America's Coolest City Parks
Balboa Park, San Diego
sprawling 1,200-acre Balboa Park packs in more than two dozen cultural
institutions, including the Tony Award–winning Old Globe
theater, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the famed San Diego Zoo, one of the
world’s few zoos with resident giant pandas. The park overlooks a
seriously beautiful backdrop (the Pacific Ocean) and has buildings so stunning that
some exteriors were filmed by Orson Welles to represent the grand fictional
estate Xanadu in Citizen Kane.
Coolest Time to Visit: Spring, when the zoo animals are
more active and the park’s magnificent gardens bloom.