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San Diego Area Museums

A Cranky Listing

People you meet in museums
are cooler than other people.
— Anonymous Sage

Here are links to interesting museums in and around San Diego, with some brief comments on each. In general, most are small and, compared with museums in many other cities, most are overpriced. However many are interesting in their way.

In Balboa Park, most museums offer once-a-month "Residents Free Days" admission for San Diego County residents (Link), with different museums participating on different Tuesdays. For the more museum-prone visitor, a number of multi-museum pass programs exist, including one valid for a year in all the park's museums. (Link).

After the San Diego listings in each category, I have added a few museums in the Los Angeles area that seemed particularly worth going out of one's way to visit. I have been far more selective with these than with the San Diego ones.

Remember that modern museum web sites often allow you to look at selected items in their collections on your computer. It can be fun to spend some time with such "virtual visits," although of course nothing beats a real visit. Many museums now allow photographs in some galleries, so bring a camera. That makes it possible and fun to share your visit with others. Be prepared to use the camera's "macro" setting —some newer cameras are smart enough to take care of this by themselves; be sure you know how to turn off the flash; and watch out for reflections on glass.

This list, with my descriptive and evaluative comments, is intended to be generally helpful, not definitive. Information should always be checked with the museum's web site before you visit, since hours (and prices) may shift seasonally (and/or unpredictably).

Shortcuts: Anthropology, Art, Zoos, Science, History, Miscellaneous


  1. Anthropology-Related Museums

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  2. Art Museums

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  3. Zoos & Botanical Museums

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  4. Science Museums

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  5. Local History Museums

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  6. Miscellaneous Museums

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