Best Museums in San Diego That Are Too Interesting to Miss

Museums in San Diego | San Diego Museums

Ranging from art centers and archaeological sites to aviation and science exhibitions, museums in San Diego are testaments to the city’s lengthy history and robust military presence in america. Wildl (Read More)ife preserves and anthropological museums are also popular among tourists. Museums in San Diego are epicenters of educational influence and natural beauty as most of them have well-manicured gardens and lakes.

Here is the list of 20 Best Museums in San Diego That Are Too Interesting to Miss

1. Museum of Making Music San Diego

Museum of Making Music San Diego
4.5 /5

The Museum of Making Music is an interactive music museum in San Diego, California. This museum entails how the musical industry supplies the musical instruments, products, & gears to the world, because of which we all are creating music today! On your entry into the museum, you will see remarkable examples of musical instruments. Many of the instruments are presented in the vintage music store settings. On your visit, you will explore the multidimensional history of the American musical products industry.

Timings : Tuesday to Sunday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.  (Mon closed)
Tickets : Adults - $7, Senior - $5, Military person (with Valid ID) - $5, Students (4-18 yrs with valid ID) - $5.

2. Birch Aquarium

Birch Aquarium
5.0 /5

Birch Aquarium is an aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, California. They have interactive tide pools and various popular exhibits such as the Hall of Fishes, Giant kelp forest, Seadragons & seahorses, and more. You can dine here at the Splash! Cafe by French Gourmet. It's an open-air cafe at the entrance of the Birch Aquarium.

Timings : Open daily from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Tickets : Adult - $19.50, Children (3-7 yrs) - $15, Senior (above 60) - $16.50, Students or UCSD staff (with ID) - $16.
Accessibility : Wheelchair accessible

3. Fleet Science Center

Fleet Science Center
4.5 /5

Fleet Science Center is a Science Museum in San Diego, California. It is situated in the Balboa park at the eastern end of the El Prado Drive walkway. It was established in 1973. The center is named in the name of the aviation pioneer Reuben H. Fleet, who initiated the U.S. Air Mail service. It is an educational center that features practical exhibitions, a planetarium, IMAX (OMNIMAX) dome theatre, and interactional displays.

Hours : Mon to Thurs from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and Fri to Sun from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.
Entry : Free

4. New Children's Museum

New Children's Museum
4.5 /5

New Children's Museum is an interactive museum in San Diego that is a not-for-profit organization. It is a novel model of the Children's Museum that operates with a mission to pique creativity, imagination, and critical thinking in children and families via inventive and captivating experiences with modern art. The museum encourages children to think, play, and create through engrossing exhibitions, art-oriented activities, artistic performances, and educational opportunities.

Hours : Mon to Sat from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. and Sun from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Tickets :  Adults - $15.50, Seniors (above 65) - $10, Military (with valid ID) - $10, Children (above 1) - $15.50, Museum for all (EBT) - $1.
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes

5. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
4.5 /5

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is an art museum that is engaged in the collection, preservation, exhibitions, evaluations of artworks from the 1950s to today so far. It is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1941. MCASD offers access to the finest art at two exemplary locations in San Diego, i.e., the La Jolla and downtown location of Santa Fe Depot. It has a collection of around 5,000 artifacts.

Timings : 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Mon to Tue and Thu to Sun (Wed closed)
Tickets : General entry - $10, Student (26 yrs and above) - $5, Seniors - $5, Military and their families - Free, Students (25 yrs & below with ID) - Free.

6. Mingei International Museum

Mingei International Museum
4.5 /5

The Mingei International museum in San Diego is a not-for-profit public art museum that collects, conserves, and manifests folk art, designs, and crafts. It is situated in the House of Charm, Balboa Park in San Diego, California. The word Mingei means 'Art of the people'. It was coined by Japanese scholar Dr. Sõetsu Yanagi. The Museum was instituted in 1974 and was made open for the public from 1978. The Museum encompasses 17,500 objects from 141 nations. The collection embraces artifacts from the 3rd Century B.C. to the 21st Century to date.

Open : Tuesday to Sunday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Tickets : Free

7. San Diego Museum of Art

San Diego Museum of Art
4.5 /5

The San Diego Museum of Art is a fine arts museum in San Diego situated at the heart of iconic Balboa Park, El Prado. It is an esteemed museum with glorious artworks, also featuring a courtyard bar offering sculpture garden views. The nationally famous collections of the museum include 19th & 20th Century American paintings & Sculptures, Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings, and others.

Tickets : Adults - $15, Seniors (65 and above) - $10, Military (Active or Retired with ID) - $10, Students (with ID) - $8, Youth (17& below) - free.
Timings :  Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri from 10 A.M to 5 P.M, Sun from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M., Wed - closed.
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes

8. Museum of US / Museum of Man

Museum of US / Museum of Man
4.5 /5

The Museum of US is an anthropology museum in San Diego, California. It is situated amid iconic buildings of the California Quadrangle in Balboa Park, El Prado, San Diego. The museum was inaugurated in 1915. It is an ornate building featuring wide-ranging anthropology exhibitions and a sweeping tower. It is a cultural anthropology Museum that tours the human experience from multicultural outlooks to zestful speech, self-reflection, and human kinships. Here, you will explore the expansive human history and culture.

Timings :  Wed to Sun from 10 A.M to 5 P.M. (Mon-Tue closed)
General Admission :  Adults - $13, Seniors (above 62) / Military (Active/ Retired with valid ID) / Student (6-17) - $ 10, Children (5 and below) - free.
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes

9. William Heath Davis House

William Heath Davis House
4.0 /5

The William Heath Davis House, also known as the David Horton House and Gaslamp museum in San Diego, is an antique building situated in the Gaslamp Quarter. The museum offers house tours to preserve the heritage. It is the oldest wooden structure in San Diego and is known as the most haunted house in Gaslamp.

Hours : Tue to Sat from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. (last tour at 4:30 P.M.), Sun from 12:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. (last tour at 3:30 P.M.)
(Mon Closed)
Tickets : Self-guided - $5, Audio tour - $10, Seniors and active military - $8, Students - $5, Children (below 7) - Free, 2 for 1 admission: $8

10. Coronado Museum of History & Art

Coronado Museum of History & Art
5.0 /5

Coronado Museum is a small museum in Coronado, California. It is a not-for-profit organization with permanent and transitory exhibitions of local art & history and vast archives. It is a landmark Historical Association building that lies right in the center of the city. Also, there is a Museum Store that offers antique items for sale and a Museum Café in the Museum building. You can visit here to explore the history of the magnificent Island of Coronado, California.

Entry : Free
Timings : Monday to Sunday from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes

11. Maritime Museum of San Diego

Maritime Museum of San Diego
4.5 /5

Maritime Museum of San Diego is a not-for-profit Museum in San Diego California. The Maritime Museum gives you access to entertaining and educational exhibits offered by a top-notch collection of historical sailing ships, steam powered boats, and submarines. This museum holds International prestige for distinction in reinstating, maintaining, and running historic vessels, including the foremost active sailing ship of the world, the Star of India. It is the nation's one of the leading self-guided attractions.

Open : Daily, Mon to Fri from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and Sat to Sun 10 A.M to 6 P.M.
Tickets : Adults (18+) - $ 20; Senior citizens(62+), Military w/ID, Students (13-17yrs) - $ 15; and Children (12 yrs & below) - $ 10.
accessibility : Wheelchair Accessible

12. USS Midway Museum

USS Midway Museum
4.5 /5

The USS Midway Museum is a historical naval aircraft carrier museum in downtown San Diego, California, at Navy Pier. You can experience the adventure and glory of the USS Midway offering great activities and fun for the entire family aboard. The museum encompasses the aircraft carrier midway. The ship features an expansive collection of Aircraft, most of them built in Southern California.

Timings :  Mon to Sun from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Timings : Adult (18+) - $26, Senior (62+) - $22
Student (ages 13-17 with ID) - $18, Youth - (6-12) - 12, Veterans ( with valid proof of service) - $10.
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes
Free WiFi : Yes

13. San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
4.5 /5

San Diego Model Railroad Museum is one of the largest of its kind museums in the entire North America. It is situated in El Prado in San Diego, California. Nestled in the magnificent backdrop of Balboa Park, this museum has an innate beauty with several trains, trestles, and tracks spread over an area of 27,000 square feet. This Model Railroad Museum is a place where imagination is exquisitely devised. It has both indoor and outdoor exhibitions and programming for all ages.

Timings : Tue to Fri from 10 A.M to 4 P.M. and Sat to Sun from 11 A.M to 5 P.M.
Tickets : Adult (ages 19-64) - $12.50, Senior (ages 65+) - $9.00, Students (ages 12-18 with valid ID) - $7.50, Military (with valid ID) - $8.00, Children (ages 4-11) - $6.00, Children (3 & below)- Free with each paid adult.
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes

14. Whaley House Museum

Whaley House Museum
4.5 /5

The Whaley House is a museum and California Historical Landmark, situated in the Old Town, San Diego, California. It is administered by the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO). The Whaley House was the home of Thomas Whaley and his family. The place where the house was built was once a graveyard.

Hours : Monday - Tuesday 10 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
(Wed Closed), Thu - Sat from 10 A.M. to 9:30 P.M., Sun from 10 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. (Vary in Summers, School Spring breaks, and School Winter breaks)
Tickets :  Daytime Admission (10:00 A.M to 4:30 P.M.) - $10 for Adults; $8 for Seniors (55+), Active Duty Military, & Children (ages 6-12): 
Free for children (5 and below)
(Includes entry to the Adobe Chapel Museum, shown by appointment/request via Whaley House Museum)
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes

15. Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum
4.5 /5

The San Diego Natural History Museum is a museum situated in Balboa Park, El Prado in San Diego, California. It was established in 1874. It is a large museum that flaunts rotating displays on dinosaurs, animals, and earth science. It is the oldest scientific establishment in Southern California and the second oldest in the west of Mississippi. The museum organizes captivating exhibitions and features a large-screen Dolby digital 3D theater showing films that are natural-world-oriented.

Hours : Tues to Sun from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. (Mon closed)
Entry fee : Adults - $19.95, Senior / Military (with valid ID) / Student (with valid ID) - $16.95, Youth - $11.95.
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes
amenities : Free WiFi

16. San Diego Air & Space Museum

San Diego Air & Space Museum
4.5 /5

San Diego Air & Space Museum is an aviation and space observation museum in San Diego, California. It lies in the former Ford Building, in the renowned & historical Balboa Park, El Prado. SDASM was made accessible to the general public on 15th Feb 1963. It was previously known as the San Diego Aerospace Museum. It is California's Official Air & Space Museum with a vast collection of historical aircraft, space-craft, and interaction exhibitions.

Timings : Open Mon to Sun from 10:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. (closed on Christmas & Thanksgiving day).
Tickets : Adults (12 and above) - $22, Senior / Students / Retired Military (with valid ID) - $18, Youth (3-11 yrs) - $12, Children (2yrs & below) - free, Active duty military - free, SDASM members - free.
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes
Amenities : Free Wifi

17. San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum

San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum
4.5 /5

The San Diego Hall of Champions is an American multi-sport museum. This museum is devoted to commemorating excellence in more than forty professional and amateur sports. It is recognized as one of the largest multi-sport-museums in the U.S.

Timings : Mon to Sun from 10:00 A.M to 4:30 P.M.
Tickets :  Adults - $5 and Youth (3-17 yrs) - $3

18. San Diego Automotive Museum, San-diego

San Diego Automotive Museum, San-diego
4.5 /5

San Diego Automotive Museum is features automotive culture across history, lying in Balboa Park, El Prado in San Diego, California. It was established in 1988 by San Diego Car Collectors. Today, it has developed into a museum that manifests automotive culture from throughout the globe.

Hours : Mon from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. and Tue to Thurs from 10:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Admission : Adults - $12, Seniors (65 and above) - $8, Military with ID - $8, Students with ID - $8, Youth (6 – 15 yrs) - $6, Children (5 & below) - Free
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes

19. Museum of Photographic Arts

Museum of Photographic Arts
4.5 /5

The Museum of Photographic Arts is a museum and visual learning center, situated in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. It is an independent institution that collects, protects, and presents photography, films, and video graphics art. MOPA presents a broad range of rotating exhibitions from the solo photographer as well as group shows around the globe, across the year.

Timings : Tue to Sun from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. (Mon closed)
Admission : Pay what you wish
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes

20. San Diego Art Institute

San Diego Art Institute
4.5 /5

San Diego Art Institute is a not-for-profit institution in San Diego, California, that is an experimental bi-national modern art center. It is situated in the historic building House of Charm in Balboa Park, El Prado. SDAI is the only contemporary culture association in Balboa Park that supports the creation of innovative art by providing exclusive space for artistic competencies of Southern California and Northern Baja to fraternize, exhibit, and bloom.

Timings : Tue to Sun from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. (Mon closed)
Admission : Free (Pay if you want to donate)
Wheelchair Accessible : Yes

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