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Balboa Park is an unparalleled San Diego resource with a special history. The origins of the park predate even California’s statehood when in 1835 a large tract of land was set aside for recreational use. Subsequently, in 1868 1,400 acres of the original parcel were designated as “City Park” northeast of what is now Downtown San Diego. Initially, City Park remained primarily open space with little landscaping or other improvements. Beginning in the late 1900s and continuing through the early 20th century, private groups maintained gardens; Kate Sessions set up her famed nursery, which was open to the public; and a few buildings were constructed, including a school.
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However, the park really gained its unique identity through the development of the acreage during the preparation for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition when a number of structures were built in the Spanish Colonial style. Today you’ll find restorations of the best examples lined up along El Prado. The exposition attracted over 3.7 million visitors during its two year run which was quite an achievement for a seaside town with less than 40,000 residents. Today Balboa Park offers an abundance of opportunities for visitors to spend time reconnecting with the world in a variety of wonderful ways
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Favorite Balboa Park Places:
Just as acupuncture supports and improves health, so too can our daily experiences help and promote well-being. It is important to make time to nourish your health and prioritize experiences that strengthen your mind-body connection. The amenities offered by Balboa Park — many of them free of charge — provide a special place for you to connect with your natural ability to heal and an opportunity to balance your body’s energy.
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Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden
The garden is located off of Park Boulevard just east of the iconic Bea Evenson Fountain. Located within its 3 acres are over 1,500 roses that are in bloom from March through December. A visit to the rose garden in early Spring to take time to honor the changing seasons may provide just the sublime nourishment you need to support your body.
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The tower was closed to the public for over seventy years, but recent renovations and improvements have it opened again. Take an hour or so to climb seven flights of stairs for an panoramic views of San Diego that will reveal the extent of the park as well as Downtown and San Diego Bay. However, take your time on the trek up as you don’t want to overtax your cardiovascular system.
Tea Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden
Located off Pan American Road, south of El Prado, the Tea Pavilion offers an earthy place where you can have a soothing cup of hot tea and replenish your body. Tea provides your body with important vitamins and minerals in addition to phytonutrients. It is a great alternative to coffee or soda and can be consumed throughout the day depending on your body’s needs.
Acupuncture is a modality centered around the individual. The goal is to find a way to support wellbeing, so that healthiness becomes the default rather than the exception. Every day we make choices and take actions that either help or hinder health. When we prioritize taking care of ourselves through our actions, we move in the direction of health. Those changes have a direct impact on our longevity and enjoyment of life. Even if you don’t live near Balboa Park, look around for special places that can provide the backdrop for a healthier lifestyle.