San Diego Museums

San Diego Museums to Explore

San Diego is a big city with lots of neighborhoods to explore, so it should come as no surprise there are lots of museums to go around. A trip to San Diego isn't complete without a visit to at least one of the museums in San Diego and the city has a great mix of art museums, history museums, stuffed animal museums — even a beer museum. Overall, the museums in San Diego are a great place for adults and children to connect with nature. If you're looking for something to do this weekend in San Diego, you can visit either of their museums. Some of the best San Diego museums you need to add to your day trip list for when you're in town include Birch Aquarium at Scripps, USS MIdway Museum, San Diego Air and Space museum and many more.

San Diego has museums that may be fun for tourists that love history or art. There are a lot of San Diego museums where one can find beautiful sculptures made by the greatest sculptors ever. The museums and cultural centers in the city are incredible and captivating, and you can find your perfect fit (either by location or field of interest) with ease. Whether you're into science, art, military history, traveling, or anything else in between, San Diego has something for you.

USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway aircraft carrier museums in San Diego is a great place to visit if you like airplanes, military history, and old planes. Well known for being the oldest of its kind, the Midway has been host to over 3 million visitors since 2004. While it features many flight-related attractions such as flight simulators and full-size aircraft, it is also home to several military exhibits spanning most of American history.

San Diego Natural History Museum

This San Diego Natural Histrory Museums is a place that is worth visiting if you are into science, particularly the branches of geology, paleontology, and archeology. There are exhibits that showcase live animals and birds as well as skulls, skeletons, and fossils which will most likely leave your mouth open and your imaginations wondering about the past inhabitants of the Earth.

Maritime Museum of San Diego

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is a great place to visit when you're looking for something fun to do with your kids. They're going to love the hands-on exhibits and interactive displays that let them explore different aspects of maritime history and culture. There's even a boat-building project where you can get in on the action. The museum has a ton of programs that are perfect for groups, including educational tours, scavenger hunts, and more.

Fleet Science Center

The Fleet Science Center is a hands-on, minds-on science center where "learning is an adventure!". At the Fleet, you and your family can explore science on such topics as biology, geological sciences, astronomy, and physics. Families can also explore cultural science through interactive exhibits showcasing themes like art, history, and technology.

Museum of Photographic Arts

MOPA has an extensive collection featuring European and American photographs, artists' books, and works on paper from the 19th to the 21st centuries. Furthermore, they have a research library with 10, 000 volumes, exhibitions from around 100 international photographers, and educational programs for adults and children. At MOPA, one of the unique San Diego museums, you can learn about photography through classes in the school and lectures by visiting artists. You can also explore photography through exhibitions featuring work by local, national and international photographers.

Museum of Us

The Museum of Us is a series of interactive installations that explore and celebrate the meaning, memory and emotion behind personal belongings. Visit the only museum that is a black hole of history, and then exit through a portal to drift in interstellar space. This museum will journey through time, visiting planets and galaxies past and present. It is immersive, interactive art: a personal experience, where you are free to revisit and rediscover your history.

The New Children’s Museum

It hosts exhibits, classes, and activities that support learning through play. Their programs are designed to encourage creativity, curiosity, and learning through play, so kids are sure to have a blast. They offer opportunities for kids to create, play, and explore through hands-on activities, exhibits, events, and more.

San Diego Museum of Art

This museum hosts a variety of exhibits, including rotating ones and permanent ones, like the collection of art from the Americas. It's located downtown, so it's easy to explore the city while visiting this museum. The museum houses over 35,000 works in its permanent collection and hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. The museum also features one of the largest collections of art by California artists, including pieces by Edward Weston, Maynard Dixon, and Otis Oldfield.

San Diego Air and Space Museum

This museum is packed with cool exhibits, including an IMAX theater, an aviation hall of fame, a space center and several other galleries. You can also take in some incredible views of San Diego from the museum's terrace. The museum has something for everyone—kids will love the hands-on exhibits while adults are sure to enjoy learning more about aviation history.

FAQ's of San Diego Museums

How long does it take to go through the San Diego Museum of Art?

It's hard to say exactly how long it takes to go through the museum since that depends on your interests and how much time you spend in each exhibit. You can spend a couple hours meandering through the exhibits or you can get in and out of the museum within an hour.

Is photography allowed at the Museum of Art?

You will see signs throughout the galleries that say "No Photos," but these are there only because certain works of art may be damaged by flash photography. If you have questions about whether or not it's okay to take a picture, feel free to ask a staff member or docent at any time while you're visiting the museum.

Are backpacks allowed in Balboa Park museums?

If you're planning a day at Balboa Park museums, you can bring your backpack along with you. There are lots of great options for keeping your stuff organized, so it's no problem bringing your backpack along. In addition to being allowed in San Diego museums, backpacks are also permitted in restaurants and stores throughout Balboa Park.

Are museums at Balboa Park free?

Yes, museums at Balboa Park are free! There are over two dozen museums at the park, and they cover a range of topics. Most of them have daily admission hours and some require reservations, but all of them are free. You can visit a museum about the history of San Diego, one about birds, and another about the science behind flight—all for free!


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