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“Best thing we did in San Diego”

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
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$89.00*
and up
Go San Diego Card
Ranked #45 of 426 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the world's largest model railroad museums features a scale model railway that replicates San Diego's tracks.
Maplewood, Minnesota
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best thing we did in San Diego”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

This was a very cool museum. Tiny, but so fun to walk through. My kids loved it. the price was great. A nice hidden gem stored in Balboa Park.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Mom2boysMN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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388 reviews from our community

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Tuscumbia, Alabama
Level Contributor
234 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“If you ever loved model trains, you'll love this”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013

The scale and diversity is wonderful, some many different set ups and trains. Brings back the kid in you. Take your time and look at the detail.

Helpful?
Thank Temblor123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
230 reviews
127 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
“Kid friendly!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

While walking the stately grounds of Balboa Park, tucked away is a splendid little museum on model railroads.

Large dioramas showcase the rail roads in the west in different eras.
For the Rail Road buffs, the scales range from O, Ho and N. Maybe Z too?

Don't skip the Library on the second floor. The Librarian has original drawing and artwork that is not showcased down stairs.

They have steps for kids to step up and see all the dioramas. Perfect for families.

What a great place.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Rob A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Mirada, California, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful Surprise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

Visited the museum after Space and Air, Mingei & lunch ... probably thought our 4 kids would not enjoy. But we were wrong! Our 2 year old boy spent the entire time playing at the playroom - with wooden train sets. Our 10 year old girl, 7 year old boy and 4 year old year wandered around the museum and enjoyed watching the trains go around the intricately built sets. Then they came across members from one of the railroad clubs ... a few older men and they were working on a new set. They asked if our kids would like to operate the various sections of the set - and our kids had a chance to go "behind the scene" and a hands-on-experience. These guys took time to allow our kids to tinker with a couple of things and it turned out to be a wonderful time for them.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank DanielMelody L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Nice, big HO layout and some extras”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2013

Needed something to do in Balboa Park with a train-obsessed three-year-old. This fits the bill perfectly, and the prices are pretty reasonable.

The museum is in the basement of one of the buildings. There's a pretty big HO layout with a lot of accessories and working parts, some viewing stands for younger (and shorter!) children. There's also a couple smaller O-scale layouts, a few wooden train play rooms, and the biggest (and only) museum N scale work I've seen.

Add in a room for railroad clubs to set up a temporary layout, and you have a pretty good few hours of wandering around.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank plavacek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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