I have a couple of jade plants in my window hanging on to life in a pot. There are some in Balboa Park the size of small trees with grizzled old trunks thriving out doors in the ground, like real plants. They had to have been there a long long time. Just like those jades, the Park is huge and requires a long long time. I had only a few hours.
In those few hours I could only skim the surface of that Park. The free trolleys helped. In a few hours you realize that you have to return again and again. The impression is that you don’t even realize what there is to see there.
Just get away from the hawkers and peruse an exhibit or museum and plan on returning. We strolled through the cactus gardens, rose gardens and the Arboretum. Those will require return visits. Then of course, there is everything else.