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J.A. Cooley Museum

San Diego's Hidden Gem of a Museum

Located just 1 mile north of Balboa Park this San Diego hidden gem of a museum. The J.A. Cooley Museum is the private collection of Jim & Carmen Cooley. The Museum is a showcase of all things vintage with an emphasis in San Diego history.  The approximately 10,000 square foot space  is filled with displays of artifacts that showcase the history of technology from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.  The 30 antique collections include model trains, cast iron toys, spittoons, tools, cuckoo clocks, license plates, World War I posters, phonographs, typewriters, over 2,000 cameras, and musical instruments; something for everyone and all ages. The car collection is San Diego’s best collection of 100-year-old vehicles, including cars from 1886 through 1933.  The majority of these cars are unrestored, one of a kind or last in existence. 

Neighborhood: Downtown

4233 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92103

Get Directions

Contact Info

(619) 296-3112


7 Days a week 11:00am-4:00pm


25 Unique Collections All On Display

  • Up close and personal experience as you step back in time and see the beginning
  • 25+ cars mostly original and many one of a kind 100 year old cars.
  • Enjoy the sounds of yesteryear with our phonograph and piano collection
  • Largest extensive history of model railroad, typewriters, clocks and cameras

Frank the Trainman

  • Oldest model railroad store in the country- opened since 1943
  • All gauges available-new and used plus accesories.
  • Centrally located in historic University Heights/ Hillcrest
  • A collection for everyone and all ages

More Information

  • Historic Landmark
  • Kid Friendly
  • Tours
  • General Admission - Adult
  • General Admission - Child

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