San Diego Museums at Balboa Park


There are fascinating exhibits to explore at the many San Diego Museums located in Balboa Park. Consider a romantic day picnicing in the beautiful gardens of the park and then explore your favorite museum.



Resident FREE Tuesdays

As a public service, many of the museums offer free admission to San Diego residents on a rotating basis on Tuesdays only. Sometimes they may still charge for special exhibits.   The Timken Museum of Art is always free. Here's the schedule for Resident Free Tuesdays:<br>

1st Tuesday of the Month  Reuben H. Fleet Science Center                  Centro Cultural de la Raza
San Diego Model Railroad Museum                                                              SD  Natural History Museum

2nd Tuesday of the Month  Museum of Photographic Arts               San Diego History Center
Veterans’ Museum and Memorial Center

3rd Tuesday of the Month    San Diego Art Institute                            Mingei Internat'l Museum
San Diego Museum of Art                                                                                Japanese Friendship Gard.
San Diego Museum of Man

4th Tuesday of the Month     San Diego Air & Space                             SD Automotive Museum
SELECT House of Pacific Relations International Cottages                          SD Hall of Champions


In addition to fascinating San Diego Museums, explore some of the other things to do in Balboa Park:


Centro Cultural de la Raza

Open Tuesday through Sunday from Noon-4PM

Telephone: (619) 235-6135

Enjoy entertainment, exhibits, and workshops at this Balboa Park museum devoted to honoring and promoting the Mexican, Indigenous, Chicano, and Latino cultures. 


Marston House

Open Friday through Sunday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Address: 3525 Seventh Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 298-3142

Take a 45 minute guided tour of this Craftsman-style mansion built in 1905 and set on 5 acres of landscaped English and California influenced gardens.


Mingei International Museum

Mingei International Museum

Open Tuesday through Sunday from Noon-4PM

Address: 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 239-0003

This San Diego museum features folk art from around the world in six galleries of changing exhibitions.



Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park

Museum of Photographic Arts

Open daily 10AM - 5PM

Address: 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 238-7559

Visit the changing exhibits showcasing the history of photography at this San Diego museum.


Museum of San Diego History

Open daily 10AM - 4:30PM

Telephone: (619) 232-6203

This San Diego museum focuses on San Diego's history with displays of local artifacts, costumes, art, maps, and photographs.


San Diego Aerospace Museum

San Diego Aerospace Museum

Open daily 10AM - 5:30PM

Address: 2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 234-8291

This museum is a Smithsonian affiliate and covers 5 centuries of aviation history with displays of more than 60 aircraft and space vehicles. An interactive exhibit lets visitors operate the controls of a real airplane. Take a look at the only Global Positioning Satellite on public display. Military personnel receive complimentary admission with I.D.


Museum of the Living Artist

San Diego Art Institute: Museum of the Living Artist

Open Tuesday through Saturday 10AM - 4PM and Sundays Noon - 4PM

Telephone: (619) 236-0011

Every four to six weeks a new exhibit of works by local San Diego artists opens in this 10,000 square foot gallery.


San Diego Automotive Museum

San Diego Automotive Museum

Open daily 10AM - 5PM

Address: 2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 231-2886

This museum is home to a collection of more than 90 historic automobiles and motorcycles including Russell Crowe's Harley Davidson and Frank Sinatra's 1967 Austin Petrol Hire Car.


San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum

San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum

Open daily 10AM - 4:30PM

Address: 2131 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 234-2544

This is the world's largest multi-sport museum. Exhibits at this Balboa Park museum include the evolution of the surfboard, baseball, football, skateboard legend Tony Hawk and more.


San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Open Tuesday-Friday 11AM - 4PM and weekends 11AM - 5PM

Address: 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 696-0199

This is the world's largest operating model railroad museum with more than 27,000 square feet of displays that include four scale model railroad layouts and a toy train gallery.


San Diego Museum of Art San Diego Museum of Art

San Diego Museum of Art

Open Tuesday through Sunday 10AM - 6PM

Address: 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 232-7931

In addition to hosting exhibits from around the world, this San Diego museum features a good selectio of European old masters, 19th and 20th century American art, a comprehensive Asian collections, contemporary, and Latin American art.


San Diego Museum of Man

Museum of Man 

Open daily 10AM - 4:30PM

Address: 1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 239-2001

Devoted to anthropology, arts, culture, and scientific achievements, this San Diego museum is located beneath the 200 foot California Tower. Here you can explore Mayan monuments, Egyptian tomb artifacts, and Peruvian mummies as well as enjoy visiting exhibits from around the world.



San Diego Natural History Museum

San Diego Natural History Museum

Open daily 10AM - 5PM

Address: 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Telephone: (619) 232-3821

This research facility is dedicated to interpreting the nature of the region through research and education. Watch films on a giant screen and enjoy a variety of changing presentations.


Timken Museum

Timken Museum

Open Tuesday through Saturday 10AM - 4:30PM and Sundays 1PM - 4:30PM

Telephone: (619) 239-5548

This small Balboa Park museum houses the Putnam Foundation collection of European old master paintings, American paintings, and Russian icons. Admission is always free.


Vetran's Museum and Memorial Center

Vetran's Museum & Memorial Center

Open Tuesday through Saturday 9:30AM - 3PM and Sundays 10AM - 3PM

Telephone: (619) 239-2300

This Balboa Park museum preserves and honors the men and women who served in the Armed Forces, Coast Guard, and Wartime Merchant Marines from the Civil War to the present.


WorldBeat Center

Hours vary.

Telephone: (619) 230-1190

Opened in 1996 to promote and preserve African, African-American, and other indigenous cultures of the world. Enjoy international dance and drumming classes, lectures, classes, and concerts.



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