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San Diego History Center

Neighbourhood: Balboa Park
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Address: 1649 El Prado Ste 3, San Diego, CA 92101-1664
Phone Number:
+1 619-232-6203
10:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Tue - Sun 10:00 - 17:00

San Diego History Center is dedicated to helping people of all ages learn...

San Diego History Center is dedicated to helping people of all ages learn about, and enjoy, the history of San Diego, and to appreciate how our past, present, and future are interrelated.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 47 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 9
  • 14
    Very good
  • 11
  • 4
  • 2
Free museum entrance at night!!

Let check the list online about free entrance for selected museums at Balboa park every tuesday. This history center tells how San Diego coming as a landmark on Map, it past... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 December 2016
via mobile
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47 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 40: English reviews
Kutztown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
1,879 reviews
1,037 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,859 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2017 via mobile

This free museum in Balboa Park has little on the city's history other than the park and zoo. It is set up poorly with information on walls that are so far away and poorly lighted that they cannot be read. A city with this kind of history deserves a better museum. On the day we visited there was a lot... More 

Thank Pnemiller
Emeryville CA
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2016

As with any museum or such place, the exhibits rotate. I had been to this History Center about three years ago, and it was completely different than what saw on my trip today. Major point of the current exhibitions include a celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the San Diego Zoo, from different perspectives: History, world outreach and endangered... More 

2 Thank ed_in_510
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2016

This museum is well worth visiting, especially if architecture and history interest you.The history of San Diego and Gill's contributions, especially the Dodge House, were inthralling. Do not miss this exhibit. Also , if you have children, the zoo portion is geared to them and interactive.

Thank bonne306
Level Contributor
584 reviews
353 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2016 via mobile

Let check the list online about free entrance for selected museums at Balboa park every tuesday. This history center tells how San Diego coming as a landmark on Map, it past important event taking place here at Panama expo on early 19 cenury domething. There is also amazing with the origin of the SD zoo too. If uou don't come... More 

Thank jajavalB
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
286 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2016

I learned all I need to know about the history of the zoo and a little about San Diego's leading architect. Beyond that -- not much. I was disappointed that I had missed the Japanese camps during WWII exhibit. I'm very familiar with Executive Order 9066 and would have enjoyed the exhibit. Disappointed that there was very little other history... More 

Thank Toothsc
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
285 reviews
175 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2016

The current exhibit -- "The Lore Behind the Roar" -- is outstanding. Most of the museum features the "Roar" with a focus on the history of San Diego zoo that is celebrating its 100th birthday. But don't miss the smaller show on the items made in a Japanese internment camp during WWII nor the case in the foyer of objects... More 

Thank GlobalGypsy_13
Riverside, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2016

I was working on some research for a writing project and contacted this organization for access to their archives. Truly amazing resource. Personnel are so helpful and knowledgeable. The museum was interesting, but the archive was the main attraction. So nice to see a local history organization with such a professionally run collection. Only criticism is that the open hours... More 

Thank Dawn H
Murrieta, California
Level Contributor
495 reviews
300 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2016

It cost $10 for adults to enter San Diego History Center. There were a couple of school groups touring inside while we were there. There were a few hands on activities for kids, like building with blocks, feeding the animals of the zoo and trying on different outfits from different eras. I thought the most interesting room was a display... More 

Thank Alexandra T
Level Contributor
115 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2016

On arrival we paid our $10 and were strongly encouraged to watch a video that lasted about 30 minutes, it's an interesting video that talks about the history of Balboa Park, then you look around the TINY museum and reading or looking at anything is pointless because it's just the same info you saw on the video. The museum is... More 

Thank Brettyboy
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Level Contributor
153 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2016 via mobile

This is not a large museum. It can easily be seen in 2 hours. We spent most of our time in the exhibit areas for the border and for local San Diego history and especially enjoyed the latter.

Thank momarino143

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?