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San Diego

Museums & exhibitions

Our most recommended San Diego Museums & Exhibitions

San Diego: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket

1. San Diego: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket

Take a self-guided audio tour onboard the world’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, the historic USS Midway. See the carrier’s 25 restored aircraft from the days of WWII to Operation Desert Storm. Visit areas throughout the Midway, from the crew's sleeping quarters to the pilots' ready rooms. Docents are available throughout the carrier and are eager to share their stories, anecdotes, and statistics, creating a picture of just how important the USS Midway was to the U.S. Navy. Most guests spend 3 to 4 hours exploring this historic aircraft carrier and learning its history. The included audio guide, available in 6 languages, will help you explore the dozens of highlighted areas across the massive ship.  There are family-oriented activities throughout the Museum. Included are 3 types of flight simulators, music videos, short films, climb-aboard aircraft and cockpits, and more. The Museum is located at the Navy Pier in downtown San Diego.

San Diego: SeaWorld Skip-the-Line Park Admission Ticket

2. San Diego: SeaWorld Skip-the-Line Park Admission Ticket

Discover the underwater world at SeaWorld San Diego, with animal encounters, interactive exhibits, and thrilling rides. Get up close to marine life and enjoy educational animal presentations for the whole family to enjoy. Upgrade your ticket to include a dining pass to eat all day at SeaWorld. Experience thrilling rides such as Electric Eel with its high-energy twists and loops, or Manta, with two thrilling launches that send riders soaring in the spirit of the world’s largest ray. For kid-friendly fun, enjoy Tentacle Swirl, Sea Dragon Drop, Elmo's Flying Fish, and so much more. Admire the animals at SeaWorld such as beluga whales, walruses, penguins, sharks, and orcas as you learn about these incredible creatures. Enjoy interactive exhibits such as the Explorer's Reef Touchpools and Sea Lion Point. Explore the Sesame Street Bay of Play where you can meet your Sesame Street friends. If you choose to upgrade to the all-day dining bundle, you can get an entree, a side/dessert, and a drink every 1 hour at Shipwreck Reef Café®, Calypso Bay Smokehouse, Mama Stella’s® Pizza Kitchen, Big Bird's Bistro, Coral Market, Shark Market, Orca West Market, and Pretzel Shop.

San Diego: San Diego Natural History Museum Ticket

3. San Diego: San Diego Natural History Museum Ticket

The San Diego Natural History Museum is a flagship institution in Balboa Park, showcasing the regional natural history and unique biodiversity of Southern California and Baja California. The museum has four floors of exhibitions, a 3D theater, and San Diego’s only Foucault pendulum. Through its permanent collection, special exhibitions, numerous educational programs, and the opportunity to see scientists at work, the Museum fosters a lifelong love of learning about nature and the environment for visitors of all ages. Current exhibits include: Hidden Gems Get to know The Nat's sparkly side with more than 100 of the best, brightest, and most spectacular selections from our gems and mineral collection. These hidden gems will be on every floor of the Museum. The Backyard Learn and explore the natural world through play. This new space invites our youngest visitors (ages 0-5) to play under a shade tree, search for hidden secrets along a wooden fence, or read their favorite book in a cozy potting shed. Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage This new exhibition gives visitors a rare "backstage" glimpse of the museum's storage areas. Specimens arranged on shelves and in cases offer the opportunity to revel in the natural world in all its beauty and peculiarity. Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science This new, permanent exhibition explores the past, present and future of citizen science through rare books, art, photographs, and historical documents. Coast to Cactus in Southern California This innovative, permanent exhibition tells the story of this amazing place called home. Take an immersive walk through the major regions of southern California's coast, inland valleys, mountains, and deserts and celebrate the abundant variety of life found here. Fossil Mysteries From dinosaurs to mastodons, travel through 75 million years and dig into the rich fossil history of southern California and Baja California. Skulls Take a look at 200 of the weirdest, wildest, and most fascinating animal skulls from our research collection. Giant-Screen Theater The Subaru Giant Screen Experience is one-of-a-kind. Settle into the 300-seat, stadium-style theater and enjoy films on the massive screen.

San Diego Zoo and Safari Park: 2-Day Entry Ticket

4. San Diego Zoo and Safari Park: 2-Day Entry Ticket

Experience the best of two worlds with a two-day admission ticket to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Widely regarded as the best in the world, the San Diego Zoo has open-air enclosures and puts an emphasis on animal welfare and conservation. Its sister Safari Park boasts wide open spaces for its many animals to roam freely, mimicking their natural habitat as closely as possible.   Explore the San Diego Zoo, home to over 4,500 rare and endangered animals. Experience their worlds at the Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, and other areas. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to the zoo’s rare and fascinating animals, including koalas, Galápagos tortoises, tigers, eagles, flamingos, great apes, and more. The festive, lively atmosphere makes this zoo a great place for family fun and gathering friends. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and exciting animal presentations and shows.   The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an adventurer’s safari paradise in Southern California. The 1,800-acre park is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 375 species, many living in wide open field enclosures. Join one of many tours and create memories for you and your family. Visit Sumatra and see tigers, orangutans, rhinos, and elephants. Tiger Trail provides a journey to discover tigers and learn about their current struggles. In Lion Camp, come nose to nose with an African lion pride. And best of all, your participation contributes to the conservation of species here and in more than 35 countries across the globe.

San Diego: Haunted Historic Whaley House - Self-Guided Tour

5. San Diego: Haunted Historic Whaley House - Self-Guided Tour

Travel back to 1800s San Diego as you explore the family home of Thomas Whaley on a self-guided tour. After a 5-minute introduction, walk through the Whaley House Museum at your own pace and ask the docent in each room any questions you may have. For those who have an affinity for the paranormal, San Diego’s famed Whaley House is widely regarded as the most haunted house in America. With its rich and dark past, spine-tingling cases of spiritual encounters, and inexplicable events, its haunted pedigree is second to none. Get a glimpse into the past at a house that’s been viewed as an integral part of Old Town San Diego since 1857. With more than a century in the making, the Whaley House Museum holds an impressive amount of San Diego heritage. Recognized as the oldest two-story brick-structure south of Monterey California, the Whaley House features magnificent Greek Revival architecture along with an unrivaled historical timeline encompassing San Diego’s second county courthouse, a lively theater, a charming general store, and a prominent family home.

San Diego: Maritime Museum of San Diego Admission

6. San Diego: Maritime Museum of San Diego Admission

Start your visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego with a tour of the 1898 Victorian-era steam ferry boat, Berkeley. See a range of exhibits on the naval and commercial fishing industry history. Learn about navigational exploration and see vintage photography and artwork, military artifacts, and impressive yacht models. After the Berkeley, head down the gangway underwater to the USS Dolphin. Explore the USS Dolphin and see what the world’s deepest dive submarine looks like on the inside. Make your way to the Vietnam-era PCF 816 Swift boat, the 1904 royal steam yacht Medea, and a 1914 Pilot boat. See the replica of the 1452 Spanish galleon Explorer Cabrillo, which sailed into the West Coast. See both the replica galleon and the Californian topsail schooner. The last vessel is the Star, with three decks of treasured exhibits and gallery space. Learn about the history of the great Age of Sail onboard.

San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2-7 Attractions

7. San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2-7 Attractions

Experience San Diego's top attractions and tours and get up to 55% off combined admission with Go City's Explorer Pass. Simply choose 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 top attractions from over 45 options and go at your own pace - you have 60 days to use your pass from first activation. Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo or the USS Midway Museum. Explore more of the city with a hop-on hop-off trolley tour, or kayak and snorkel in beautiful La Jolla. The possibilities are endless. Your pass is fully digital and no physical card is required. Simply download your pass directly to your smartphone or print at home. Show your pass at each attraction for quick and easy entrance. Choose from the following things to do in San Diego with the San Diego Explorer Pass: Museums and Places of Interest • San Diego Zoo OR San Diego Zoo Safari Park (choose 1) • USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum • Belmont Park Ride and Play Pass • Maritime Museum of San Diego • Air and Space Museum • Birch Aquarium at Scripps • The Fleet Science Center with IMAX • San Diego Natural History Museum • Museum of Us • Living Coast Discovery Center • The New Children's Museum • San Diego Museum of Art • San Diego Model Railroad Museum • Japanese Friendship Garden • PETCO Park Tour - Home of the San Diego Padres • San Diego Automotive Museum • Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown) • Mingei International Museum Tours and Activities • 2-Day Hop-On Hop-off Old Town San Diego Trolley • Living Coast Discovery Center • 1-hr San Diego Harbor Cruise by Hornblower • 90-min Best of the Bay Cruise by Hornblower • San Diego Speed Boat Adventures • Jet Ski Rental San Diego Harbor • Go Kart and Thrill Park • Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises • Plunge San Diego • San Diego Fishing Tour • San Diego Hiking Tour • San Diego Harbor: Kayak Rental or Stand Up Paddle Board Rental • La Jolla: Kayak Rental, Snorkel Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, Surf Board Rental or Bike Rental • Coronado: Kayak Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, or Bike Rental • UTC Ice Sports Center • Speed Circuit: All Access • San Diego City & Beach Tours • 1-Hour Scooter Rental • GoCar San Diego Tours 1-Hour • San Diego City Tour • Patriot Jet Boat

San Diego: Californian Tall Ship Adventure Sailing Trip

8. San Diego: Californian Tall Ship Adventure Sailing Trip

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind adventure at sea aboard the Californian, the Official Tall Ship of the State of California. See San Diego from the water on a replica of a gold rush era revenue cutter, then continue the fun at the Maritime Museum with included admission. Become part of her crew in sailing a traditionally rigged tall ship. During this unique experience back in time, you’ll be invited to haul a line, man the helm, and watch the crew as they scamper up and down the rigging to set and furl the sails. Listen as the Californian’s crew relates the history of sailing and exploration in San Diego. Hear tales of whaling and sea otter trade, local sea battles, the art of ship’s gunnery, and life at sea. You can use your entry ticket to the Maritime Museum of San Diego before or after your trip at sea.

San Diego: Balboa Park Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour

9. San Diego: Balboa Park Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour

Experience an unforgettable tour of Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the nation, located in bustling San Diego. Immerse yourself in stunning locales such as the Panama-California Sculpture Court, Natural History Museum, and Japanese Friendship Garden, on this walking tour with a local guide. Home to over 16 museums, several cultural organizations, and numerous gardens, Balboa Park is a historic entity with a rich and fascinating history. Learn more about the origin and development of the park from a local guide, beginning with a tour of Plaza de Panama in the center of the park.  Pass by key locations including the Timkin Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden, and Old Globe Theater. Keep your eye out for the Museum of Us, a historic museum of anthropology tracing it's origins to the Panama-California Exposition in 1915. Continue your way towards the Mingei International Museum, Palm Canyon, El Cid Statue, Zoro Garden, and the Japanese Friendship garden. Pause at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the world's largest pipe organ located in a fully outdoor venue. Finalize you tour by passing by the iconic Bea Evenson Fountain, the historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree, and finally the Panama-California Sculpture Court and Botanical Building.

San Diego CityPASS®: Save up to 41% at Top Attractions

10. San Diego CityPASS®: Save up to 41% at Top Attractions

San Diego CityPASS offers three ticket packages: SeaWorld San Diego + 3 Attractions, LEGOLAND California +3 Attractions, and SeaWorld + LEGOLAND California + 3 Attractions See your choice of SeaWorld San Diego, LEGOLAND California, or both. - SeaWorld San Diego: SeaWorld® San Diego Single Day Ticket - LEGOLAND California: 1-Day Admission to LEGOLAND California Plus get admission to 3 more attractions. - San Diego Zoo: 1-Day Pass, including admission, unlimited use of Guided Bus Tour, Express Bus, and Skyfari Aerial Tram, all regularly scheduled shows and exhibits. Excludes special ticketed events/attractions. - San Diego Zoo Safari Park: 1-Day Pass, including admission, *unlimited rides on the Africa Tram, and *all regularly scheduled shows and exhibits. Excludes parking and special ticketed events/attractions. - USS Midway Museum: General Admission, including the 3D holographic movie Battle of Midway Theater and audio tour available in six languages. - City Cruises: San Diego One Hour Harbor Cruise - Old Town Trolley Tours: 1 day of unlimited reboarding with 12 Hop-on, Hop-off stops - Birch Aquarium at Scripps: General admission - Maritime Museum of San Diego: General admission (Self-guided)

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Frequently asked questions about San Diego Museums & Exhibitions

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Diego

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What people are saying about San Diego

Parking is limited to 3 hours….I needed all that time to experience the ship if not more….it is an amazing experience!!

Great time enjoying the trolley ride throughout the city. This is a must and you won't be disappointed.

Sehr grosses Museum wo man einen tollen Einblick auf das Leben auf einem Flugzeugträger erhält.

Even if you are not interested in military history this ship and tour will amaze you.

Our guide was knowledgeable, friendly and considerate