The History of Balboa Park
Balboa Park is one of the most popular destinations in San Diego. Today, it is the home of countless museums, gardens and the world famous San Diego Zoo. But where how did this historic park get it’s start? Here’s a brief history on Balboa Park.
Balboa Park got it’s start in 1866 when San Diego civic leaders set aside 1400 for a “city park”. While the land was set aside, working on the land to create a park did not start until 1892. During this time, plants such as birds of paradise, poinsettias, and the queen palm were introduced to the park. The plants were given by Kate Sessions, a local botanist and horticulturalist. In fact, she offered to plant hundreds of trees as well as plants and shrubs, many of which are still present today. By 1910, the park began to take on the look and feel of the park that we now know it today. Also in 1910, there was a contest that would rename “City Park”. While names such as Horton Park, San Diego Park and Miramar Park were considered, Balboa Park was the winner. The park was named after Vasco Nunez de Balboa who was the first European explorer to set sights on the Pacific Ocean.
The first fair at the park was the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition. The fair was created in order to honor the completion of the Panama Canal. By the end of the fair, the Panama-California Exposition turned out to be a profitable event for the city. In 1933, the Natural History Museum opened up at the park. A couple years later, in 1935, the California Pacific International Exposition opened up and ran through 1936. This exposition proved to be a very popular and successful event. Today, the park is the home to museums, gardens, play areas, trails, restaurants and more. Come to Balboa Park and see all that this area has to offer. And while you’re planning your visit make sure to look at a San Diego extended stay hotels to be able to stay longer to enjoy all that San Diego has to offer.