San Diego is a place where artistic spirit and world-class artworks cannot be confined to museums. The streets, art galleries, main library, and other nooks and crannies are overflowing with art. Checking most of it out doubles as a way to enjoy the weather or a night on the town, so pack a good pair of walking shoes to take in some of San Diego’s best works.
Murals of La Jolla
Adding to La Jolla’s considerable natural beauty are more than a dozen murals peppered throughout the area. At the moment, 16 murals grace the sides of buildings and other surfaces in the neighborhood. Coordinated by the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, murals have been cycled through since 2010 featuring dozens of artists. You can join one of the periodic mural tours organized by the library, or discover them at random on foot or by car as you explore the neighborhood.
When it comes to murals, few places can boast as many as Oceanside, where 30 of them add color to restaurants, coffee shops, alleys and other sites around town, with nine more slated for completion over the next few years. Seeing every last one requires a map and a bit of legwork. But just about any outing in Oceanside will take in some of this art.
Fault Whisper and Other Downtown Works
Downtown San Diego is rich in public art and any tour should include “Fault Whisper,” an award-winning piece installed in Fault Line Park in 2015. The husband-and-wife team who dreamed up the twin, 7-foot-tall silver orbs created them to record the slightest movements in the earthquake fault beneath the park.
Murals and more in two vibrant communities
North Park and South Park
These two urban neighborhoods that wrap around Balboa Park are crucibles of creativity, and they pop with such streetside art as Channin Fulton’s “You Are Radiant!” in North Park. You’ll find that mural on Ray Street — a hotspot for artist studios and galleries, and just a block over from the new Connect San Diego creative hub on 30th Street.
UCSD Stuart Collection
Students rushing between classes aren’t the only people who can enjoy the impressive Stuart Collection dispersed around UCSD’s campus. Anyone can visit the 19 site-specific works that range from traditional sculptures to precariously perched houses to manicured gardens and snake-like footpaths.
Balboa Park Museums and Spanish Village Art Center
With more than 17 museums and cultural institutions, art aficionados will have plenty to enjoy in Balboa Park. The San Diego Museum of Art and Timken Museum of Art are obvious stops, but none is better for simultaneously enjoying the outdoors than the Spanish Village Art Center, a collection of three dozen artist studios dotting a cobblestone-lined courtyard. Enjoy San Diego’s idyllic weather and stroll the outdoor sculpture garden between the Old Globe Theatre and Panama 66 restaurant.
Art at the Central Library
With its enormous metal bonnet, San Diego’s Central Library is a work of art in itself. Yet, besides the works of literature and music in its archives—and even the actual Art Gallery on the Ninth Floor—the entire library was designed by architect Rob Quigley to showcase art. Every floor features pieces in a variety of media.
Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.
English | Change Language