A few weeks back, my family came to visit San Diego for the first time. To show them around, we went to all the touristy spots in the city. Of course, Balboa Park was at the top of the list.
We started the day off early, arriving at the park just before 10 a.m. It was the perfect time to get there, as the museums were getting ready to open their doors and there weren’t many people.
Out first stop was the Natural History Museum, the oldest scientific institution in Southern California. It’s home to a vast fossil exhibition and an installation regarding the region’s biodiversity. I didn’t get too many pictures because I was so preoccupied with the exhibits, which are interactive, making this museum a great place to bring children.
Next, we visited the Botanical Garden building, built just over 100 years ago for the Panama-California Exposition. Any plant lover will enjoy the beautiful collection inside and around the building. It also provides a nice shaded area to sit and rest during a sunny San Diego day.
The Timken Museum of Art is nearby, so we decided to take a quick look. I didn’t get any pictures inside, since they had me check my bag at the entrance, but they have a great collection of religious art and, at the time, there was an exhibit of Matisse’s work.
Just outside the museum, you can see the top of California Tower of the Museum of Man. It’s a bell tower that rings at the top of the hour, and we were lucky enough to be there at noon to catch a beautiful rendition of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.
The museum offers tours to the top of the California Tower, but we weren’t up for all the walking. Maybe next time.
We spent around 3 hours at Balboa Park and just barely skimmed the surface. There’s so much to do and see, so if you’re planning to visit, I’d suggest making a day trip out of it or maybe going on multiple occasions to experience all the park has to offer.