San Diego Maritime Museum

Address: 1492 N. Harbor Dr.
Telephone: 619.234.9153
San Diego Maritime Museum
A must for anyone with an interest in nautical history. The Maritime Museum of San Diego's mission is to serve as the community memory of our seafaring experience by collecting, preserving and presenting our rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world. It encompasses one of the finest collections of historic ships in the world. The Maritime Museum of San Diego features one of the finest collections of historic ships in the world, including; the world's oldest active ship Star of India; the 1898 steam ferry Berkeley; the 1904 steam yacht Medea; the 1914 harbor Pilot boat and the Californian a replica of a mid 19th century revenue cutter. The Star of India made 21 trips around the world in the late 1800s, when it traveled the East Indian trade route, shuttled immigrants from England to New Zealand, and served the Alaskan salmon trade.
Admission: $6 (includes entry to all 3 ships).
Opening hours: Daily 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. (until 9 p.m. in summer).
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Mingei International Museum

Address: 1439 El Prado, House of Charm
Telephone: 619.239.0003
Mingei International Museum
All ages will enjoy the colorful and creative exhibits of toys, pottery, textiles, costumes, and gadgets from around the globe at the Mingei. Mingei is a special word increasingly used throughout the world for 'arts of the people.' It was coined by the revered scholar, the late Dr. Soetsu Yanagi, through combining the Japanese words for all people (min) and art (gei). His keen eye observed that many useful, pre-industrial articles made by unknown craftsmen were of a beauty seldom equaled by artists of modern societies. From questioning why this might be, he gained insight as to the nature of beauty embodied in objects that are integrally related to life and born of a state of mind not attached to a conscious idea of beauty or ugliness.
Admission: $5.
Opening hours: Tues. - Sun. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
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Museum of Contemporary Art

Address: 700 Prospect St.
Telephone: 858.454.3541
Museum of Contemporary Art
The permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, includes more than 3,000 works created after 1950, representing all media and genres: painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, film, and installation. MCASD is known for collecting works by promising emerging artists and under-recognized mid-career artists, as well as by major figures in contemporary art. Among the greatest strengths of the MCASD Collection are minimalism and Pop art of the 1960s and 70s, conceptual art from the 1960s to the present, installation art, Latin American art, and art from California and the San Diego/Tijuana region. Many works in the collection are the result of artists' residencies or works commissioned for MCASD exhibitions. The Museum continually seeks to enhance its strengths and to expand the representation of artistic trends in its Collection in response to new developments in art locally, nationally, and internationally. At the same time, MCASD preserves, presents, documents, and interprets its holdings for current and future audiences.
Admission: $4, free 1st Sun. and 3rd Tues. of month.
Opening hours: Thurs. 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Fri. - Tues. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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Aerospace Museum

Address: 72001 Pan American Plaza
Telephone: 619.234.8291
Aerospace Museum
The Aerospace Museum covers five centuries of aviation history, demonstrating the remarkable progress of manned flight with more than 60 aircraft and space vehicles on display. The exclusive exhibit, Apollo 9 Has Landed, features the only Apollo Command Module flown in space west of the Rockies. The San Diego Aerospace Museum is housed in the Ford Motor Building built in 1935 for the California Pacific Exposition.
Admission: $9.
Open Daily 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
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Museum of Photographic Arts

Address: 1649 El Prado, Casa de Balboa
Telephone: 619.238.7559
Museum of Photographic Art
Since its founding in 1983, the Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA) has been devoted to collecting, conserving and exhibiting the entire spectrum of the photographic medium. The museum's endeavors consistently address cultural, historical and social issues through its exhibitions and public programs (all of which are described in detail throughout this site). MoPA is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is a member-supported, private, nonprofit institution. Additional support for museum programs is provided by the City of San Diego under a program managed by its Commission for Arts and Culture, the Community Enhancement Program of the County of San Diego, as well as the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Admission: $6 for museum, $5 for theater.
Opening hours: Daily 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (til 9 p.m. on Thurs.)
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Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Address: 1875 El Prado
Telephone: 619.238.1233
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
With exhibits to touch, virtual reality to experience, films to see and fun to be had, The Fleet is an educational, entertaining experience for visitors of all ages. We feature five galleries of exciting, hands-on science exhibits, as well as major traveling exhibitions. Our 76-foot IMAX Dome Theater, the first in the world, presents the biggest films on the planet, plus planetarium shows and more. Its unique configuration wraps the audience in images and provides the illusion of being suspended in space. Ride DEEP SEA, the motion simulator ride, and plunge into the unexplored world at the bottom of the ocean. Our two virtual reality experiences employ cutting-edge technology that puts YOU in the action. Plus, the Nierman Challenger Learning Center offers the experience of living and working in space.
Admission: Gallery exhibits $6.75; Gallery exhibits and one IMAX film $11.50; Gallery exhibits and two IMAX films $15.
Opening hours: Mon. - Thurs. 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Fri. - Sat. 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sun. 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. (hrs vary seasonally; call ahead).
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Museum of Art

Address: 1450 El Prado, Casa de Balboa
Telephone: 619.232.7931
Museum of Art
Known primarily for its Spanish Baroque and Renaissance paintings, including works by El Greco, Goya, Rubens, and van Ruisdael, San Diego's most comprehensive art museum also has strong holdings of South Asian art, Indian miniatures, and contemporary California paintings. The Museum continues to evolve and expand, bringing San Diego residents and visitors from around the world a wider selection of artworks and programming. Since 1988 the Museum has been the recipient of three major gifts: the Baldwin M. Baldwin Collection of over one hundred works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec; and a world-renowned collection of paintings and related works from the Indian subcontinent, which is unique in its breadth and depth of material. Free docent tours are offered throughout the day.
Admission: $8 ($10 - $12 for special exhibits).
Opening hours: Tues. - Sun. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (till 9 p.m. on Thurs.)
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Automotive Museum

Address: 2080 Pan American Plaza, #12
Telephone: 619.231.2886
San Diego Automotive Museum
The original idea of creating an automotive museum in Balboa Park came from Briggs Cunningham, a renowned automobile collector and racer. The idea circulated for many years until an inspired group of local automotive enthusiasts propelled the idea forward. In 1979 the San Diego City Council first considered the issue and in 1980 they gave unanimous approvel to the museum and granted a long term lease for one of the historic buildings in the jewel of San Diego - Balboa Park. After spending approximately $1 million renovating and upgrading the building, the San Diego Automotive Museum opened in December of 1988. Since then millions of local auto enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world have visited our world-class collection. Today the museum stands as a living tribute to the automobile and what it has meant to our culture. The San Diego Automotive Museum is a non-profit corporation under section 501(c3).
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Natural History Museum

Address: 1788 El Prado
Telephone: 619.232.3821
San Diego Natural History Museum
Located next to the main fountain in Balboa Park, the San Diego Natural History Museum is the place to find dinosaur bones and get a close up look at insects, birds and organic matter that make our outside world so interesting.
Renovated in 2001, a new wing has doubled the museum's original 65,000 square feet of floor space to about 150,000 square feet. With its old "L" shape transformed into a "U" that encloses the atrium on three sides, the museum now has two entrances instead of one. The familiar entrance on the Prado, opposite the fountain, remains. There is a new north-facing entrance opening directly into the atrium. The museum's large-format picture theater is directly off the atrium and features a variety of movies including the popular "Ocean Oasis" movie, which takes visitors on a scuba adventure through the waterways around Southern California and Baja California. Beneath the atrium is the new 8,500-square-foot Legler Benbough Exhibition Hall. It is home to the traveling exhibits, like the popular T.Rex exhibition which allowed kids to walk around dinosaurs and trees towering overhead.
Admission: $8.
Open daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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California Surf Museum

Address: 223 North Coast Highway, Oceanside
Telephone: 760.721.6876
California Surf Museum
The California Surf Museum was founded in February 1986, inspired by Stuart Resor's newspaper ad inviting anyone interested to attend a planning meeting; thirteen people participated. The museum first opened in Encinitas, relocated to Pacific Beach, then to a building - 308 North Pacific Street (since demolished) - at the head of the Oceanside Pier, before settling into its current, and hopefully permanent, 223 North Coast Highway location in Oceanside.
The California Surf Museum presents standing displays of surfing equipment and photographs. Every six months it introduces a new feature exhibit highlighting one of the pioneering legends of the surfing world. The museum also retails surfing-related merchandise. 20,000 people visit the museum annually.
Surfing has inspired its own subculture throughout the years. It has its own highly specialized equipment and paraphernalia, music, clothing, art, film, and language. It is a lifestyle at the very heart of the Southern California beach culture. It is the museum's commitment to gather and display this treasured memorabilia for future generations to enjoy.
Free Admission.
Open daily from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
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Model Railroad Museum

Address: 1649 El Prado
Telephone: 619.696.0199
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
At 24,000 sq. ft., the museum is the largest indoor model railroad display in the world. The individual HO and N scale layouts are among largest of their type. Construction of the model railroads is accomplished by volunteer club members (approximately. 320). Each club is responsible for the design, construction, funding, and operation of its exhibit. Criteria for membership in the individual clubs is determined by each club. Check Model Railroad Clubs for additional information.
Since its opening to the public in March of 1982, the museum has had over two million visitors. The museum has played host to numerous conventions, organizations, school groups, and community functions. If your organization would like to inquire about museum availability for social functions, the recently completed Pacific Beach Model Railroad Club Room is available for receptions, birthday parties and other gatherings.
The museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation recognized as a tax exempt educational institution by the state and federal governments.
Admission: $5.
Opening hours: Tues. - Fri. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sat. - Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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Chinese Historical Museum

Address: 404 Third Avenue
Telephone: 760.721.6876
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to collect, preserve and share the Chinese American experience and Chinese history, culture and art to educate the community and visitors. The museum was founded in 1996, by the San Diego Chinese Historical Society under the leadership of its first three presidents: Sally Wong, Tom Hom, and Dr. Alexander Chuang.
Since opening, the museum has presented more than 39 exhibits highlighting the rich tradition of Chinese culture and history in San Diego and the world. The Museum also features a library of books on Chinese culture and a tranquil garden with koi pond.
Annual and life-time memberships are available to the Society and Museum. As a privately funded, nonprofit organization, the Museum depends upon the generosity of its members. See our members page for more information on becoming a member.
Opening hours: Tues. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sun. Noon - 4 p.m.
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Museum of Men

Address: 1350 El Prado
Telephone: 619.239.2001
Museum of Men
Explore the mystery, beauty and exitement of San Diego's only anthropological museum. One of the nation's great collections of artifacts, folk art, and archaeological finds is located here. These treasures help to unfold stories of the past - of hunters creating the first spears and arrows, potters molding fragile ceramic vessels, weavers patterning vibrantly colored textiles, and artisans blending forms and symbols. We invite you to share the adventure and excitement in discovering the heritage of mankind.
The San Diego Museum of Man is an educational, non-profit corporation founded in 1915 to collect and preserve for posterity the life and history of humankind.
Admission: $6.
Open daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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