Friday, January 31, 2014

Balboa Park: A Landscape of Art and Culture, Serenaded by Music and Nature

Balboa Park
in the picture above: Organ Pavillon, California Building, Museum of Man, Alcazar Garden and Mingei International Museum

Whenever I have my "me" time in San Diego, a place I most often go to and get lost for one day and still not see enough is Balboa Park. It is a place which has all that I love, arts, culture, food, and NATURE! Let me share with you the many ways I enjoy Balboa Park.
I usually start getting lost in Balboa Park at the Desert and Rose Garden. 
Desert and Rose Garden
Balboa Park is a huge cultural park in San Diego that has about 17 museums, about 20 gardens, several performing arts venues for both music and theater, and a lot of other attractions and recreations. Aside from that, for the nature lovers, there are canyons to escape, where all of a sudden, it feels like in a palm oasis and not inside a cultural park. Among the many attractions at Balboa Park, I have my favorites. I could not see everything here in one day, that I usually would tell myself, "I'll go to other museums and attractions next time", but oftentimes, I end up going to the same museums and gardens. :) I usually go to Balboa Park with an intention of seeing another museum, but at the moment I step at Desert Garden, and then, Rose Garden, I forgot about time and my original plan, that I end up always taking the same route. Haha! 

What I love about the Desert and Rose garden are the busy bees and birds. I love listening to the song birds, and I love shooting flowers at various angles, haha! Somehow, I just can't get enough of them. :)
Some Macro Shots of Busy Life @ The Desert and Rose Garden

Aside from the busy bees and birds, I also love the various distorted forms of cacti, they look already to me like natural sculpture, in the form of plants. :)
Various Cacti

And the blooms usually of cactus are just as stunning as the roses. After the Desert and Rose Garden, my next favorite spot in Balboa Park is the Natural History Museum, which is my most favorite museum among the 17 museums of the park.
Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Arched Hallways of Balboa Park

What I love about Natural History Museum? Well, I won't deny I love Science and Nature, and our Earth's history. It's like all my favorite subjects when I was still in school are in here, and I am always so inspired to see kids here so engrossed with learning about their world. I am so inspired with their "geeky questions" and always inspired by very inquisitive minds.  

I also love going to the 3D theater in Natural History Museum, where what they show always make me teary eyed. I am not so much a fan of IMAX theater in the Science Museum though, since all those motions give me somehow headache. :( But I love 3D theater, because I feel like I am right there during the exploration. The shows are always very inspiring, moving you to be a responsible and active participant of this planet Earth. 

Outside the museums, usually are individuals or small groups who gather together to provide entertainment to the people. I could get lost too watching and listening to them. 
They may not be professional artists, but their love and passion for music, for humor, and for theater are very entertaining. The instruments they play have that deep tone, real sparkling good-time sound, that I wonder if they use those instruments with good gretsch g9460 dixie 6-string banjo review.

Another place that I always check out at Balboa Park is the Zorro Butterfly Garden. I love the very exotic looking flowers here, where it seems, spring is YEAR ROUND.

Flowers @ Zorry Butterfly Garden

And of course, what is a Butterfly Garden without butterflies, caterpillars and other odd critters?
Next to the Butterfly Garden is the San Diego History Museum. I find this museum very touching, since San Diego History, is kind of similar to Philippine History, having very strong Spanish influence. The exhibits are not only about San Diego's pasts, but also includes artwork, historic clothing, etc. unique to San Diego. Next to San Diego History Center is the Museum of Photographic Arts. Anyway, my next favorite museums after the Natural History Museum is the Museum of Man ( haha, another Science museum again ), Mingei Internatioal Museum ( I love seeing international art which are nature inspired ), and Museum of Art.
Museum of Art, Museum of Man, San Diego History Center, and Spanish Village Art Center
Exhibits at Mingei International Museum ( showcasing nature inspired art )

I could not finish visiting all the museums I mentioned above in one day because I also spend a lot of time in the gardens. 
@ The Lily Pond ( in front of Botanical Building and Prado Visitor Center )

Talking about gardens and blooms, another of my favorite is the Botanical Building and Japanese Garden.

Aside from the museums listed and mentioned above that I frequently visit, there is also a Sports Museum, Aerospace Museum, Automobile Museum, and many more. However, as I had mentioned above, somehow, despite planning to go there, I always end up going to the same museums, haha! Someday, maybe! Just too many museums, gardens, and canyons at Balboa Park, so little time.
Facebook Twitter StumbleUpon Digg Delicious Reddit Technorati Mixx Linkedin


  1. Same that I visited that place while reading this article, very concise and beautiful.

  2. i would love to spend days of roaming around the gardens of Balboa, nice captures of the bees,and other small creatures there, i am also interested with the cacti species

  3. Wow, there sure are a lot of places to visit there. I am now trying to appreciate museums because of your wonderful photos. The flowers remind me of my grandmother. :)

  4. No wonder why you never get tired to come back often in that park because of the million things you can do and enjoy.

  5. I would not mind getting lost in that beautiful place AteB, I would love to explore the museum and the garden!

  6. how neat! What a beauty. I would love to visit the Balboa gardens someday!

  7. We were there in 2006 after a few days of having fun in Disneyland. We enjoyed and had fun :-)

  8. I just can't get enough of those flower photos especially the roses and the busy bees Betchai! I wonder too whether those musical performers are using those instruments with good reviews. :) love yah!

  9. Omg! I do not know how to leave a comment Sis :-) All the pictures are beautiful :-) I love the rose flowers, my favorite :-) The fountain is breath taking view as well :-) You always amazed me Sis with your beautiful photographs.

  10. Betchai, Wow!! I had no idea this place even existed. I have to get out there. All those museums and gardens? Right up my alley. The photos you captured are stunning to say the least. Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. I just have to get out there and visit.

  11. My husband and father in-law would love the automobile museum,I'm sure that would be their first priority to visit.hehehe.

  12. Oh my! I could spend whole day in the park by visiting museums and gardens! I would also love to get lost in this park.. :D