Arts and Culture

Catering to a broad and diverse range of subjects, this city's abundance of museums and performing arts venues are sure to inspire. Here you will discover art, music and film scenes unique to San Diego. With Balboa Park, Ray at Night, SDMA and more you're sure to find something for everyone's inner-artist!

Centro Cultural de la Raza

A multidisciplinary cultural arts center dedicated to creating, promoting, preserving and educating about Chicano, Mexican, Indigenous and Latino art.
Location: 2004 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-235-6135

Marston House

This classic 1905 Arts and Crafts style home was built for noted civic leader and merchant, George W. Marston. Now a museum, this 8,500 square foot home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed by renowned local architects William Hebbard and Irving Gill, it sits on five acres of English and California influenced landscaped gardens.
Location: 3525 Seventh Avenue, San Diego 92103
Phone: 619-297-9327

Mingei International Museum

Dedicated to art of the people from all eras and cultures of the world, Mingei International Museum features dynamic, changing exhibitions of historical and contemporary folk art, craft and design. From unknown craftsmen to renowned contemporary designers, Mingei International’s superb collections and stunning exhibitions showcase the finest examples of creative expression.
Location: 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-239-0003

Museum of Photographic Arts

One of the few institutions in the country devoted to photography, film and video, the Museum of Photographic Arts is home to a collection of more than 7,000 images. Illustrating the complex and varied history of the medium, the museum`s collection is particularly strong in modern and contemporary work, specifically social documentary photography and photojournalism.
Location: 1649 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-238-7559

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The Fleet is home to Southern California’s only IMAX® Dome Theater and 100+ hands-on science exhibits for all ages. Watch immersive films and amazing planetarium shows in the IMAX Dome Theater and experience eight galleries of fun, interactive exhibits. Enjoy sandwiches, salads and healthful treats in Galileo’s Café and find unique educational toys, books and more in the North Star Science Store.
Location: 1875 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-238-1233

San Diego Air & Space Museum

Science, space and aviation history all unfold at the San Diego Air & Space Museum - California’s Official Air and Space Museum. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum houses a collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft from all over the world, including a working flying replica of Lindbergh`s Spirit of St. Louis, the actual Apollo 9 Command Module spacecraft and the only real GPS satellite on display in the world. View artifacts from the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and other aviation and space pioneers! The Museum also offers interactive exhibits including MaxFlight® and F-35 simulators, a fun kid-zone, 3D/4D movie theater plus dynamic, hands-on and ever-changing traveling exhibitions.
Location: 2001 Pan American Plaza San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-234-8291

San Diego Art Institute

A new exhibition of works by San Diego artists opens every four to six weeks in this 10,000-square-foot gallery, dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts through outreach, education, and exhibition. Solo artist exhibitions are also featured. The David Fleet Young Artists Gallery showcases youth art from San Diego schools and the gallery store offers jewelry and gift items made by local artists.
Location: 1439 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-236-0011

San Diego Automotive Museum

A nostalgic look at the icon of the 20th-century features more than 80 historic autos and motorcycles. Includes Frank Sinatra’s 1967 Austin Petrol Hire Car and Louie Mattar’s Fabulous $75,000 Car. Special exhibitions every two or three months display other fine vehicles and famous autos.
Location: 2080 Pan American Plaza San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-231-2886

San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum

The nation`s largest multi-sport museum boasts memorabilia reflecting San Diego`s sporting legacy. More than an archive of San Diego sports, this three level 70,000-square-foot facility is a center that encourages visitors to be participants as well as observers.
Location: 2131 Pan American Plaza San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-234-2544

San Diego History Center

This museum showcases the region`s unique, colorful and diverse history with dynamic, changing exhibitions about San Diego – past, present and future. Drawing on the History Center’s vast collections of artifacts, artwork, historic clothing, art and photographs the San Diego History Center details life and the development of the region with hands-on, family-friendly, exhibits.
Location: 1649 El Prado, Suite 3 San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-232-6203

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

At 28,000 square feet, the museum is the world`s largest operating model railroad museum. This unique museum contains four enormous scale and model layouts, built by separate clubs, which depict railroads of the Southwest in O, HO, and N scales. In addition, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum features a Toy Train Gallery with an interactive Lionel layout for children and state-of-the-art theater lighting.
Location: 1649 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-696-0199

San Diego Museum of Man

Located beneath the ornate 200-foot California Tower, the San Diego Museum of Man is the city’s only museum devoted to anthropology. With its Spanish colonial and mission style architecture, the landmark building was originally constructed for the 1915–16 Panama-California Exposition. Today, a key focus of the museum is to display dynamic and educational anthropological exhibits about people and places throughout the Americas and around the world.
Location: 1350 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-239-2001

theNAT: San Diego Natural History Museum

The San Diego Natural History Museum features fascinating exhibitions and a giant-screen Dolby digital 3D theater showing films with a focus on the natural world. The museum’s award-winning design team creates exhibitions on the unique and diverse southern California region. In addition, the museum hosts several traveling exhibitions each year teaching visitors about our natural world as it is today and as it was in the past.
Location: 1788 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-232-3821

The San Diego Museum of Art

As the region`s oldest and largest art museum, the San Diego Museum of Art`s renowned holdings include a fine selection of European old masters, 19th and 20th century American art, an encyclopedic Asian collection, and a growing collection of contemporary and Latin American art. In addition, the museum presents major art exhibitions from around the world, as well as an extensive schedule supporting cultural and educational programs.
Location: 1450 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-232-7931

Timken Museum of Art

Considered one of the greatest small museums in the world, the Timken houses a world-class Putnam Foundation Collection of European old master paintings, American paintings, and Russian icons. Artists represented include Rembrandt, Rubens, Fragonard, Bierstadt, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, John Singleton Copley, and Eastman Johnson. The Timken`s modern, white marble building was designed by San Diego architect Frank Hope, Jr. The best part? Admission is always free!
Location: 1500 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-239-5548

Veterans Museum & Memorial Center

Located in the historic Old Navy Chapel, this museum preserves and honors the memory of men and women of the Armed Forces, Coast Guard, and Wartime Merchant Marine. The collection contains artifacts, documents, photographs, memorabilia, and artwork from the Civil War to the present. Changing exhibitions highlight San Diego veterans` experiences and contributions throughout history.
Location: 2115 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-239-2300

WorldBeat Center

Housed in a colorfully painted former water tower, WorldBeat Center opened in Balboa Park in 1996. The Center is dedicated to promoting and preserving African, African-American, and other indigenous cultures of the world through art, music, dance, education, and technology. Classes in international dance and drumming are offered year round, along with concerts and lectures. The WorldBeat Center is also home to a delicious vegetarian/vegan cafe.
Location: 2100 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-230-1190

California Surf Museum

The California Surf Museum is dedicated to archiving and displaying surfboards, surf art, memorabilia, photographs, magazines, videos, and more. Housing one of the world`s greatest collections of surfing history, this museum is certainly worth a visit.
Location: 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054
Phone: 760-721-6876