san diego travel

{travel} tinatine and stephleen: balboa park

July 10, 2016

Since visiting the San Diego Air and Space Museum for the Yelp Supersitious Soiree event, I was intrigued by Balboa Park. The 1,200 acre park is filled with grassy walkways, theaters, 16 gardens, restaurants, gift shops, 16 museums, and the famous San Diego Zoo. After visiting the Hillcrest Farmers Market and T Deli, Kat drove us all to Balboa Park. We circled around a little and then found parking inside the park. (There is free parking along the streets!)

2016-05-15 13.40.50-1Since it was a beautiful Sunday (but really, when is the weather horrible in San Diego?), the park was full of people enjoying the day.

2016-05-15 13.49.49

2016-05-15 13.50.36

2016-05-15 13.50.52

2016-05-15 13.54.58

2016-05-15 13.57.21Such beautiful classic Spanish styled architecture!

2016-05-15 13.59.00

2016-05-15 14.03.08 HDR-2

2016-05-15 14.03.31We stumbled upon one of the many gardens in the park. The park contains 350 species of plants and 1,500 more trees. Many of the trees you see in Balboa Park were planted by Kate Sessions, who was dubbed “the Mother of Balboa Park.” She was born in San Francisco, studied at UC Berkeley, and moved to San Diego to become a teacher. In San Diego, she purchased the San Diego Nursery with her two friends, which was her real interest. As she became a known figure internationally, she leased a part of Balboa Park and planted a hundred trees a year in the park. If you enter through the Sixth Avenue entrance, you can see the bronze status of Sessions the park put up in her honor.

2016-05-15 14.09.42-1

2016-05-15 14.10.24

2016-05-15 14.13.24Of course, like all famous landmarks, we saw a couple taking their engagement photos!

2016-05-15 14.14.06

2016-05-15 14.18.55-1

2016-05-15 14.19.57-1

2016-05-15 14.20.36-1

2016-05-15 14.24.03

2016-05-15 14.37.31-1One of the attractions at Balboa Park was the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. The cottages promote the history and culture of 32 countries. They have different events, like concerts, performances, arts and crafts, and food festivals, on the weekends. And every year, they have an Ethnic Food Fair and International Christmas Festival.

2016-05-15 15.09.14After we got our steps in, we headed over to Oscar’s Mexican Seafood for lunch. I had read that they had the best seafood tacos, and boy, were we in for a treat!

2016-05-15 15.09.18 HDR

2016-05-15 15.12.07Their tacos are $4.50 – $4.75 and everything is made to order. Steph and I ordered: Surf and Turf Taco (skirt steak and shrimp), Spicy Grilled Shrimp Taco, Taco Especial (smoked fish, shrimp, and scallops), and Grilled Octopus Taco.

All of the tacos were delicious, but the Taco Especial and Grilled Octopus Tacos were our favorites. It’s just hard to find smoked fish/shrimp/scallops and octopus tacos any where! I recommended this place to my brother Neil when he went down to San Diego, and he loves it too.

Actually, the tacos are so good… I’m thinking about driving 9 hours just to get a taste of them again.

2016-05-15 15.49.56Besides the beautiful Balboa Park, San Diego also offers this cute little botanical garden, Harper’s Topiary Garden. This garden has sculptures of all sorts of animals and things.

2016-05-15 15.55.40-1So cute!

2016-05-15 16.07.48Like every good dinner, our trip ended with desserts. And what better place to get dessert than the famous Extraordinary Desserts?

We were lucky and got street parking right in front of the entrance. VIP status! Once we got in line, we started discussing which dessert we should get. After every new dessert we passed by in line, we kept changing what we wanted to order. Such beautiful pastries and bakery items!

2016-05-15 16.09.00

2016-05-15 16.15.24

2016-05-15 16.15.31

2016-05-15 16.15.41

2016-05-15 16.16.16

2016-05-15 16.17.01

2016-05-15 16.31.17

2016-05-15 16.31.59-2The croissant with cream and the strawberry shortcake were both Instagram worthy and delectable! We gobbled everything up happily. It was definitely a great last hurrah in San Diego.

2016-05-15 19.09.23Good bye, sunny San Diego!

This trip was a mixture of fun Yelp events, bomb ass food, delicious beer, and the best travel companions. It’s no wonder San Diego is my favorite city now! Sorry, Seattle.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply EatingWellNYC / The Mew Life July 10, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great photos. Look like such a cool space.

  • Reply Tiffany July 11, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Those tacos look so good! Will have to try that sometime.

  • Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: