On our last day in San Diego, also New Year’s Eve, we visited San Diego’s Balboa Park. Right in the hearth of downtown is a stunning public park full of museums, Spanish Colonial Architecture and a world-class zoo. It’s definitely worth dedicated a few hours to explore all the grounds, and one or two museums.
One of our favourite spots in the park is the iconic palm house. It was so incredibly lush, natural and beautiful. I love that the greenhouse is open to the warm, dry Southern California air, and that the structure is made of wood. It’s a very unique greenhouse, and definitely worth a visit. Sadly, there weren’t any lily pads in the pond out front this time.
Did you know that Dr. Seuss is from San Diego? I loved this Seuss Christmas tree! There are references to the author all over San Diego.
There are so many gorgeous architectural gems throughout Balboa Park. My favourite has to be the Spreckles Organ Pavilion. On Sunday afternoons, there are free concerts for the public. We went on a Sunday just for this, but because it was New Year’s Eve, the concert was a bit later in the day, and we had a zoo to visit! We could hear organists warming up, but I might have to come back for my sister’s graduation to catch this experience again in person.
Dating back to 1935, Balboa Park also has dozens of cottages representing different nations. I found my fatherland, Czech Republic’s cute cottage complete with a picturesque teal door. Some of the cottages are open, and have little treats, art exhibits or musical displays.
Of course you can’t leave Balboa Park without going to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. I wish I allotted more of the day to discovering the new Africa Rocks! pavilion, but it is still such an amazing escape. From Scripps Aviary to the Koalas, I absolutely adore this zoo. For my zoo outfit, I wore a J. Crew tee, Hermes Scarf and my Gucci Marmont bag, along with a leather jacket and Club Monaco shorts (not pictured).
I also loved spending New Year’s Eve at the Prado, a beautiful high-end restaurant in the middle of this incredible park. There’s so much beauty to discover in Balboa Park, and it makes for the perfect photo opp. Make sure to spend a day or two to explore all it has to offer.