Although I would think San Francisco's Balboa Park is named after Núñez de Balboa who is the first European to see the Pacific Ocean I cannot find any historic evidence in Internet.

In this document(pdf) there is a long history of the Park, but neither Núñez de Balboa nor San Diego City are mentioned

  • 4
    At least we know it wasn't named after Rocky Balboa ... he's from Philly. Sep 1, 2016 at 21:48
  • I added your comments to the question, because I think it will improve it greatly. Users here tend to far prefer questions that go into what the questioner has already tried to do to answer it themselves.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 1, 2016 at 23:36
  • Rocky Balboa might have been named for the Spanish Conquistador though. Odd name for a Spaniard..from the Northwest which I think is Basque. Very ancient pre-Roman folk. And of course Panama was where all the silver and gold fleets collected before heading off to Havana and then Spain and Portugal. Sep 2, 2016 at 23:04

3 Answers 3


According to the The San Francisco call., October 10, 1910, pg 3, the park is named after Núñez de Balboa. It states that at the park's dedication...

House and Park Praised
...Prof. George Barron, curator of Golden Gate Park museum made a vigorus plea for playgrounds for the mission district. He touched on the great work being done by the improvement clubs and then told of the trials of Balboa, the great spanish explorer who discovered the Pacific, after whom the park is named...


List of San Francisco's placenames etymologies (Wikipedia) credits Balboa Street as being named for Vasco Nunez de Balboa, and I think it would be safe to assume the park is likewise named. There are many parks, roads, islands, etc. in CA named Balboa, and I would find it unlikely that any are not named for the same.

  • I know on the East coast a lot of streets are named for the place they lead to (which can get mighty confusing when multiple streets have the same name). So it could be that the street was named after the park, not visa versa.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 3, 2016 at 2:20
  • @T.E.D. Sure, but the street doesn't go there. Nov 18, 2018 at 17:23

On the site, Balboapark.org, it is said that the park was named after much discussion by San Diego city fathers in 1915 after Vasco Nunez de Balboa.

  • 1
    Wrong city, the question is about San Francisco's Balboa park not the one in San Diego.
    – Steve Bird
    Sep 3, 2016 at 0:45
  • 1
    Now I feel bad for deleting the comments that went over this. They seemed obsolete at the time.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 3, 2016 at 2:16

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