San Diego, CA - the finest city - so true, and how proud I am to call it my home! San Diego has grown from the small settlement by the sea over the past hundred years. Its recent claim to fame is the world acclaimed San Diego Comic-Con Convention! Hotels can be built and costs recouped within one year of hosting housing for comic con, it seems accommodations cannot be built quick enough to house the masses! However, the first convention that brought notoriety and fame to the town of San Diego was the Panama-California Exposition in 1915. San Diego has this exhibition to thank for the creation of the most iconic park in the city - Balboa Park.
Balboa Park is a rare and beautiful gem - host to dozens of museums, shops, and restaurants - Including the San Diego Zoo . This park was once a neglected field and place to graze cattle. Once San Diego was selected as the host for the Panama-California Exposition plans began to create a "pop-up" convention site. It is hard to believe looking at Balboa Park's Prado that this could have been conceived as a temporary site! With one look at the exquisite workmanship and careful layout of this 1,200 acre marvel it boggles the mind that this would have been removed. It popularity secured it's chance to stand the test of time!
In planing the park Kate Session - the genius behind the lush gardens - saw the desert ground and chaparral plants and knew that so much more could inhabit Balboa Park. After years of preparation and petitioning Kate Session began her project. Walking through the green and exotic gardens you would never imagine the park was once a desolate dumping ground.
Balboa Park has grown to be the center of culture and learning for people of all ages, without the Panama-California Exposition San Diego would not be the world renown destination for travelers and convention goers it is today. It is important for the finest city to remember to embrace our history to secure our future.
Planing a trip to the Historic Balboa Park? Take a look at my guide on Trekaroo.com:
Exploring Balboa Park with Kids