No one will dispute the fact that Balboa Park is San Diego’s unmistakable jewel – 1,200 acres of greenbelt, culture, recreation, and attraction. It is San Diego’s community gathering place, enjoyed by all citizens, of all walks of life and economic backgrounds. Sure we all know about the great museums and the Old Globe Theatre, but Balboa Park is much more than that. I know, everyone has their favorite Balboa Park spot, but here are a few known, and less known, places to discover in Balboa Park.
1. El Prado
3. Balboa Park Carousel and Railroad
If you’ve been to the San Diego Zoo, then you have likely noticed the nifty carousel and miniature railroad outside of the Zoo entrance plaza. The 1910 Balboa Park Carousel is a menagerie of animals and all but two pairs are original with hand-carved European craftsmanship. Also original are the hand-painted murals surrounding the upper portion of the carousel and the military band music. This carousel is one of the few in the world still offering the brass ring game for everyone taking the 5-minute ride. The Balboa Park Miniature Railroad takes a 3-minute, ½-mile trip through four acres of Balboa Park. The train, operated by the San Diego Zoo Department of Transportation, is a model G16 – now a rare antique with as few as fifty currently remaining.