CALIFORNIA SURF MUSEUM
Collection of surfing artifacts and memorabilia, plus exhibits about surfing legends. Rare surfing collectibles in the museum gift shop. Open daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Th 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Adults $5; seniors/military/students $3; kids 12 and under free. 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, 760.721.6876.
CENTRO CULTURAL DE LA RAZA
Celebrates Mexican, Chicano and indigenous art and culture with vibrant murals, art exhibits and performances. Gallery open Tu–Su noon–4 p.m. Suggested donation $5. 2125 Park Blvd., Balboa Park, 619.235.6135.
CORONADO MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND ART
Galleries of historical memorabilia reveal Coronado’s rich past and interesting fun facts. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (daily). Suggested donation $2–4. 1100 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.435.7242.
Interactive science galleries invite visitors to explore the wonders of astronomy, the earth and physics. Giant-screen films run in the IMAX Dome Theater. M-Th 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (open later during holiday breaks); F-Su 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $19.95-$21.95; kids under 3 free. 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.238.1233. rhfleet.org
GREEN DRAGON MUSEUM
At the admission-free museum celebrating the Founding Fathers, peruse historical documents, newspapers and memorabilia from the Revolutionary War era inside a colonial-style building. M-Sa 11 a.m. till close; Su 10:30 a.m. till close. 6115 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, 760.918.2421. greendragontavernca.com
Visit the 1863 barque Star of India (world’s oldest active ship), the 1898 steam ferryboat Berkeley, the 1904 steam yacht Medea, a Soviet-era submarine and the HMS Surprise, the Royal Navy frigate featured in the film Master and Commander. Daily 9 a.m.–8 p.m. $18 adults; $13 seniors/military/teens; $8 children 3-12; free children under 3. The schooner Californian also offers half-day sailing trips ($44-$79). 1492 N. Harbor Drive, Embarcadero, 619.234.9153. sdmaritime.org
Craftsman-style house designed by renowned architects William Hebbard and Irving Gill in 1905. Period furnishings, pottery and an Indian basketry collection. Open for tours F-M 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Adults $10; kids 6-12 $4; kids 5 and under free. 3525 Seventh Ave., Balboa Park, 619.297.9327.
MINGEI INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM
Exhibits celebrate folk art from around the world. Tu–Su 10 a.m.–4 p.m. $5–8; children 5 and under free. 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.239.0003.
MISSION SAN DIEGO DE ALCALÁ
The first of 21 missions stretching north along the California coast, this one was established by Father Junípero Serra in 1769 on Presidio Hill and moved to this site in 1774. Adults $3; kids/seniors $2. 10818 San Diego Mission Road, Mission Valley, 619.281.8449.
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SAN DIEGO
Museum features post-1950s art spanning many genres and media. Th-Tu 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $5-10 admission valid for seven days; ages 25 and under free; free third Th 5-7 p.m. 700 Prospect St., La Jolla, Map W19; 1001 and 1100 Kettner Blvd., downtown, 858.454.3541. mcasd.org
MUSEUM OF MAKING MUSIC
Explore vintage instruments and interactive audio and visual exhibits that offer a dynamic look into the history of American popular music. Tu–Su 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $5–8; kids 5 and under free. 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad, 760.438.5996. museumofmakingmusic.org
MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS
Collection includes contemporary photography, social documentary and photojournalism; plus regularly rotating exhibits and film screenings. Tu-Su 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $5–8; kids 12 and under free. Free second Tu for S.D. residents. 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.238.7559.
NEW CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
The super-mod museum encourages kids to touch and interact with exhibits. M-Sa (closed Tu) 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.; Su 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $14; $10 seniors and military; children under 1 and members free. 200 W. Island Ave., downtown, 619.233.8792. thinkplaycreate.org
OCEANSIDE MUSEUM OF ART
Regional and international artists showcased in exhibits ranging from landscape painting to studio furniture, neon sculpture, art quilts and architectural glass. Tu–Sa 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Su 1-4 p.m. $5–8 (students and military are free). 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside, 760.435.3720.
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST RAILWAY MUSEUM
With over 120 pieces of equipment and artifacts on display between our two facilities in Campo, CA and La Mesa, CA, the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association provides a unique learning experience for all ages. At the Campo facility, they offer vintage train rides with locomotives and cars from the early 20th century operated by all-volunteer train crews and support staff. Sa-Su 9 a.m.-5 p.m. See website for train ride prices. 750 Depot St., Campo, 619.478.9937. psrm.org
SAN DIEGO AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM
Spacecraft, jets and historical aircraft; plus special exhibits. Daily 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. $19.95 adults; $16.95 seniors, students, retired military; $10.95 youth ages 3-11; free children 2 and under, members, active duty military. 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, 619.234.8291. sandiegoairandspace.org
SAN DIEGO HALL OF CHAMPIONS
Three levels and 68,000 square feet of noteworthy sports exhibits and interactive displays form the largest multi-sports museum in the U.S. Daily 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. $6; seniors/military $4; kids 7-17 $3; kids 2 and under free. 2131 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, 619.234.2544.
SAN DIEGO HISTORY CENTER
Peruse a range of exhibitions that chronicle San Diego’s diverse history. The museum also features an extensive research library—home to several million documents and photographs from the city’s past. M-Su 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $6-10; kids 6 and under free. 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.6203.
SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART
Collection includes Italian Renaissance and Spanish Baroque works, 19th–20th-century American and European paintings and sculptures, and a vast Asian collection. M, Tu, Th, Sa (closed W) 10 a.m.-5 p.m., F 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Su noon-5 p.m. $15 adults; $10 seniors, military; $8 college students; free youth ages 17 and under. 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.7931. sdmart.org
SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF MAN
Go on a journey of the human experience highlighting our physical and cultural development through permanent and changing exhibits. Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $13 adults; $10 students, seniors, military, youth ages 6-17; free children ages 5 and under. 1350 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.239.2001. museumofman.org
SAN DIEGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
Dinosaur displays, giant-screen films, photography exhibitions and more. Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $19.95 adults; $16.95 students, seniors, military; $11.95 youth ages 3-17; free children 2 and under. 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.3821. sdnhm.org
STUART COLLECTION OF SCULPTURE
Scattered across the UC San Diego campus, outdoor art collection includes talking and singing trees, a “Sun God” and more. Free. Gilman and La Jolla Village drives, La Jolla, 858.534.2230.
Now a retired aircraft carrier, the world’s largest floating naval-aviation museum has restored airplanes on the flight deck and interactive exhibits inside; plus military veterans giving personal tours. Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $8–20; military/kids 5 and under free. 910 N. Harbor Drive, Embarcadero, 619.544.9600.