The best museums in San Diego in 2022

These are the top 20 best museums in San Diego, United States, ranked by their rating and popularity in 2022. Click a museum for more information about the museum, including visitor information, exhibitions and reviews.

For a complete overview of museums in San Diego, their exhibitions and discount cards & passes, see our overview page with all museums in San Diego.

These are the best museums in San Diego:

  1. Uss Midway Museum1

    Uss Midway Museum

    San Diego
    The USS Midway Museum is a historical naval aircraft carrier museum located in downtown San Diego , California at Navy Pier. The museum consists of the aircraft carrier Midway . The ship houses an extensive collection of aircraft, many of which were built in Southern California .
  2. San Diego Zoo2

    San Diego Zoo

    San Diego
    Visit one of the most famous zoos in the world with more than 3500 animals! There are several pavilions and exhibits, including Safari Park and a gondola lift called the Skyfari, from which you get wonderful views of the zoo. It is also one of the few places where you can see giant pandas.
  3. Maritime Museum of San Diego3

    Maritime Museum of San Diego

    San Diego
    The Maritime Museum of San Diego , established in 1948, preserves one of the largest collections of historic sea vessels in the United States. Located on the San Diego Bay , the centerpiece of the museum's collection is the Star of India , an 1863 iron bark . The museum maintains the MacMullen Libra
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  5. San Diego Natural History Museum4

    San Diego Natural History Museum

    San Diego
    The San Diego Natural History Museum is a museum located in Balboa Park in San Diego , California . It was founded in 1874 as the San Diego Society of Natural History. It is the second oldest scientific institution west of the Mississippi and the oldest in Southern California . The present location
  6. San Diego Automotive Museum5

    San Diego Automotive Museum

    San Diego
    The San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park in San Diego , California is a museum that features a collection of cars and motorcycles that highlight automotive culture throughout history. The San Diego Automotive Museum is a non-profit corporation under IRS section 501(c) It is housed in the form
  7. Spanish Village Art Center6

    Spanish Village Art Center

    San Diego
    Visit the large San Diego community of 200 artists and their studios. See, touch and feel the arts or participate in the intriguing workshops.
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  9. Museum of Us7

    Museum of Us

    San Diego
    The Museum of Us (formerly known as the San Diego Museum of Man ) is a museum of anthropology located in Balboa Park , San Diego, California and housed in the historic landmark buildings of the California Quadrangle .
  10. Fleet Science Center8

    Fleet Science Center

    San Diego
    The Fleet Science Center (previously the ' Reuben H. Fleet Science Center' ) is a science museum and planetarium in Balboa Park , located in San Diego , California . It is at the east end of the El Prado Drive walkway, next to the Bea Evenson Fountain and plaza in central Balboa Park. Established i
  11. Birch Aquarium9

    Birch Aquarium

    San Diego
    Birch Aquarium at Scripps (sometimes referred to as Scripps Aquarium or Birch Aquarium ) is an aquarium and the public outreach center for Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego . Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums , Birch Aquarium at Scripps
  12. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego10

    Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

    San Diego
    The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (or MCASD ), in San Diego , California , US , is an art museum focused on the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of works of art from 1950 to the present.
  13. Timken Museum of Art11

    Timken Museum of Art

    San Diego
    The Timken Museum of Art is a fine art museum , established in 1965 and located at 1500 El Prado in Balboa Park in San Diego , California , close to the San Diego Museum of Art . It is the only Balboa Park museum with free admission.
  14. Mingei International Museum12

    Mingei International Museum

    San Diego
    The Mingei International Museum is a non-profit public institution that collects, conserves and exhibits folk art, craft and design. The museum was founded in 1974, and its building opened in 1978. The word mingei , meaning 'art of the people,' was coined by the Japanese scholar Dr. Sōetsu Yanagi b
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  16. James Mccoy House13

    James Mccoy House

    San Diego
  17. San Diego Museum of Art14

    San Diego Museum of Art

    San Diego
    The San Diego Museum of Art is a fine arts museum located at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park in San Diego , California that houses a broad collection with particular strength in Spanish art. The San Diego Museum of Art opened as The Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego on February 28, 1926, and changed its
  18. Museum of Photographic Arts15

    Museum of Photographic Arts

    San Diego
    The Museum of Photographic Arts ( MOPA ) is a museum in San Diego 's Balboa Park . First founded in 1974, MOPA opened in 1983. MOPA is one of three museums in the US dedicated exclusively to the collection and preservation of photography, with a mission to inspire, educate and engage the broadest po
  19. San Diego Model Railroad Museum16

    San Diego Model Railroad Museum

    San Diego
    The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is a model railroad exhibit in San Diego , California . At 27,000 sq. ft., it is the largest such indoor exhibit in North America, and one of the largest in the world. The museum is on the lower level of the Casa de Balboa Building on the Prado in Balboa Park . Th
  20. Centro Cultural De La Raza17

    Centro Cultural De La Raza

    San Diego
    The Centro Cultural de la Raza (Spanish for Cultural Center of the People ) is a non-profit organization with the specific mission to create, preserve, promote and educate about Chicano , Mexicano , Native American and Latino art and culture. It is located in Balboa Park in San Diego, California .Th
  21. 18

    Firehouse Museum

    San Diego
    A little gem, just perfect for families with kids. Learn about the history of firefightning through the museum's captivating exhibits.
  22. Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House19

    Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House

    San Diego
    Quite a curiosity. This house is said to be haunted - wander inside and stay as long as you like, searching for the ghosts.
  23. The New Children's Museum20

    The New Children's Museum

    San Diego

All museums in San Diego