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8 Hidden Gems to Search for in Balboa Park

By Mike in Things to Do in downtown San Diego with 0 Comments

If you’ve been contemplating buying 92101 real estate for sale, one of the biggest attractions to living in this part of town is its proximity to Balboa Park. This popular local landmark has more than 1,200 acres of museums, nature trails, gardens, and other fun things to do. While the park is home to many world-famous attractions like the San Diego Zoo and the Natural History Museum, having this much space means there are also plenty of hidden gems to discover. Here are some of the best lesser-known features to explore in Balboa Park.

1. Hiking Trail 5

Balboa Park is home to 19 trails that cover 65 miles. While Trail 5 has been named as one of the top 10 hikes in San Diego, it’s not often explored by locals or visitors. The trail starts at Sixth Avenue and Upas Street and covers 6.6 miles, taking you through areas of the park you won’t see during zoo and museum trips.

2. Spanish Village Art Center

Hidden away in the northeastern corner of Balboa Park you’ll find the Spanish Village Art Center, a fun collection of art studios built for the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935. Designed to resemble a Spanish village, the 37 studios are shared by over 200 artists. Stop in to watch artists work, buy goods, or take part in the frequent events.

3. St. Francis Chapel

Across from the Museum of Man you’ll find the very small St. Francis Chapel. This unique Spanish Colonial church was built to add some religious element to the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, but today it’s a nondenominational venue for weddings and commitment ceremonies.

4. Veterans Memorial Garden

You’ll find the Veterans Memorial Garden in front of the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center. This garden has three zones dedicated to veterans who served in the “Air, Sea, and Land.” Look for the B-24, which points toward the old Consolidated Aircraft Corporation where most B-24s were made during WWII.

5. Old Cactus Garden

This historic garden was created in 1935 and features some of the largest succulent and cactus specimens in Balboa Park. You can find the Old Cactus Garden above Palm Canyon. Make sure to walk a little south of the garden to get an excellent view of downtown.

6. Balboa Park Archery Range

Most people walk right past the Balboa Park archery range without even realizing it. This range, which is open to the public, is right next to the famous Cabrillo Bridge. There are 40 targets here as well as a practice range at the beginning.

7. Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden, close to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, began as a teahouse during the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 and 1916. Today, it’s home to a Zen garden, bonsai exhibit, koi pond, and ceremonial gate. Visit during the weekend for fun classes like sushi making, calligraphy, and bonsai.

8. Lawn Bowling Greens

Close to Cabrillo Bridge on the West 6th Avenue side of the park, you may be lucky enough to spot a group of people rolling things around on the flat, green lawn. This is the San Diego Lawn Bowling Club, which was founded in 1932. Anyone can join the club to play games and compete in club tournaments and national competitions. Try catching a game of lawn bowling if you’re in the area.

Living near Balboa Park is just one of many perks to buying a home in downtown San Diego. If you’re looking for lofts, penthouses, or condos for sale in 92101, make sure to connect with local real estate agents who can help you find the property you’re looking for. Call 92101 Urban Living today to schedule an appointment. ')}