The 1200-acre Balboa Park was declared a National Historic Landmark, and a National Historic Landmark District in 1977. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as, one of the Great Places in America. The Park is managed and maintained by The City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.
Balboa Park has lush, unique, landscaped gardens from end to end. Sweet-smelling roses, towering trees, acres of grass, prickly cacti with beautiful blooms, brightly-colored water lilies and lotus blossoms, and outstanding orchids all shine thanks to San Diego's climate.
Along with the adjacent Lily Pond and Lagoon, the Botanical Building was built for the 1915-16 Exposition. The historic building is one of the largest lath structures in the world. The Botanical Building plantings include more than 2,100 permanent plants, featuring collections of cycads, ferns, orchids, other tropical plants and palms. The Botanical Building also presents some of the Park’s vibrant seasonal flower displays.
Multiple gardens are found throughout Balboa Park, including cactus, desert and CA native plant gardens, "Palm Canyon", a Japanese garden, a rose garden and more. The Alcazar Garden, so named because its design is patterned after the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain. It is known for its ornate fountains, exquisite turquoise blue, yellow, and green Moorish tiles and shady pergola, and a formal garden, bordered by boxwood hedges, is planted with 7,000 annuals for a vibrant display of color throughout the year.
Balboa Park boasts 17 museums and cultural institutions with an diversity of collections, including: