and Roosevelt Middle School, located on the park’s northern edge.
The park is divided into three mesas by two north-south canyons, Cabrillo Canyon and Florida Canyon, which cut across it from north to south. On the western extremity of the park, on the Sixth Avenue Mesa, is a thin strip of land that provides places to relax, grassy spaces, and tree groves, as well as a camp for the CampFire program. Central Mesa is home to most of the park’s cultural facilities, including scout camps, the San Diego Zoo, the Prado, and Inspiration Point. Morley Field, and many of the park’s active leisure amenities, are located in the East Mesa neighborhood.