San Diego California Visitor Information

San Diego Museums

No Visit to a California destination would be complete without visiting one of the many museums. California has a reputation as a haven for people with creative minds, and you can see this in its multifaceted cultural offerings. Arts abound here in four main formats: large-scale, world-class organizations; smaller, quirkier museums, often showcasing the Golden State’s history and its abundant idiosyncratic subcultures (think surfers, Silicon Valley techno-wizards, and Peanuts aficionados).

When the weather hinders traditional camping activities (or not) stretch your mind with a visit to one of California’s museums. Need more encouragement? Check out The 10 Reasons to Visit a Museum!

Balboa Park Museums are located at the Park Boulevard exit off Interstate 5 near Downtown San Diego. Balboa Park is a huge cultural & activity center with 13 museums, a city zoo, theatres, golf course, restaurants, botanical gardens and much more. Museums include the Natural History Museum, Model Railroad Museum, Automotive Museum, Air & Space Museum, Photographic Arts Museum and many more. Many of the museums are situated in historic structures originally built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Visit

California Surf Museum, Oceanside – This must be California’s quintessential museum. Stop by to learn the evolution of surfing and get first-hand information about surfing ledgends like Doc Ball, Tom Blake and George Freeth. 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054.

Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum – Vista is located off Highway 78 from N. Santa Fe Avenue. The museum collects, preserves and displays engines and machinery from the early American farm industry. History museum exhibits include a blacksmith shop, farmhouse, gas engines, steam engines, short track railroad, weaving looms and tractors. Visit

Flying Leathernecks Museum – Miramar is located from either Interstate 15 or 805 from Miramar Road. Situated at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, the aviation museum features an outdoor area with over a dozen vintage aircraft and an indoor museum containing Marine Corps memorabilia and artifacts. Warbirds include the A-4, F18, MiG-15, Corsair, Wildcat, Sikorsky Sea Stallion, Cobra helicopter and more. Visit

Museum of Making Music – Carlsbad is located off Interstate 5 from Palomar Airport Road. Situated in a business complex across from Legoland Amusement Park, MOMM hosts exhibits and events focused on the musical arts. The museum exhibits include historical artifacts, vintage instruments, audio clips, photographs and more. Concerts feature renowned national and international musicions in a addition to local talent. Visit

Editorial information provided in part by, a collection of native Californians and travelers who spend their time exploring California and sharing their discoveries.

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Top Attractions in the San Diego Area

Balboa Park
Balboa Park
Birch Aquarium at Scripps, La Jolla
California Wolf Center, Julian
Eagle and High Peak Mine, Julian
Golfing in La Jolla
Golfing in Rancho Santa Fe
Golfing in San Diego
Julian Mining Company
Julian Pie Company, Julian
Knott’s Soak City Waterpark, Chula Vista
Lawrence Welk Theatre and Golf, Escondido
Legoland, Carlsbad
Oceanside Beaches
Oceanside Municipal Golf Course
Old Town San Diego
Palomar Observatory
Reuben H Fleet Science Center
San Diego Botanic Garden
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
USS Midway Museum

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