Re-Discovering Balboa Park while Searching for the Prado Restaurant

Another childhood memory of San Diego is brought to life with a visit to the city’s beautiful Balboa Park.

It has been years since I experienced more than just a quick nostalgic drive through the park.  This time, while staying at a lovely timeshare, we are enjoying a leisurely week-long visit, with time to explore San Diego.

On  the recommendation of a family friend, we are planning to have lunch at the Prado in the park.

We wind our way into the park and locate a parking lot.  With no idea of where this restaurant actually is, we just head out and wander around absorbing the peace and tranquility and history of this lovely park.

Having its beginnings back in 1868 when the parcel of land was first set aside, the park developed slowly over the years, eventually hosting a World’s Fair: The 1915-16  Panama-California Exposition commemorating the opening of the Panama Canal, a second World’s Fair: The 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition which was held to boost the economy during the depression, and Expo 2000, celebrating San Diego’s millennium.

Balboa Park is home to the world famous San Diego Zoo,  the internationally acclaimed Old Globe theater, the original 1910 Balboa Park Carousel, 15 major museums ranging from art and science, air and space, to natural history and anthropology, and the Spreckles Organ Pavilion which houses one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs.

My Grandparents held their 50th wedding anniversary reception in the House of Hospitality building which was built to be the centerpiece for the 1915 Panama-California  Exposition.

My grandmother also used to treat my sister and me to special outings, having lunch outside on a patio somewhere near the House of Hospitality.

I am filled with nostalgia as the old familiar park emerges through the changes that have occurred over time.

In the courtyard of the House of Hospitality, I am happy to discover the familiar blue-tiled fountain still there. Here also–we discover the Prado!

  • Hannah says:

    Balboa Park is GORGEOUS! It’s been years since I’ve visited, and the pictures bring back some great memories for me too! I can just smell it! Can’t wait to hear about lunch at the Prado!

  • Alice says:

    I always thought Balboa Park was just amazing because it just has Everything! I checked the online menu for the Prado Restaurant – they list fish “tacos” in jicama shells! Now, That’s worth finding the Prado for!

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