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San Diego Natural History Museum

Neighborhood: Balboa Park
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Address: 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92104
Phone Number: 619.232.3821
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10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Features fascinating exhibitions and a new giant-screen Dolby digital...

Features fascinating exhibitions and a new giant-screen Dolby digital 3D theater showing films with a focus on the natural world. The Museum’s award-winning exhibit design team creates exhibitions that focus on the unique and biodiverse southern California region. In addition, the Museum hosts several traveling exhibitions each year which teach visitors about our natural world as it is today and as it was in the past.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 246 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 80
  • 79
    Very good
  • 56
  • 20
  • 11
Fun way to spend a few hours

We took our four children (ages 9-16) and enjoyed a few hours in this natural history museum. Nice exhibits of dinosaurs and later prehistoric animals that roamed the area, as... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 weeks ago

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246 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Temecula, California
Level Contributor
201 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I have been to The Smithsonian in DC.. This is part of this system. I love my local San Diego History Museum so much that I became a member. The admission doesn't break the bank!! Free Parking!!

Thank Bev B
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
40 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Visit this museum every time in San Diego and always something new added to see. They accept the ASTC Travel Passport Program card which gets you in for free. Very well maintained and clean. Love the old building and all the light and airiness. The displays are all educational and informative, but also fun for kids and adults. Great display... More 

Thank LBJ66
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a small, well curated, exhibit specific museum. Small easy access exhibits for anyone with mobility issues. Located in Belboa Park, outside is as nice as inside. Only a few dozen yards away from the Zoo. Plenty of bathrooms and a small cafe and gift shop. Highly recommended.

Thank Robert S
Level Contributor
60 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We took our four children (ages 9-16) and enjoyed a few hours in this natural history museum. Nice exhibits of dinosaurs and later prehistoric animals that roamed the area, as well as other great displays on ecosystems and water cycles. We also enjoyed a great photo exhibit of amazing images of birds in the wild. Overall, a fun way to... More 

Thank AngliaUSA
Nuevo Vallarta
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The Natural History Museum in San Diego had a very unique show on the Mayan cultural. Very interesting on cultural and todays findings of the Mayan people and cultural. The exhibits were outstanding and very informative. Other exhibits were wonderful but the highlight was the Mayan exhibits of two floors. We spent all day looking and listening to the monitors... More 

Thank William W
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2015

A lot of information on the local natural history of San Diego and California, which was what set it apart from other museums, and describes how human activity is shaping the local and worldwide change in ecosystems (for better and for worse). There's also a live, ongoing excavation window allowing you to watch the researchers. The 3D films were very... More 

Thank Bradley M
Level Contributor
117 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2015

Of all the places I paid to enter, this was by far the best value. There is a wide variety of exhibits ranging from dinosaurs, valley diversity, and various ecosystems. Their auditorium movies on dinosaurs (3D!) and the ocean were impressive. The visiting Mayan exhibit isn't worth the extra cost unless you're quite interested or some aficionado on the topic.... More 

Thank Hatzlacha
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
67 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2015

We were pretty excited to try this museum in beautiful Balboa Park, but for the $38 we paid for both of or tickets, I don't think it was worth t. The museum has four floors: the first is sparse in terms of a museum experience, the second is quite good, the third has about a hallway's width walkway with some... More 

Thank Matt B
San Diego
Level Contributor
184 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 478 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2015

We wanted to visit the Mayan exhibit, so paid an extra fee, on top of the museum entrance fee. That brought the total to $29 each! The exhibit was very disappointing. Whilst there were some genuine artefacts, much of the scenery was fake and really, really looked it. I'm not sure if it was made of stucco or polystyrene. Luckily,... More 

Thank 92075
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
759 reviews
661 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 566 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2015

Museum specialises largely on western, California, Latin American natural History. Exhibits when we were there included Mayan civilisations, fossils, insects, butterflies, water and its effect on California, and 'Coast to Cactus'. Great 3-d Theatre, shows several different shows daily. Gift Shop and 'Dino Cafe'. Open daily 10 am to 5 pm. $19. Enjoy!

Thank etweeden

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