Wandering in Balboa Park, San Diego

Last updated on January 24th, 2022

Where better to spend a beautiful warm winter day than San Diego’s Balboa Park with its mix of architecture, gardens, culture, commerce, and kitsch?

The Spanish Village Arts Center is all but deserted when we arrive late in the morning, but the galleries are filled with wonderful sculpture, jewelry, glass, and ceramics. There are so many enticing things tucked into cheery little studios – what a great place to work or shop!

We also meet a couple of stylish pooches.

It seems like a good time to duck into one of the many museums here. The Museum of Photographic Arts happens to have a very interesting show on street photography from the 60’s that includes amazing photos by a number of photographers who are new to me. Among my favorites are the intimate portraits of the Black Panthers by Ruth-Marion Baruch and some really brutal, but artful, images of the civil rights movement by Bruce Davidson.

Next is the minuscule Timken Museum of Art. I am there to see the Russian icons, but the Dutch and Flemish collection contains a few really amazing pieces too.

Enough culture for now. I’m ready to take in some horticultural exhibits and the 1915 Botanical Building is just across the way.

A tropical paradise awaits inside.

Of course, the whole place is a bit of a fantastical architectural and horticultural paradise.

We end the day ambling through a more naturalistic cacti garden.

Ah, the good life in San Diego!

A long weekend in San Diego

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