California Parks compared to national parks in size:

12. Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge  6,800 San Jose, Calif.
17. Eagle Creek Park  4,395 Indianapolis, Ind.
18. Mission Trails Preserve  4,323 San Diego, Calif.
24. Bidwell Park  3,670 Chico, Calif.
39. Los Penasquitos Canyon 2,405 San Diego, Calif.
42. Bear Creek Pioneers Park  2,168 Houston, Tex.
43. Tilden Park 2,077 Berkeley, Calif.
46. Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area 2,031 Los Angeles, Calif.
51. Torrey Pines State Reserve1 1,800 San Diego, Calif.
52. Calerco County Park 1,782 San Jose, Calif.
57. Mission Bay Park 1,756 San Diego, Calif.
58. Tijuana River Valley Regional Park 1,710 San Diego, Calif.
63. Claremont Hills Wilderness Park 1,589 Claremont, Calif.
69. The Presidio 1,480 San Francisco, Calif.
70. Hansen Dam Recreation Center 1,437 Los Angeles, Calif.
76. Black Mountain Park 1,284 San Diego, Calif.
79. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shoreline Park 1,220 Oakland, Calif.
96. Golden Gate Park 1,018 San Francisco, Calif.

Not on the List:

Balboa Park. At 1,172 acres, Balboa Park is a significant horticultural and cultural resource with more than 15,000 trees, and 14 specialty gardens, nearly 100 arts, educations, recreational, social and sports organizations; fourteen museums, and is home of the World Famous San Diego Zoo and Old Globe Theatre. Balboa Park entertains more then 13 million visitors a year.


Most visited parks:


Central Park in New York City  is a 843 acre park that receives 25 million visitors each year.


California Parks Visitors:


Balboa Park in San Diego: 14 million visitors annually; Spread over 1,200 acres in the heart of San Diego, Balboa Park includes the world-class San Diego Zoo, 15 museums and a variety of botanical experiences including a garden where visitors can rub leaves and guess by the scent the plant species. Most of the buildings are in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, a richly ornamented eclectic mixture of Spanish and Latin American architecture. San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Art Institute the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the Natural History Museum, the San Diego Historical Society, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and the Timken Museum of Art are main attractions.


Other features along El Prado include the Reflection Pond, the latticed Botanical Building, and the Bea Evenson Fountain. Adjacent to the promenade is the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Parks include Alcazar Garden, Botanical Building, Cactus Garden, Casa del Rey Moro Garden, Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, Japanese Friendship Garden, Marston House Garden, Palm Canyon and Zoro Garden.

Theatrical and musical venues include the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, featuring the world's largest outdoor pipe organ (free performances every Sunday at 2:00 PM year round, and on Monday evenings at 7:30 PM during the summer); the Old Globe Theatre complex, which includes a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre as well as an outdoor stage and a theatre in the round; and the outdoor amphitheatre Starlight Bowl. The Casa Del Prado Theater is the home of San Diego Junior Theatre, the country's oldest children's theatre program.


Golden Gate Park in San Francisco: Configured as a rectangle, it is similar in shape to Central Park in New York but 20% larger. With 13 million visitors annually, Golden Gate is the fourth most visited city park in the United States. Under New York & Chicago. Attractions include: Kezar Stadium, Conservatory of Flowers, AIDS Memorial Grove, The Music Concourse Area, De Young Museum, Academy of Sciences, Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum, Stow Lake, Spreckels Lake, Golden Gate Park Stadium, Bison Paddock, Windmills and Beach Chalet.

Note: Golden Gate National Recreational Area gets: 17 million visitors annually.





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