Boulevard is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Mountain Empire area of southeastern San Diego County. At the 2010 census, it had a population of 315. The area is rural desert along the Mexican border near the eastern extent of San Diego County.
The Kumeyaay and Cocopah Indians were Boulevard's earliest inhabitants, and the area is rich in Native American history, culture and archeological resources. Today Boulevard is the headquarters of the Manzanita Band of Diegueno Mission Indians.An area near Calexico Lodge is occasionally referred to as Eckener Pass. Reportedly, this is a reference to German Zeppelin pioneer Hugo Eckener. In August 1929, Hugo Eckener's Zeppelin Z-127 "Graf Zeppelin", a sister ship of the Hindenburg, landed here on the Los Angeles-Chicago leg of her round-the-world tour.The town and post office were named Boulevard after US Highway 80 which ran through town. Eventually Interstate 8 was constructed, bypassing the town.Local residents report an alternate version of the origin of the name. Boulevard used to be a stage coach stop, reportedly near today's McCain Valley road, east of today's core of Boulevard. Coming from Arizona, this stop was on the first long, flat straight stretch of road, "a boulevard", after climbing the winding In-Ko-Pah mountains and passing through windier roads in Jacumba.