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Events

Ripley's at the SD Air & Space Museum Ripley's Believe It or Not! 2/1/13 - 12/31/14
Air Group One Air Show San Diego Air Show San Diego 6/7/14 - 6/8/14

The collection of over 90 museums in San Diego County reflects a broad and diverse range of interests and subjects, spanning from fine arts to transportation, from classics to contemporary and from science to natural history. San Diego’s museums collectively dedicate themselves to preserve the past, observe the present and inspire future citizens to take part and take care of our cultural, natural and historic heritage. Wherever your interest may lie, you’re sure to find a museum that will provide you with deeper insight, engagement and inspiration.

Balboa Park

Often referred to as the “Smithsonian of the West," Balboa Park is the largest urban park with cultural institutions in the United States. Fifteen museums cover topics including anthropology, art, aviation, natural science and technology.

Passport to Balboa Park

If you are planning on visiting Balboa Park over the course of a few days, take advantage of the Passport to Balboa Park which includes one admission to 14 museums over 7 consecutive days. If you only have a day, visit the Visitors Center in Balboa Park for a Stay-for-the-Day pass that includes admission to 5 of the museums in one day.

Old Town San Diego

Considered the “birth place” of California, Old Town San Diego gives visitors a glimpse into colonial life in San Diego from 1821 to 1872. Mixed among award-winning restaurants and more than 100 shops are historical sites and museums, many with free admission. At the center of Old Town is the Whaley House Museum Complex, which consists of five historic buildings, the most famous of which is the Whaley House, called the number one most haunted house in the U.S. by the Travel Channel's America's Most Haunted.

View a rare original stagecoach at the Wells Fargo Museum, see a scale model of nineteenth century Old Town at the reconstructed Robinson-Rose House, and tour the Black Hawk Livery & Blacksmith, the first public schoolhouse in San Diego, and Casa de Estudillo, considered one of the finest adobe haciendas in the state.

Up the hill are Heritage Park, a 7.8 acre county park where seven Victorian homes have been relocated and now house shops and bed and breakfasts, and the Serra Museum, site of California’s first mission and fort.

Museums for Children

While most of the museums are child-friendly, a few cater specifically to children. The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park brings science to life with hands-on experiments that are sure to make a child want to learn more. Also in Balboa Park you’ll find the San Diego Model Railroad Museum with an interactive Lionel layout for children. 

The New Children’s Museum in Downtown and the Children’s Discovery Museum in Escondido bring art and discovery to life with fun activities, projects and play areas. Each children’s museum also has space for the littlest visitors so they can join in the fun as well.

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California Surf Museum
312 Pier View Wy
Oceanside, CA 92054
760.721.6876
Region: North County Coastal

Founded in 1986, California Surf Museum: The First 25 Years is a brief look at where the museum started and its growth through the past 25 years,...

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Museum of Making Music
5790 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
877.551.9976
Region: North County Coastal

The Museum of Making Music explores the multifaceted history of the American music products industry from its beginnings in the 1890s to today and...

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Heritage of the Americas Museum Inc
12110 Cuyamaca College Dr W
El Cajon, CA 92019
619.670.5194
Region: East County

Four Museums in One Location The Heritage of the Americas Museum, located on the campus of Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, is a cultural...

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Whaley House Museum
2476 San Diego Ave
San Diego, CA 92110
619.297.7511
Region: Mission Valley and Old Town

Whaley House Museum -  California State Historic Landmark #65 Over 100,000 people visit the Whaley House annually, with guests traveling...

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Reuben H Fleet Science Center
1875 El Prado Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92101
619.238.1233
Region: Downtown

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is home to Southern California's only IMAX® Dome Theater and 100+ hands-on science exhibits for all ages....

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San Diego Museum of Art
1450 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
619.232.7931
Region: Downtown

The San Diego Museum of Art provides a rich and diverse cultural experience. Located in the heart of beautiful Balboa Park, the Museum's nationally...

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Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum and Foundation
PO BOX 45316 MCAS Miramar
San Diego, CA 92145
858.693.1723
Region: North County Inland

The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation supports a one-of-a-kind Aviation Museum developed by a dedicated staff, with the help of many...

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Oceanside Museum of Art
704 Pier View Way
Oceanside, CA 92054
760.435.3720
Region: North County Coastal

The mission of the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA) is to educate and inspire the public through a diverse range of engaging exhibitions and programs...

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Coronado Visitor Center and Historical Association & Museum
1100 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118
866.599.7242
Region: Coronado

The Coronado Visitor Center is your first stop on your Coronado island visit. Come in for complimentary maps, guides, tour information, discount...

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San Diego Archaeological Center
16666 San Pasqual Valley Rd
Escondido, CA 92027
760.291.0370
Region: North County Inland

In 1998, the San Diego Archaeological Center took on a formidable task: resolving The Curation Crisis. Excavated artifacts neglected for over 30...

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Air Group One - CAF
1905 North Marshall Avenue
El Cajon, CA 92020
619.259.5541
Region: East County

Air Group One formed as the "San Diego Squadron" of the CAF in 1981. Two years later it was reformed as a CAF Wing and renamed "Air Group One." Its...

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Timken Museum of Art
1500 El Prado Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92101
619.239.5548
Region: Downtown

The Timken Museum of Art, located in San Diego’s Balboa Park, is the permanent home of the Putnam Foundation's world-class collection of...

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San Diego Hall of Champions
2131 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101
619.234.4542
Region: Downtown

The San Diego Hall of Champions is an undisputed national leader in recognition of amateur, collegiate and professional sports excellence; youth...

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The New Children's Museum
200 W Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
619.233.8792
Region: Downtown

The New Children's Museum is a dynamic new model of a children's museum that provides inventive and engaging art experiences that are meaningful...

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Lux Art Institute
1550 South El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
760.436.6611
Region: North County Coastal

Lux Art Institute, located in Encinitas, Calif., is redefining the museum experience with the region's only artist-in-residence program that invites...

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