(Photo by James Blank)
Not far north of the heart of downtown is Balboa Park -- the cultural heart of the city of San Diego. The 1,200-acre park hosts museums, art galleries, theaters, sports facilities and the famed San Diego Zoo, one of the first in the country to build habitats for its animal collection without bars. Today, it is one of the country's premier facilities for endangered species.
Balboa Park's striking Spanish-style buildings are mostly left over from world expositions in 1915 and 1935. The park's 100-bell California Tower rings a carillon every half hour.