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The United States' largest urban cultural park is also one of the world's most scenic, with a dazzling array of museums, entertainment venues, botanical gardens and architectural landmarks. The world-renowned San Diego Zoo is just one of the many treasures nestled within the verdant expanse of this 1,200-acre (490-hectare) park, set aside as a reserve for public use as early as 1835. The 1915-16 Panama-California Expo and the 1935–36 California Pacific International Expo left behind a wealth of architectural jewels strewn across the park, including the California Building fashioned after the typical design of a Spanish Colonial Church and now home to the San Diego Museum of Man. Fifteen museums, award-winning theaters, an antique carousel, a miniature railroad and the Spanish Village Arts Center come together at Balboa Park to celebrate the cultural diversity of the state and its inspiring natural landscape.
Aqua Adventures is a full service kayak facility in San Diego offering waterfront kayak rentals. Aside from rentals, quality kayak lessons are provided by ACA and BCU certified instructors. Visitors can take part in fun and instructional local tours, adventurous guided multi-day kayaking trips, and visit their beautiful retail shop staffed by paddlers.
Near the man-made islands of Mission Bay, this beach runs along Mission Boulevard and boasts a fabulous boardwalk. One of the best places in San Diego to soak up the city's beach lifestyle, this is an unsurpassed area for people watching or building sandcastles. For a faster pace, rent a bike or in-line roller skates or better yet, take a ride on Belmont Park's world-famous wooden roller coaster. Whatever attraction you choose, be prepared for large crowds and limited parking at Mission Beach.
The sunny San Diego weather allows for many outdoor adventures, and here you'll find a variety. This park is spread over 5,200 acres (2,105 hectares) and has a visitor station open daily. You'll also find Lake Murray and the Cowles and Fortuna mountains here. You can select numerous hiking trails scattered throughout the park, all offering scenic views. The visitor center is architecturally outstanding and worth a visit for the dramatic views.