The Unity Plaza team hit the road earlier this month to visit some world-class community park peers on the West Coast. The goal was to study some of the finest publicly accessed, highly programmed outdoor spaces in the country and bring back a ‘best-of’ for incorporation into Jacksonville’s premier central park. San Diego’s Balboa Park was the first stop and is renowned for its architecture, cultural and education programming as well as a comprehensive, on-site museum collection. The San Diego visit also included a visit to Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, an intimate 1,400 seat outdoor amphitheater considered one of the best live music venues in the US. Despite its modest size, the 2013 Humphreys lineup includes Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Melissa Etheridge, just to name a few. Next was a visit to Carlsbad, a suburb of San Diego, and home to the Chopra Center. The Chopra team offered multiple innovative and beautiful wellness activities that will be incorporated into Unity Plaza programming. A stop in Portland, OR offered insights into the successes of “Portland’s Living Room” at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Program Director Lindsey Clute was very generous with her time to discuss how her team methodically plans iconic events that keep this space among the nation’s Top Ten Central Parks in America. These visits resulted in new friendships and allegiances that ensure the dynamic flow of design and programming ideas between West Coast and East.