We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Worth a visit”

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Ranked #22 of 78 things to do in La Jolla
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: With two locations, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is the region's foremost forum devoted to the exploration and presentation of the art of our time, presenting works across all media created since 1950. MCASD provides an unprecedented variety of exhibition spaces and experiences for the community, showcasing a dynamic schedule of exhibitions and public programs. Located in the coastal community of La Jolla, take in the fabulous ocean view from the Edwards Garden Gallery, or lunch on the patio at the Museum Café. MCASD La Jolla also houses the Museum's X Store, filled with a selection of contemporary art books, apparel, and innovative design objects. Situated directly across the street from the La Jolla Cove and within walking distance to the renowned Wedding Bowl in Cuvier Park, MCASD La Jolla's spectacular ocean views and distinctive architectural design make it an exclusive venue for your big day. Our La Jolla location offer spaces that are adaptable and elegant, from a grand reception with dinner and dancing in our remarkable Axline Court to an intimate wedding ceremony overlooking the ocean in our picturesque Pacific Union Pocket Park. History Established in 1941. Founded in 1941 as The Art Center in La Jolla, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) has evolved into an organization of national and international renown. The Museum serves the region as a vital cultural and civic asset, with contemporary art and living artists at its core. The La Jolla location was originally an Irving Gill-designed residence, built in 1916 as the home of philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps. Today, MCASD La Jolla comprises nearly three acres of prime oceanfront property, including the Edwards Sculpture Garden. Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates' renovation of MCASD's La Jolla location opened in 1996.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
Reviewed March 29, 2014

This is a small museum in a lovely part of LaJolla. The scenes of the water from the museum are alone worth the price of admission. The facility specializes in temporary ambitious exhibits.

The price of admission allows return visits and also access to the sister facility in San Diego.

The cafe offers pleasant indoor and outdoor dining.

2  Thank joesChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (177)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"sculpture garden"
in 17 reviews
"gift shop"
in 11 reviews
"general admission"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 3 reviews
in 16 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 27 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 3 reviews

86 - 90 of 177 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2014

But did't enjoy the current exhibit. The exhibits change every 3-4 months, so I'll be back for another. The museum sits above the cove in La Jolla in a beautiful setting. A cafe is on the premises for a delightful lunch.

Thank Nancy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

One can do worse than trade the beach for a museum visit but this perfect location is a good alternative for a few hours away from the sun-burned crowd.

Fee: $10 is a bit stiff but the ticket is a two-fer and is good for the downtown location, with an expiration date of 7 days.

Building: Used to be the residence of Ellen Browning Scripps. Recent renovation by Robert Venturi. There is none of the outlandish star-chitecture that defines other postcard museums. Pleasant building is remarkable for blending into the neighborhood, like the summer retreat of a well-heeled bitcoin miner. The spatial flow has a logical progression. It invites you in with its courtyard/cafe entrance. It rewards your patience with the stadium style walls and ramps. And when you are tired with the framed displays it leads you down stairs into a private garden with a spectacular view of the ocean.

Current exhibitions: 1. Drawings of Christo and partner Jeanne Claude. You will be surprised to find that lots of planning and conceptual thinking went into his wrapping fetish. Always thought that he went to the local Lowes and raided their bubble wrap supply.

2. On the beach: Photographic meditations on the ocean and erosion. A bit too static for capturing the dynamics of nature. Viewer could have spiced up the exhibit by taking an mpeg clip of La Jolla Cove on his Iphone and call it art.

3. Scripps cultural legacy. A photo tribute to Ellen Browning Scripps, the real doyenne and benefactor of La Jolla.

Garden. Sculptures are clever and modest but really, the star is right in front of you. Appreciate the zen moment and have a satisfying appreciation of the real art, the Pacific Ocean.

1  Thank Lapster2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2014

The museum is situated overlooking the water near the seals. It is a beautiful building with plenty of free parking around. We enjoyed the featured exhibit and also enjoyed a very nice lunch in the museum café.

Thank laborman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed February 28, 2014

The setting of the museum is stunning. The collection was quite limited, almost all of it focused on "wrapped art" - buildings etc. wrapped in fabric - interesting but not much variety, not worth the admission fee.

Thank Traveller1234321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego also viewed


Been to Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing