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San Diego Museums

San Diego Museums
San Diego County, California

When it comes to museums in San Diego, most of us think of the great collection in Balboa Park, and rightly so, but San Diego has interesting and amazing museums all over the county. Some of these museums are well known, while others are under-the-radar gems just waiting for you to discover. One thing this list of museums has in common, however, is the uniqueness of their collections. From musical instruments to folk art to military aircraft - here's a list of San Diego's most interesting museums worth checking out.

Museums To Visit

African Museum Casa del Rey Moro-FREE
OPEN: Open daily except Wednesday 10:30AM-7PM
2471 Congress Street (Old Town), San Diego 92110
Research and exhibitions focused on African cultural history.

Birch Aquarium
OPEN: Daily 9AM-5PM
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla 92037
Ocean science education and conservation.

Cabrillo National Monument-FREE
OPEN: Daily 9AM-5PM; closed Dec. 25
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego 92106
Official National Park Service site, commemorating Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo's landing at San Diego Bay in 1542.

Chicano Park
Always open
2000 Block of National Avenue 92113
Completely unique people-powered mural project and cultural center and a National Historic Landmark!

Coronado Historical Association Museum of History & Art
OPEN: Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM; Sat & Sun 10AM-5PM
1100 Orange Ave., Coronado 92118
A collection and current exhibits of Coronado's past: artwork, textiles and memorabilia dating back to the 1800s.

Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum-FREE
OPEN: Tue-Sun 9AM-3:30PM
Building T, 4203 Anderson Avenue, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego 92145
The museum preserves, documents, and displays historical artifacts.

Gaslamp Museum at William H. Davis House
OPEN: Tue-Sat 10AM-5PM; Sun noon-4PM
410 Island Ave., San Diego 92101
The Gaslamp Quarter is a 16-block district on the National Register of Historic Places.

Gotthelf Art Gallery-FREE
OPEN: Sun-Fri 9AM-5PM
4126 Executive Dr., La Jolla 92037
The gallery is devoted to expanding and enriching the cultural life in San Diego by presenting the finest in Jewish artistic expressions.

Heritage Park Victorian Village
OPEN: Tours second Sun of every month.
2450 Heritage Park Row (Old Town), San Diego 92101
Victorian architecture in late 19th century San Diego. Temple Beth Israel a highlight.

Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
See web site for schedule:
310 Euclid Avenue, San Diego, CA 92114
Jacobs Presents extraordinary FREE concert series

J. A. Cooley Museum
OPEN: Mon-Sat 10AM-4PM; Sun noon-4PM
4233 Park Boulevard, San Diego 92103
Antiques, including 15 cars from 1886 to 1933.

Junipero Serra Museum
OPEN: Hours vary with the seasons
2727 Presidio Dr., San Diego 92103
Here in 1769 a Spanish Franciscan missionary, Father Junípero Serra, with a group of soldiers, established Alta California’s first mission and presidio (fort).

La Jolla Historical Society
OPEN: Gallery: Thurs-Sun noon-4PM; Office: Mon-Fri, 10AM-4PM
780 Prospect St., La Jolla 92037
Dedicated to the discovery, collection, and preservation of La Jolla’s heritage through collections, programs, and advocacy.

Map & Atlas Museum of La Jolla - FREE
Open Wednesdays & Thursdays;
1st and 3rd Saturdays,
11 4 p.m
(855) 653-6277
7825 Fay Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
The Museum’s goal is to create an awareness and appreciation for the geography, history, politics, and artistic beauty of antique collectible maps and atlases.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Command Museum-FREE
OPEN: Mon 8AM-4PM; Tue-Sat 8AM-3PM Building 26, Day Hall 1600 Henderson Ave., Ste. 212, San Diego 92140
An educational setting portraying the legacy of the Marine Corps.

Maritime Museum of San Diego
OPEN: Daily 9AM-8PM
1492 North Harbor Dr., San Diego 92101
Restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels, including the world’s oldest working ship, the Star of India.

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala-FREE
OPEN: Daily 9AM-4:45PM
10818 San Diego Mission Road, San Diego 92108
First of the 21 missions, founded 1769 by Father Junipero Serra.

Museum of Contemporary Art
OPEN: Daily (closed Wed.), 11AM-5PM
700 Prospect St., La Jolla 92037
also 1100 & 1001 Kettner Blvd., San Diego 92101
Devoted to the exploration and presentation of art of our time, presenting works in all media created since 1950.

Nautical History Gallery & Museum-FREE
Open: Thurs - Sat 11am to 7pm
1012 Pearl Street, La Jolla 92037
619-366-2469 (AHOY)
Nautical history through models and artifacts from the American Revolution through WWII.

New Children’s Museum
OPEN: Mon & Wed-Sat, 10AM-4PM; Sun noon-4PM
200 West Island Ave., San Diego 92101
A place where kids of all ages, from toddler to teen, are encouraged to think, play and create.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park-FREE
OPEN: Hours vary
4002 Wallace Street (Old Town), San Diego 92110
The birthplace of San Diego. Consult the guide for information about historic attractions and hours.

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
OPEN: Tue-Sat 10:30AM-4PM; Sun noon-4PM
404 Third Avenue, San Diego 92101
Collecting and sharing the Chinese American experience and Chinese history, culture and art. Beautiful small garden.

San Diego Firehouse Museum
OPEN: Thurs.-Fri 10AM-2PM; Weekends 10AM-4PM
1572 Columbia Street, San Diego 92101
Firefighting memorabilia dating back 100 years.

San Diego Opera-FREE docent tour
OPEN: Hours vary
1200 3rd Avenue, San Diego 92101
Phone for a docent-led tour backstage.

San Diego Police Museum-FREE
OPEN: Wed-Fri noon-4PM; Sat 10AM-2PM
4710 College Avenue, San Diego 92115

San Diego Public Library
OPEN: every day various hours
330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
Architectural gem -- art, events, help with homework

Sculpture at UCSD
9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla 92093
Major sculpture installations all over the campus

Sheriff’s Museum Old Town
Open Wednesday - Sunday
Spring & Summer: 11am-6pm
Fall & Winter: 11am-5pm
(619) 260-1850
2384 San Diego Ave.
San Diego, CA 92110
The Sheriff’s Museum preserves and promotes the history of the County Sheriff’s Department for the enlightenment and education of visitors of all ages.

Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve
OPEN: Day use only
12600 North Torrey Pines Road, San Diego 92037
(NOT the same as
A wilderness island in an urban sea. This fragile environment is the home of our nation's rarest pine tree-Pinus torreyana.

USS Midway Museum
OPEN: Daily 10AM-5PM
910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego 92101
Experience life at sea aboard one of America’s longest-serving aircraft carriers. Enter a floating city at sea and walk in the footsteps of 225,000 Midway sailors.

Villa Montezuma
2016 interior tours - June 25 and October 15, 2016
Fantastical Victorian house
Corner of 20th & K Streets

Visions Art Museum-The Art of the Quilt
OPEN: Tue-Sun 10AM-4PM
2825 Dewey Rd., San Diego 92106
An international organization dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of quilts, textiles, and fiber as fine art.

Whaley House
OPEN: Hours vary
2476 San Diego Avenue (Old Town), San Diego 92110
A classic example of mid-nineteenth century Greek Revival architecture.

Women’s Museum of California
OPEN: Wed-Sun noon-4PM
2730 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 103, San Diego 92106
Features a variety of changing exhibits and displays on women's history.

Learn more here 

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