Explore Burnham Park: A Historic Urban Park in the Philippines

Burnham Park: A Guide to Baguio’s Green Oasis

Burnham Park is a historic urban park located in downtown Baguio, Philippines. It covers an area of 32.84 hectares and was designed by American architect and Baguio city planner, Daniel Burnham. The park is named after him and is considered to be the “mother of all parks” in the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

Burnham Park gate by Patrickroque01 via Wikimedia cc
Burnham Park gate By Patrickroque01 – Taken using my own camera EOS M100, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

With its central location, Burnham Park is the most valuable piece of Baguio real estate. It is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike, offering a refreshing escape from city life. The park features a variety of attractions, including a playground, skating rink, rose garden, picnic grove, orchidarium, Igorot Garden, Melvin Jones Grandstand, Athletic Bowl, Japanese Peace Tower, Pine Trees of the World, Sunshine Park, and Baguio Museum. Visitors can also take a boat ride on the lagoon, which has boats that look like swans.

History of Burnham Park

Burnham Park covers the only large expanse of level ground within hilly surroundings and was designed by American architect and Baguio city planner, Daniel Hudson Burnham.

Daniel Burnham was an American architect and urban planner who was responsible for the design of many cities in the United States, including Chicago and Washington D.C. He was hired by the Philippine government to design the city of Baguio, which was then the summer capital of the Philippines. Burnham’s original plans for the city included a central park, which eventually became Burnham Park.

Construction of the park began around 1904, and it was completed in 1925. The park was named after Daniel Burnham, in honor of his contributions to the city’s design. Burnham Park is a manifestation of the City Beautiful movement, which was a reform philosophy of North American architecture and urban planning that flourished during the 1890s and 1900s.

The park is home to a picturesque lake, vibrant gardens, and diverse amenities, and it has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Burnham Park covers an area of 32.84 hectares and is divided into 12 clusters, each with its own allure. Visitors can enjoy activities such as boating, biking, and picnicking within the park.

Geographical Location

Burnham Park is situated in the heart of Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines. It is located in Benguet province, in the Cordillera Administrative Region of Northern Luzon. The park is named after Daniel H. Burnham, the American architect and urban planner who designed the city of Baguio.

Tourists enjoying the serene waters of Burnham lake
Tourists enjoying the serene waters of Burnham lake

The park covers an area of 33 hectares (81 acres) and is bounded by Harrison Road, Governor Pack Road, Jose Abad Santos Drive, and Kisad Road. The park is easily accessible by car, jeepney, or taxi. Visitors can enter the park for free.

Baguio City is known for its cool climate, scenic views, and historical landmarks. The city is located approximately 250 kilometers north of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. Baguio City is accessible by land via the Marcos Highway, Kennon Road, or Naguilian Road.

Burnham Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Baguio City. It is located near other popular attractions such as the Mines View Park, the Baguio Cathedral, and the Tam-Awan Village.

Visitors to Burnham Park can enjoy a variety of activities such as boating, biking, jogging, and picnicking. The park also has a children’s playground, a skating rink, and a rose garden. The park is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops.

Features and Attractions

Burnham Park offers a refreshing escape from city life and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The park has 12 main areas, each with its own unique features and attractions.

Boating at Burnham Lake by Daryl Enriquez via Unsplash
Boating at Burnham Lake by Daryl Enriquez via Unsplash

Burnham Lake

Located at the heart of Burnham Park, Burnham Lake is a century-old man-made lake that speaks for the park itself. Boating is a favorite activity here, and there are a variety of boats to choose from. Renting a boat for 30 minutes costs 150 pesos. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the lake or enjoy a romantic paddleboat ride.

Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is a beautiful display of different types of roses. Visitors can admire the colorful and fragrant blooms and take pictures with the stunning backdrop. The garden is a popular spot for couples and families.

Orchidarium

The Orchidarium is a collection of various orchids that are native to the Philippines. Visitors can see different species of orchids and learn more about their unique characteristics. The garden is a great place for nature lovers and those who appreciate the beauty of flowers.

Children’s Playground

The Children’s Playground is a fun and safe place for kids to play. It has various equipment, including slides, swings, and climbing structures. Parents can relax on the nearby benches while their kids enjoy the playground.

Igorot Garden

The Igorot Garden is a traditional garden that showcases the culture and heritage of the Igorot people. Visitors can see different types of plants and artifacts that are significant to the Igorot culture. The garden is a great place to learn more about the history and traditions of the Igorot people.

Japanese Peace Tower

The Japanese Peace Tower is a monument that commemorates the friendship between Japan and the Philippines. It was built in honor of the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Visitors can see the tower and pay their respects to the victims of the bombings.

Melvin Jones Grandstand

The Melvin Jones Grandstand is a covered stage that is used for various events and performances. Visitors can watch concerts, plays, and other shows at the grandstand. The stage is also used for ceremonies and other special occasions.

Athletic Bowl

The Athletic Bowl is a large open field that is used for various sports and activities. Visitors can see people playing soccer, frisbee, and other sports at the bowl. The field is also used for concerts and other events.

Sunshine Park

Sunshine Park is a small garden that features different types of flowers and plants. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the garden and enjoy the colorful blooms. The garden is a great place to relax and unwind.

Pine Trees of the World

The Pine Trees of the World is a collection of different types of pine trees from around the world. Visitors can see different species of pine trees and learn more about their unique characteristics. The collection is a great place for nature lovers and those who appreciate the beauty of trees.

Activities and Experiences

Burnham Park offers a variety of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy. From boating to biking, skating to picnicking, walking and jogging to playing chess, there is something for everyone.

Boating

One of the most popular activities at Burnham Park is boating on the man-made lake. Visitors can rent paddle boats or row boats to explore the lake and enjoy the scenic views. Boating is a great way to relax and unwind while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful surroundings.

Bike Rentals in Burnham Park by Sir Mildred Pierce via Wikimedia cc
Bike Rentals in Burnham Park By Sir Mildred Pierce – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, cc

Biking

Visitors can rent bicycles and explore the park’s bike trails. Cycling is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the park’s natural beauty.

Skating

The park has a skating rink where visitors can rent skates and glide around the rink. Skating is a fun activity for visitors of all ages and skill levels.

Picnicking

There are several picnic groves throughout the park where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal. Picnicking is a great way to spend time with family and friends while enjoying the park’s natural beauty.

Walking and Jogging

The park’s walking and jogging paths are perfect for visitors who want to get some exercise while enjoying the park’s natural beauty. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll or go for a jog around the park.

Chess

There are several chess tables located throughout the park where visitors can play a game of chess. Chess is a great way to exercise the mind and enjoy the park at the same time.

Facilities and Services

Burnham Park is a 32-hectare urban park located in the heart of Baguio City, Philippines. It offers a wide range of facilities and services that cater to the needs of tourists and locals alike. Here are some of the facilities and services available in Burnham Park:

Food Stalls

There are numerous food stalls scattered around the park that offer a variety of local and international dishes. Visitors can enjoy snacks such as corn on the cob, fish balls, and ice cream, or have a full meal at one of the many restaurants in the park. The prices are reasonable, and the food is delicious.

Boat and Bike Rentals

One of the main attractions of Burnham Park is the man-made lake, where visitors can rent boats and enjoy a leisurely ride around the lake. There are different types of boats available, including swan-shaped paddle boats, motorized boats, and rowboats. Visitors can also rent bicycles and explore the park on two wheels.

Massage Services

Visitors can enjoy a relaxing massage from one of the many massage vendors in the park. The massage services are affordable, and the vendors are experienced and professional. However, it is important to note that massage services are not officially sanctioned by the park authorities.

Parking Spaces

There are several parking spaces available around the park for visitors who are driving. The parking fees are reasonable, and the parking spaces are well-maintained. Visitors should take note of the designated parking areas to avoid being towed.

Flora and Fauna

Burnham Park is a haven for nature lovers, with its wide variety of flora and fauna. The park boasts of several gardens, including a rose garden, orchidarium, and a pine tree garden. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and admire the colorful and fragrant flowers.

Aside from the gardens, Burnham Park is also home to several species of fish, including koi, carp, and tilapia. The park’s man-made lake, Burnham Lake, is a popular spot for boating and fishing. Visitors can rent rowboats and pedal boats to explore the lake and try their luck at catching fish.

For those who prefer to stay on land, Burnham Park offers several rides, including a mini train, carousel, and Ferris wheel. These rides provide a fun and exciting way to explore the park and take in the sights and sounds.

Events and Gatherings

Burnham Park is a popular venue for various events and gatherings. The Melvin Jones Grandstand, located in the park’s central area, is a great spot to watch events. This part of the park often hosts major events, such as concerts, festivals, and sports tournaments. Visitors can check the park’s schedule to see what events are coming up.

Families and friends can also enjoy the park’s wide grassy field, which makes a great place to run around in. The Athletic Bowl, another popular spot for joggers, is a great place to get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. The park also has a Japanese Peace Tower, which serves as a symbol of peace and friendship between Japan and the Philippines.

For those looking for a romantic spot for a date or a special someone, Burnham Park offers several options. The Rose Garden, located near the lake, is a picturesque spot with various flowers and plants. Visitors can also take a boat ride on the lake or enjoy a picnic with family members.

Getting There and Around

Baguio is a popular tourist destination that can be reached by bus, car, or plane. Visitors can take a bus from Manila to Baguio City, which takes around 6 hours. Alternatively, they can take a direct flight to the nearby Loakan Airport, which is only a 15-minute drive from the city center.

Once in Baguio, visitors can get around the city by taking a taxi or a jeepney. Taxis are readily available and can be hailed on the street or booked through a ride-hailing app. Jeepneys are a popular and affordable mode of transportation in Baguio, and they operate on fixed routes throughout the city. Visitors can also rent a car or a motorcycle to explore the city at their own pace.

To get to Burnham Park, visitors can take a taxi or a jeepney to Session Road, which is the main thoroughfare in Baguio City. From there, it’s a short walk to the park. Burnham Park is also accessible by foot or by bicycle, and there are bike rental shops located around the park.

Nearby Attractions

Burnham Park is surrounded by several attractions that are worth exploring. Visitors can take a break from the park and visit nearby places such as Baguio Cathedral, Baguio Museum, Session Road, and Night Market.

Baguio Cathedral, also known as Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, is a popular attraction located just a few minutes away from Burnham Park. It is a beautiful structure that showcases the city’s rich history and culture. The cathedral also offers a peaceful and serene environment, making it an ideal place for prayer and reflection.

Another attraction that visitors should check out is the Baguio Museum. It is a great place to learn about the city’s history, culture, and traditions. The museum showcases various artifacts, photographs, and artworks that depict the rich heritage of the city.

Session Road is a bustling commercial area that is located near Burnham Park. It is a great place to shop, dine, and unwind. Visitors can find a variety of stores, restaurants, and cafes that offer local and international cuisine. The road also hosts several events and festivals throughout the year, making it a lively and exciting place to visit.

For those who love shopping, the Night Market is a must-visit attraction. It is located near Burnham Park and offers a wide range of products such as clothes, accessories, and souvenirs. Visitors can also sample local delicacies and street food while browsing through the stalls.

Park Etiquette and Maintenance

Burnham Park is a well-maintained urban park located in downtown Baguio, Philippines. Visitors are encouraged to follow proper park etiquette to help maintain its cleanliness and beauty.

One of the most important rules is to properly dispose of garbage. There are several trash bins located throughout the park, and visitors are expected to use them. Littering is strictly prohibited and can result in fines.

To ensure that the park remains well-maintained, visitors should refrain from damaging or removing any of the park’s features, such as plants, benches, and sculptures. Vandalism is not tolerated and can result in criminal charges.

During peak seasons, the park can become overcrowded, and visitors are encouraged to be mindful of their surroundings and respect the personal space of others. Visitors should also be aware of their noise levels and refrain from playing loud music or engaging in disruptive behavior.

Impact on Local Economy

Burnham Park has a significant impact on the local economy. The park attracts both local and foreign tourists, who spend money on various activities and products while in the park. Vendors are also a crucial part of the park’s economy, as they sell a wide range of products, including food, souvenirs, and clothing.

Tourists visiting Burnham Park contribute to the local economy by spending money on various activities, such as renting bicycles, boats, and paddleboats. According to a report by Inquirer.net, Burnham Park concessionaires lost P38 million in forgone bicycle rentals and P3.2 million in boat rentals as stay-at-home orders were enforced from April to June 2020 due to the pandemic. The report highlights the importance of tourism to the local economy and how the pandemic has affected it.

Vendors also play a crucial role in the park’s economy. They sell a wide range of products, including food, souvenirs, and clothing. The vendors are mostly small business owners who rely on the park’s foot traffic to make a living. The city council has approved the redevelopment of Baguio Burnham Park and public market, which may affect the vendors’ businesses. The plans are now up for review by the public and concerned national government agencies, according to a report by BusinessWorld.

Burnham Park also serves as a venue for various events, such as concerts, fairs, and sports tournaments. These events attract both local and foreign visitors, which further contributes to the local economy. Students from nearby schools and universities also visit the park for educational trips and recreational activities.

Burnham Park in Baguio City
Burnham Park in Baguio City

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the popular activities to do in Burnham Park?

Burnham Park offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Some of the popular activities include boat riding on the lake, biking, and roller skating. There are also plenty of open spaces to have picnics, relax, and enjoy the fresh air. Visitors can also explore the gardens and try local delicacies from the food stalls.

What is the history of Burnham Park?

Burnham Park is named after Daniel Burnham, an American architect and urban planner who designed the plan for Baguio City. The park was established in 1905 and has since become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Where can I find a map of Burnham Park?

Visitors can easily find maps of Burnham Park at the park’s entrance or at the information center located inside the park. You can also visit the Department of Tourism Office for more brochures about the park and other tourist spots in Baguio City.

What are the opening hours of Burnham Park?

Burnham Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, some of the activities and facilities may have specific operating hours, such as the boat rides and food stalls.

What is the lake in Burnham Park used for?

The lake in Burnham Park is used for various activities such as boating and fishing. Visitors can rent paddle boats, swan boats, and rowboats to enjoy the lake. The lake is also home to various species of fish, which can be caught with a permit.

Baguio City Travel and Tour Packages

To help you plan your visit to Baguio, we listed places and other unique activities in Baguio City. We also listed some of the best travel deals, tour packages, excellent flights, and accommodations.

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of cheap Baguio City hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Baguio City, Philippines? Follow #TeamOutofTown on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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