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Destination guides > North America > USA > West Coast > California > San Diego > Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

San Diego

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

Air & Space Museum

This brilliant museum has an unrivalled collection that includes the Blackbird SR-71 spy plane and a replica of the Spirit of St Louis.

Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park
Bus 7
Tel (619) 234 8291
Admission $15 ($12 students)
Open Jan-May 10am-4.30pm daily; Jun-Aug 10am-5.30pm daily; Sep-Dec 10am-4.30pm daily

Maritime Museum

The highlights of San Diego’s Maritime Museum are three restored boats: the Berkeley, a ferry boat that once plied San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland; the Medea, a luxurious steam yacht and the Star of India, a square-rigger that features 30m-high masts.

1306 N Harbor Drive, San Diego
Bus 2, 210, 810, 820, 850, 860, 923, 992 Trolley County Center/Little Italy
Tel (619) 234 9153
Admission $12
Open 9am-8pm daily

Museum of Contemporary Art

This art museum in the northern beachside suburb of La Jolla is noted for its collection of pop art from the 1960s and 70s. There is also a smaller branch of the museum opposite the train station in downtown San Diego.

La Jolla branch: 700 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
Bus 30
Downtown branch: 1001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego
Bus 2, 210, 850, 860, 923, 992 Trolley America Plaza
Tel (858) 454 3541
Admission $10 good for entry to both locations
Open Mon-Tue 11am-5pm, Thu 11am-7pm, Fri-Sun 11am-5pm

Rueben H Fleet Science Center

This science museum features the usual collection of push-button interactive exhibits plus the popular Omnimax theatre.

1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego
Bus 7
Tel (619) 238 1233
Admission $8
Open Mon-Tue 9.30am-6pm, Wed-Sun 9.30am-9pm

San Diego Automotive Museum

This museum is home to an excellent collection of classic cars.

2080 Pan-American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego
Bus 7
Tel (619) 231 2886
Admission $8 ($5 students)
Open 10am-5pm daily (last entry 4.30pm)

San Diego Museum of Art

This world-class art gallery is known for its collection of works by prominent Spanish artists. Notable exhibits include El Greco’s St Peter’s Penitent, Goya’s Marqués de Sofraga and Salvador Dalí’s Spectre du Soir. The museum also has works by other prominent European artists and an impressive collection of Asian art.

1450 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego
Bus 7
Tel (619) 232 7931
Admission $10 ($7 students)
Open Tue-Wedn 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-9pm, Fri-Sun 10am-6pm

San Diego Museum of Man

This museum has a collection of over 70,000 artefacts detailing the history of humanity from the evolution of humankind and its development through the ages. There are exhibits on various cultures including Native Americans and the ancient Egyptians.

1350 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego
Bus 3, 120
Tel (619) 239 2001
Admission $8 ($6 students)
Open 10am-4.30pm daily

San Diego Natural History Museum

In addition to the usual collection of fossils and stuffed animals, the San Diego Natural History Museum has exhibits on whales, desert wildlife and the largest rattlesnake collectin in the United States.

1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego
Bus 7
Tel (619) 232 3821
Admission $9
Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm

San Diego Zoo

San Diego’s world-famous zoo is regarded as one of the world’s best and is one of the most popular attractions in town. It is home to almost 4000 animals representing over 800 species, including a very popular panda enclosure.

Park Boulevard, Balboa Park, San Diego
Bus 7
Tel (619) 231 1515
Admission $22.75-33
Open 9am-4pm daily


This immensely popular attraction is home to penguins, manatees, sharks and its world-famous performing killer whales.

500 Sea World Drive, Mission Bay, San Diego
Bus 8, 9
Tel (619) 226 3901
Admission $57
Open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7.30pm

Timken Museum of Art

This small – but impressive – collection includes works by Bruegel, Rembrandt and Rubens.

1500 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego
Bus 7, 7A, 7B
Tel (619) 239 5548
Admission free
Open Tue-Sat 10am-4.30pm, Sun 1.30pm-4.30pm


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