This morning I headed out to enjoy a special event in Balboa Park: the Japanese Friendship Garden’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Unfortunately, several hundred people were in line at the front entrance, and my feet didn’t want to stop.
So I kept moseying along, pointing my nose toward the park’s Gymnasium, where I believed the big annual Rummage Sale was being held. This massive fundraiser is put on every year by the Thursday Club, and attracts thousands of eager bargain-seekers.
Well, whadya know? The only thing going on in the Gymnasium was a basketball game. Strike Two.
Okay, I thought to myself, I’ll just keep on going and have a leisurely walk…
Wham! Suddenly in front of my eyeballs loomed a gigantic banner–the Rummage Sale was being held this year across Park Boulevard, in Balboa Park’s Activity Center, a building I’d never visited. In fact, I’ve seldom walked about the park’s Inspiration Point area, except to visit the Veteran’s Museum. My restless feet were once again redirected…
The handsome old Balboa Park Administration Building lured me forward into uncharted territory. Several people leaving the Rummage Sale were heading down the stairs. So up the stairs I went, around the building and…WOW!
I’d stumbled upon a corner of heaven.
After a bit of research, I learned this beautiful and seldom-visited area is called the Balboa Park Administration Building Courtyard. One website calls it a San Diego hidden gem, and I must concur. The place was stunningly beautiful–and completely empty. Nobody was present. Not a soul. On this warm Saturday, the rest of Balboa Park was crowded with people.
I haven’t found much about the history of the place, but it’s apparent these buildings and courtyard were once part of the United States Naval Hospital. I suppose at some point the hospital was downsized and Balboa Park’s administrative offices took over. If you look once again at the first photo, you’ll see the present-day Naval Hospital in the background.
Once again, I’m glad I randomly walked in a new direction! Adventures and discoveries await in unexpected places!