Balboa Park, a cultural oasis in the heart of San Diego, has a storied history that dates back to the early 20th century. Originally designated as the site for the 1915 Panama–California Exposition, the park was named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa. The exposition aimed to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and showcase San Diego’s cultural and economic progress. The park’s iconic buildings, like the California Tower and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, were constructed for this event.
Balboa Park’s Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, lush gardens, and world-class museums have since made it a cherished landmark. It survived the Great Depression and played a crucial role during World War II as a military training ground. Today, Balboa Park continues to enchant visitors with its museums, theaters, gardens, and the San Diego Zoo, embodying a century of cultural, historical, and recreational significance for the city.