San Diego's Balboa Park
Because Balboa Park is intimately connected with the San Diego Zoo, visitors might overlook one of the great treasures of Southern California. The park holds 32 world-class museums ranging in variety from the Museum of Man to the nifty little Railroad Museum.
Fine restaurants like the Prado are open for lunch and evening meals and are favorite places to go before attending one of the many performing arts theatres in the Park. Again, live theatre offers a great selection to the patron. Puppet shows, youth ballet, the organ pavilion and the Tony award-winning Old Globe are just a few to pick from.
Balboa Parks also has a fun collection of international cottages that open seasonally and for special events.
Although many of these were built for the Panama-California Exposition (1915) when much of the rest of the park was constructed, new cottages have been added up to the present time. Under construction now is what will be used as the House of Spain.
Many unusual plants and trees can be found in the park's 1200 acres and some might be overlooked (can't see the trees for the forest sort of thing).
Most visitors find the exceptional variety of plants at the botanical gardens but most miss an intriguing array of succulents located behind the Balboa Park Club. This cactus garden was built in 1935 and contains some of the largest cactus and succulent specimens in the park.
The park is also home to excellent tennis courts, a Frisbee golf course, and a dandy municipal course designed by William P. Bell, the same architect who built Torrey Pines Golf Course.