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“Fine attraction of mostly fossils”

San Diego Natural History Museum
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$19.00*
and up
San Diego Natural History Museum Admission
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$49.00*
and up
2.5-Hour Downtown San Diego and Balboa Park Segway Tour
Ranked #71 of 451 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed August 4, 2014

Went with grand kids. They love fossils and dinosaurs, so it was a hit. Some amazing nature photographs on the fourth floor. Saw two 3D movies and one regular with general admission. A bit pricey, but so is everything these days.

2  Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 - 203 of 368 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2014

I wanted to go here specifically to see the dinosaurs. When we arrived we were upsold on an annual pass and went through all the paperwork only to find out in the end that they don't take American Express. We ended up buying a day pass and are glad we did. The majority of the building's space is a four floor open central area which houses pretty much nothing except a tiny food stand. What a waste of valuable space!

The dinosaur area is basically what you see when you walk in. 2 specimens. The only interesting thing here was the hall of skulls. It showcased skulls of numerous species with information about what each one was. Very interesting.

Their website calls this the Smithsonian of the west. I don't think so! What a let down!

Thank 274jp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2014

I like museums, and after going to the Nature History Museum in London, I expect greatness of every similar museum.
Now, the museum is very small, it's OK... Nothing besides that.
They have a pirates exhibition now, and I just don't know... I paid like 28$ (Or something similar), and it was totally not worth my time.

1  Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2014

The San Diego Natural History Museum has great! It has lots of interesting facts about the animals like the others do but most are from the California area. They also had a pirates exhibit (which we didn't pay the extra for) that looked like it was pretty neat from what we saw. We took our 2 teenage girls & they even thought it was pretty neat!

Thank Heather F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2014

The museum has 5 levels. One is a basement. Two upper levels don't have rooms but are a walkway around an atrium. Typically, they have a photo exhibit on one of these levels that rotate regularly (one of exhibits I always look forward to). The other level has been hosting an exhibit on fossil skulls.

About half the basement and half level 2 is for temporary exhibits. Right now it's Real Pirates (which does have an added fee). They hosting the touring chocolate exhibit a year ago.

They do have some standing exhibits on the natural history of California and the area. They also have a nice exhibit on water.

Finally, there's an IMAX theater (your entry covers admission) with movies, some are 3D, showing on a regularly basis.

In reading some of the other reviews, I think they raise relevant points. The museum isn't as large as some Natural History museums (and this applies to all the museums in Balboa Park, this isn't the Smithsonian). It also isn't as hands-on as the science museum across the plaza. I enjoy the visiting exhibits and hit this place twice a year. If you want to save money, buy a multi-pass that allows you to visit several museums. The Nat, as it's called, is not an all-day place, so you'll be able to combine a visit here with other museums.

3  Thank TennisBum P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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