Top Museums in San Diego

San Diego's Top Museums

San Diego Air & Space Museum

FINE Magazine has carefully selected the top five San Diego museums that you must experience in town.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum, located in Balboa Park, unfolds remarkable aviation history. Start your journey at the model of the Montgolfier brothers’ 1973 hot air balloon, which is the first in recorded history that broke the laws of gravity and was able to lift humans above Earth. Admire the entertaining and dangerous experience of the 1920s barnstormers in the Golden Age of Flight Gallery.  

The San Diego History Center has a lot of family-friendly and engaging exhibits with hands-on activities that tell fascinating stories of our region. Some of their most recent exhibits have showcased the San Diego tuna industry and the regional craft brew industry. The history and impact of the U.S. Military on San Diego is truly fascinating. They are planning on reinvigorating Serra Museum in 2019, transforming it into a heritage tourist spot through a comprehensive, interpretive, and exhibition master plan.

The San Diego Museum of Art is the oldest, largest and most visited art museum in town. The museum provide guests with a rich and diverse cultural experience. The museum is nationally renowned and features permanent exhibitions which include the works of Spanish and Italian old masters, paintings from South Asia, and paintings from the 19th and 20th century. 

Explore the historic USS Midway, the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. With nearly 50 years of world history, this is a must-see stop in San Diego. Exhibits range from where the crew slept to an enormous gallery. Check out the engine room, the ship’s jail, and the post office. You will also be able to talk to the museum docents and listen as they share personal stories or interesting statistics. 

And last, for those ghost story-lovers, visit the Whaley House Museum in Old Town. This classic example of 19th century architecture is a popular destination. Open to the public since 1960, lots of people visit the house annually. It is one of the most haunted houses in the United States. The alleged hauntings of the Whaley house have been reported on many television programs. It has been watching over San Diego for over a century and a half, and every day visitors come to tour this historic museum––some have even reported  a ghost or two!

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