The San Diego Zoo Botanical Collection is internationally with more than 4,500 species of plants. The American Association of Museums has accredited it since 1993 as a botanical garden. Prized collections include orchids, cycads, fig trees, palms, and coral trees. Naturalistic animal exhibits are heavily planted and resemble the animals' native habitats. Some plants, such as bamboo, eucalyptus, acacia, and hibiscus, are grown for animal food
This canyon gives the visitor a glimpse of the original landscape of Balboa Park. The 150 acres of Coastal Sage Scrub provide an important habitat for native wildlife, and Park Rangers are currently conducting an exotic plant removal project to return the Canyon to more of its original state.
Many hiking trails are scattered in Florida Canyon, and theNat Canyoneers conduct guided tours of the area.
The EthnoBotany Garden is dedicated to teaching young and old about the role of plants in society today, while also learning the relationship of plants in the local and global indigenous cultures of the past.
The Casa del Rey Moro garden (House of the Moorish King) was designed by Richard Requa for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition and influenced by the Moorish gardens of Ronda, Spain. The garden, along with its surrounding building, the House of Hospitality, was rededicated in 1997 after extensive reconstruction and historic renovation, and includes a replica of the wishing well in the Guadalajara Museum of Gardens.
A small demonstration garden at the west end of the tennis courts at Morley Field. 36 drought-tolerant California native plants grow in this location. These plants are suitable for home landscape use.
The United Nations Building houses the United Nations Association of San Diego (UNA-SD), the Eleanor Roosevelt Global Classroom, and the International Gift Shop. In 1956, Eleanor Roosevelt requested that the San Diego City Council grant the newly formed UNA-SD the permanent use of the Park's U.N. Building for educational and administrative purposes.
Discover San Diego’s coveted secret for art lovers at Spanish Village Art Center. Located between the Zoo and theNAT these quaint buildings and colorful courtyard were originally built in 1935. They depicted a charming old village in Spain for the second California Pacific International Exposition. In 1937, the Village reopened as an art destination by a group of dedicated artists. During World War II the U.S. Army used the village for temporary barracks, and in 1947 it was reclaimed and restored by the artists.
The Photographic Arts Building is home to the Southern California Association of Camera Clubs and has a lecture hall, studios and galleries for members to work and display their work. The galleries are open to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during the summer and Sunday afternoons the rest of the year. Photography clubs are open to photographers of any skill level for a nominal annual membership fee and provide a wide range of venues from sharing images to workshops and juried competition.
Housed in historic 1935 Exposition cottages, 34 groups promote multicultural goodwill and understanding through educational and cultural programs. Open Houses: noon-5:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, showcase the national traditions from many lands.
The Balboa Park Miniature Train is operated by the San Diego Zoo. The train pulls out of the station for 3-minute rides around a portion of Balboa Park. The train station is located outside the Zoo’s exit.