is a 1,200 acre (4.9 km²) urban cultural park in San Diego, California, United States
named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa. Many of the trees here were planted by the famous American gardener Kate Sessions
. Placed in reserve in 1835, it is one of the oldest sites in the United States dedicated to public recreational usage. Besides open areas and natural vegetation, it contains a variety of cultural attractions including museums, theaters, gardens, shops and restaurants as well as the San Diego Zoo
. Balboa Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. The park is managed and maintained by the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.
The main artery through the park is el Prado. Along this boulevard are many of the park's museums and cultural attractions, including the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Art Institute the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego History Center, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and the Timken Museum of Art where admission is always free. There are a number of gardens located in the park. These include Alcazar Garden, Botanical Building, Cactus Garden, Casa del Rey Moro Garden, Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, Japanese Friendship Garden, Marston House Garden, Palm Canyon, and Zoro Garden.