Parks and Recreation

Regional Parks and Recreational Activities

Balboa Park, the crown jewel of San Diego, is made up of more than 1000 acres and offers fifteen museums, various gardens, arts and international culture associations, as well as the San Diego Zoo, making it a magnificent collection of historical, horticultural, educational and recreational resources. Just minutes away from downtown San Diego and forming the western border of Greater North Park, the park attracts approximately 14 million visitors each year. Displays of internationally significant art treasures, exotic animal species, unique model railroads, world folk art, sports memorabilia and rare aircraft – just to name a few – are on view in the Park’s museums. Many of the museums along Balboa Park’s Prado are housed in magnificent Spanish Colonial Revival buildings, originally constructed for the 1915–1916 Panama-California Exposition. This was the first time that this richly decorated, highly ornamental architectural style had ever been designed and constructed in the United States. Balboa Park is also renowned for its brilliant displays of seasonal flowers, shady groves of trees, and meandering paths through rolling lawns.

Old Globe Theatre, San Diego’s largest arts organization, is located in Balboa Park. On its three stages, the Globe annually presents at least 14 productions and 550 performances. The rich ethnic diversity of San Diego is reflected in Park institutions including the Centro Cultural de la Raza; the World Beat Center (celebrating cultures of African origins); the Museum of Man anthropological museum; the Mingei Museum of International Folk Art; the Japanese Friendship Garden, and the House of Pacific Relations – 17 cottages which are home to groups of diverse national origin. Balboa Park’s offers a comprehensive sports complex, Morely Field, as well as many family play and picnic areas, three leash-free dog parks, lawn bowling, canyon trails for hiking and a golf course.

The Morley Field Sports Complex is located at the corner of Texas and Upas Streets, in the northeast section of Balboa Park, and forms the western border of the North Park community. Morley Field was named after John Morley who served as a park superintendent in Balboa Park from 1911 to 1939, years which encompassed the two international expositions that were so crucial to the development of Balboa park. Morley’s guidance and inspiration for the cultivation of the park made for many of the beautiful gardens that are in the park today. Facilities include twelve USTA awarded tennis courts, a swimming pool, a senior center, a tiny tots play area, group picnic areas, an archery range, a multi-purpose ball field, a velodrome (bicycle track) where masters world cup championships are held, boccie courts, a disc golf course, a fitness par course, petanque courts, Balboa Park’s Municipal Golf Course, native trails located in Florida Canyon, Golden Hill Recreation Center, and Golden Hill Park.

The Balboa Park Golf Course features an 18-hole, Par 72 course and a 9-hole executive course, driving range, practice putting greens, coffee shop and half-way house. The Golf Shop offers golf merchandise for sale and the rental of clubs, hand and power golf carts. The Professional Golf staff offers group and individual golf lessons.

Neighborhood Parks and Recreational Activities

North Park Community Park, located at 4044 Idaho Street, is an eight acre park featuring lighted baseball fields and tennis courts, shuffleboard, picnic and play areas, and a recreation building. The park is bounded by Howard Avenue, 28th Street, Lincoln Avenue, and Oregon Street. The baseball field is named for Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who grew up in the North Park community. North Park Recreation Center facilities include an indoor gymnasium with a wood floor, an outdoor gymnasium, a multi-purpose field, a craft room, a meeting room, racquetball and shuffleboard courts, and a Teen Center. For more information call: (619) 235-1152

Montclair Park consists of approximately nine acres, and is located south of Quince Street and next to Interstate 805. Montclair Park was formed by the road bed of the Old Wabash Highway (Nile Street today) which ran all the way to the US-Mexican border.

Trolley Barn Park sits on the north side of Adams Avenue and west of Panorama Drive. While not officially within North Park boundaries, this facility serves residents living in the northwestern section of the community. The park was constructed on the site following the demolition of the Trolley Barn in 1979.

Theatre Plaza Mini-Park (future, est. ?) The proposed Theatre Plaza Mini-Park envisions a passive mini park behind the renovated North Park Theatre, complimented by adjacent streetscape improvements and joint use facilities at Jefferson Elementary School. The San Diego Redevelopment Agency owns the .5 acre parking lot directly south of and adjacent to the theatre. This parcel of land is planned to transform into an urban pocket park to serve theatre patrons as well as the burgeoning surrounding restaurant/retail district. In Oct 2009, the City Council/ Redevelopment Agency approved $250,000 for design of the park and streetscaping. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by late 2011.

City of San Diego Park and Recreation Dept
(619) 685-1300