Best Museums in San Diego, California (I)
Best Museums to Visit in San Diego, California: Air & Space Museum
Aviation buffs will find everything from human-propelled planes salvaged from the dawn of aviation to the command module from the Apollo 9 Space flight in this cavernous museum. Among aircraft displayed are a Trimotor 5-AT produced by the Ford Motor Company in the 1920s and a number of meticulously restored military aircraft, including the folding-wing Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat from World War II.
The museum commemorates the men and women who forged aviation history, including Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. (The bright red Lockheed Vega 5-B used in the 2009 movie “Amelia” is now part of the museum’s collection.)
There’s a 3D / 4D theater that features action-themed films and a kids-only “Aviation Hangar” with interactive activities for preschoolers and older kids who might get a charge out of testing their skills at a flight simulator.
Best Museums to Visit in San Diego, California: Children's Museum
The New Children's Museum, which opened in Spring 2008, is a 50,000-square-foot three-level contemporary showpiece designed by San Diego architect Rob Quigley — the third incarnation of a museum that started in La Jolla in 1983.
There's really something for kids of all ages here — from a padded romper room for crawlers to messy hands-on art-making projects for older kids. There’s stuff to ride, climb, run around and splash in. Kids have fun building, painting, sculpting, experimenting, and playing while they learn. You'll hear no complaints from parents, sitting and chatting, grabbing a bite at the museum cafe — or joining a family dance jam.
Visit on the second Sunday of each month and admission is free for all, thanks to Target, with extended hours from 10 AM until 4 PM.
Best Museums to Visit in San Diego, California: Hall of Champions
The San Diego Hall of Champions is the nation’s largest multi-sport museum. It spans nearly 70,000 square feet on three levels of the Federal Building constructed for the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.
The museum honors athletes from or made famous in San Diego; more than 40 sports are represented. See exhibits depicting local sports heroes including baseball great Ted Williams, America’s Cup sailor Dennis Conner, golfer Billy Casper, swimmer Florence Chadwick, skateboarder Tony Hawk, boxer Ken Norton and basketball’s Bill Walton.
There’s a state-of-the-art theater, where visitors can relive great moments in sports history. An interactive media center allows visitors to become play-by-play sports commentators. Grab a deli sandwich or salad at the museum's Home Plate Bar & Grill.