With a stunning bridge above and wooded patches to its sides, the short stretch of State Route 163 through Balboa Park caught the attention of a president, the Frommer’s tour book says.
It’s “the most beautiful highway I’ve ever seen,” President John F. Kennedy supposedly declared upon seeing the road during his 1963 visit.
That’s fine praise from a worldly man who was known for, um, appreciating beauty. The quote adds to the luster of the highway, which still has a vocal band of defenders almost five decades after Kennedy took a ride down it. (Last week, several of our readers took issue with Caltrans over what they call shoddy maintenance of the road’s median.)
But did Kennedy actually say he’d never seen a more beautiful highway? While the comment appears in both modern-day newspapers and tour books, evidence that actually he said it remains elusive.