To visit California without going through San Diego would be like visiting Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. The city is endowed with a natural bay and an interesting cultural heritage. In addition, the city park is a fantastic place to visit especially when the weather is nice. You should not miss this unique opportunity.
The Balboa Park: what so interesting there?
Vasco Nuñez de Balboa was the first European to have ventured into the Pacific Ocean from the New World, but he is specifically known to San Diego; the largest urban cultural park in the United States bears his name. This 4.9 km2 park is home to not only the famous San Diego Zoo but also to many museums, shops and restaurants amidst lush vegetation.
- What do we do there? Not only is the entrance free, but a free parking space is also offered for your vehicle. This is already good news, because you start the visit with a light heart and a heavy wallet.
- Free organ concerts on Sundays: Having donated in 1914 one of the largest outdoor organs in the city, John D. and Adolph Spreckels also bequeathed their name to the instrument; visitors can admire in the Balboa Park the Spreckels organ of 4,530 pipes, ranging in size from a few centimeters to 9.75 meters. And since 1917, the city of San Diego has provided a delighted public performance with an organist, who plays for free every Sunday. Since 2001, Doctor of Musicology Carol Williams flicking flowing her fingers on the piano keys.
- Free guided tours: A Sunday before brunch or a rest Tuesday, and you have nothing planned in the morning? Go to Balboa Park and follow the guide, or rather the Rangers, who tell you about the botanical and historical treasures of the park.
- Museums always free: In addition to museums that open their doors for free to San Diego residents on Tuesdays, the Botanical Building and the Timken Art Museum are always free. One can thus fill up with oxygen in the first by strolling through the 2,100 species of plants and admire the great names of painting in the second (Rembrandt, Rubens, Bierstadt). After all these savings, we have the right to stop at the park's souvenir shop and buy something from it.
San Diego and its neighborhoods, on foot
Little Italy, South and North Park, East Village: The visit can be enjoyed on foot with local restaurants, concerts and gallery discoveries on Ray Street in North Park. The Old Town district also attracts crowds.
The one that was the site of the first Spanish colony in California today houses shops and restaurants and offers an authentic and friendly atmosphere in which to wander. Also at Gaslamp Quarter you will discover some of the history of the city including visiting the Mission of San Diego de Alcala, dating back to 1769.
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