Among La Mesa's many attractions are its numerous recreational facilities. Henry Griffin Regional Park has an amphitheater, MacArthur Park is the site of the Community Center, and a gym is located at Sunset Park. La Mesa also has a public pool and a senior center. And of course, residents are just a short drive from downtown San Diego and all of its entertainment.
Areas of cultural and historic interest in the San Diego area include Balboa Park, San Diego Mission de Alcalą and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. World-renowned Balboa Park is home to fifteen museums, various arts and international cultural associations, and the famous San Diego Zoo. Art treasures, exotic animal species, model railroads, world folk art, sports memorabilia and rare aircraft are just a few of the many unique items on display at Balboa Park. The museum collections are housed in magnificent Spanish Revival Colonial buildings built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the likes of which had not been seen in the United States before.
The 1,200-acre urban park is filled with seasonal flowers, groves of trees, lush and verdant lawns, fountains, and miles of paths and trails. The botanical building, the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Marston House gardens contain rare and interesting plants. The Old Globe Theatre, San Diego's largest arts organization, is located in Balboa Park. The Globe presents at least 12 productions annually on its three stages. The John Morely Sports Complex includes tennis courts, a velodrome, a swimming pool and a disc golf course along with the 18-hole Balboa Park Golf Course. Morley Field also has playgrounds and picnic areas, a recreation center and a senior center.
San Diego Mission de Alcalą, located in Presidio Park, was founded in 1769 and was the first Spanish mission built in California. Artifacts found in archaeological digs in the area are on display at the mission's museum. San Diego's heritage can also be seen at nearby Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Buildings date from the early 19th century. Stables, shops, adobes, schools, banks and the town's first fired-brick building can be seen here. Museums contain displays that depict life in early California. Today, Old Town is filled with shops and restaurants. Dancers perform native routines and live music fills the air.
Other things to do in San Diego include harbor excursions; taking in a professional baseball, football or hockey game; visiting the maritime museums; petting the dolphins at Sea World; feeding a giraffe at the San Diego Wild Animal Park; visiting the World Famous San Diego Zoo or wagering on the ponies at Del Mar Race Track. Residents and visitors can also enjoy taking a tour through Miniland USA at LEGOLAND in nearby Carlsbad, or take daylong countryside trips to Julian for apple picking in the local orchards and antiquing in local shops. And for those looking to spend a night on the town, the Gaslamp District in Downtown San Diego is the perfect place. With its abundance of fine dining establishments, numerous opportunities for finding a local concert, and other venues of entertainment, you're guaranteed to find something to do in the San Diego area.
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