As well as those museums located in Balboa Park, there are more San Diego Museums scattered across the County.
Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum
2040 N. Santa Fe, Vista 760-941-1791;
Dedicated to the preservation of California’s agricultural heritage from 1849 to 1950, the museum is also an active farm and raises crops of wheat, sorghum, and sometimes corn and pumpkins. On just about any day a visitor to the grounds can see over 200 tractors, a number of trucks and automobiles, a few pieces of heavy construction equipment, a steam and a diesel crane, a blacksmith shop, and various buildings and barns.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla 858-534-FISH;
Located in beautiful La Jolla with a panoramic view of the Pacific, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps features 33 display tanks with spectacular collections of marine life from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical South Pacific. In addition, the outdoor plaza showcases a demonstration tide pool and a discovery station. The aquarium is a favorite destination of school groups and has educational programs 12 months a year.
California Centre for the Arts Museum
340 N Escondido Blvd. Escondido 760-738-4138
Visual arts of the 20th century are profiled in the museum, located at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The museum store features art books and exhibition catalogues, as well as crafts and jewelry by local artisans.
Children’s Museum/Museo De Los Ninos San Diego
200 W. Island Ave., San Diego 619-233-5437; www.sandiegochildrens.com
From a “Toddler Pop Palace” to a computer with a wall-sized screen, the Children’s Museum is designed to stimulate creativity and curiosity with exhibits that are definitely interactive!
California Surf Museum
223 N. Coast Hwy. Oceanside 760-721-6876; www.surfmuseum.org
In addition to permanent displays, every six months the California Surf Museum introduces a new exhibit highlighting one of the pioneering legends of the surfing world. The museum also retails surfing-relating merchandise. Twenty thousand people visit the museum annually.
Chinese Historical Museum
404 Third Ave., San Diego; 619-338-9888
Photos, books, maps and antiques tell the fascinating story of early Chinese settlement in San Diego.
Chula Vista Nature Interpretive Center
1000 Gunpowder Point Dr., Chula Vista 619-409-5900;
This wetlands wildlife preserve features exhibits, activities and tours designed to educate the public about this delicately-balanced ecosystem.
Computer Museum Campus of Coleman College
7380 Parkway Dr., La Mesa 619-465-8226;
The museum was established in 1983 by Jim and Marie Petroff, founders of the San Diego Chapter of Independent Computer Consultants Association (ICCA). Today, the award-winning museum exists in partnership with the Coleman Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization.
CMXs mission is to preserve the major milestones in the development of the computer industry and to chronicle these events for the enrichment and education of all.
Fallbrook Historical Society Museum
260 Rockcrest Rd Fallbrook 760-723-4125
Part of the museum is the 100 year old home of a Civil War veteran who received the Medal of Honor
1572 Columbia St., San Diego; 619-232-3473
Horse-drawn and hand-drawn fire engines and other vintage firefighting equipment are on display.
Heritage of the Americas Museum
12110 Cuyaniaca College Dr., El Cajon; 619-670-5194
Located on the campus of Cuyamaca College, the Heritage of the Americas Museum maintains exhibits depicting the culture and natural history of the Americas.
Heritage Walk Museum
321 North Broadway, Escondido; 760-743-8207
A bit of the late 1 9th century has been preserved in a cluster of buildings surrounding the Santa Fe Railroad depot, built in 1888.
Julian Pioneer Museum
2811 Washington St., Julian 760-765-0227;
The history of this old gold rush town is played out through exhibits housed in this converted brewery.
Junipero Serra Museum
2727 Presidio Dr., San Diego 619-297-3258;
Located at the north end of Presidio Park, the museum’s collection evokes San Diego’s early days. On display are artifacts including household objects, clothing and military equipment. This is the site where Father Junipero Serra established the first mission in California in 1769.
Marine Command Museum
1600 Henderson Way, San Diego; 619-524-6038
The Marine Command Museum, which can be found on the grounds of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot near Lindbergh Field, chronicles the history of the Corps in war and peace.
Museum of Contemporary Art
1001 Kettner Blvd., Downtown; 619- 234-1001
700 Prospect St., La Jolla; 858-454-3541
The internationally renowned Museum of Contemporary Art has two sites, each featuring thought-provoking collections, exhibitions and programs that focus on the art and artists of today.
Oceanside Museum of Art
704 Pier View Way, Oceanside 760-721-2787
The City of Oceanside and the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation collaborated to preserve the former City Hall, an historic building designed by renowned local architect Irving Gill, to showcase fine arts in the community. The Oceanside Museum of Art emphasizes contemporary art, and offers exceptional art displays including juried exhibitions. The Museum is also the site of an art school, and hosts musical concerts throughout the year.
San Diego Maritime Museum
1306 North Harbor Drive, San Diego 619-234-9153;
The San Diego Maritime Museum is the home of the Star of India, the world’s oldest active merchant ship. The museum features a floating display of maritime history. Other boats in the museum’s collection are the 1898 ferryboat Berkeley and the 1904 steam yacht Medea.
San Diego Railroad Museum
Highway 94, Campo 619-478-9937; wwwsdrm.org
This museum displays 80 major pieces of vintage railroad equipment, and takes visitors back in time by offering rides on a working steam locomotive that runs from the museum to the Mexican border town of Tecate.
Private art galleries can be found throughout San Diego County. The Reader, a weekly newspaper distributed free on Thursdays, and the Night and Day section in the Thursday edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune are excellent sources of information on current and upcoming exhibitions.
San Diego Museums Part One