6 Museums You Must Try In San Diego This Fall

For thousands of years, peaceful tribes of Native Americans fished and farmed along the coast of Southern California. In the 1500s, a Portuguese sailor claimed the land and bay of what would later be known as San Diego for the country of Spain. Since then, San Diego has grown from a small Spanish mission to a lively and thriving city that celebrates its multicultural heritage, maritime ties, ecological awareness and long history with beautiful museums, parks, gardens and its world-famous zoo.

The beautiful buildings housing the Museum of Man  www.museumofman.org are a visual treat all by themselves. Once inside, however, the Moroccan-inspired exterior is quickly forgotten as the museum treats visitors to a stunning array of anthropological exhibits. Housing one of the largest collections of Egyptian, Mesoamerican and Native American artifacts in the world, this museum’s main goal is to educate and inspire wonder in the public for the artistic and cultural achievements of mankind. There is also a hands-on exploration center perfect for younger visitors.

San Diego’s long connection as a naval base for the United States military is celebrated in the fascinating U.S.S. Midway Museum  www.midway.org, a floating aircraft carrier moored just off the San Diego pier and open to tourists with an interest in maritime history. Decommissioned in 1992, the aircraft carrier’s bridge, flight deck, engine room, mess hall and other important areas are open for exploration. There are also more than twenty fully restored fighter planes from different eras of U.S. aviation permanently housed in the hanger and on the flight deck for visitors to view. Beautiful views of the San Diego skyline while standing on the flight deck are an added bonus.

In the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy lies the San Diego Firefighting Museum http://www.sandiegofirehousemuseum.com. This small former fire station is filled to the brim with the historic paraphernalia of firefighting. Fire engines, firefighting equipment and antiques educate adults and children alike in the methods of effectively containing a blaze. Tickets are a nominal fee for adults and children are free. On St. Patrick’s Day, celebrations feature Irish dancers and bagpipes.

With Barnstorming Adventures www.barnstorming.com, lovers of aviation will enjoy a thrilling ride in the open cockpit of a 1920s-era biplane, dictating to the pilot whether the ride will be gentle or have all the twists, turns and upside-down fun of a roller coaster ride. This company seeks to revive the excitement and adventure of the era when traveling pilots offered guests a ride in their stunt planes. With several different planes and flight styles to choose from, the sky literally is the limit in this one-of-a-kind adventure.

The George Marston House and Gardens http://sohosandiego.org/marston/index.htm reveals a genteel example of San Diego’s Arts and Crafts architectural movement. Built for George White Marston, a San Diego philanthropist and businessman who endowed several parks and museums around the city, this 8,000-sqare-foot mansion with its acres of gardens offer visitors an excellent opportunity to view what life was like during San Diego’s gilded age and provide a refreshing alternative to San Diego’s beach-oriented delights. Guests may enjoy a tour of the house and can spend hours exploring the gardens in search of the beautiful and rare plants maintained by San Diego’s historic society.

The dedication to celebrating human achievement that is so prevalent in San Diego is nowhere better exemplified than in the Women’s Hall of Fame www.womensmuseumca.org, an annual event meant to honor the contribution women give in the areas of volunteer work and improving quality of life. In conjunction with San Diego’s Women’s Museum of California, women are honored and immortalized in Hall of Fame’s wing of the museum, whose goal is to educate and inspire visitors every day of the year.

With its balmy climate, beautiful sea views and stunning landscape, lovers of nature and the outdoors will enjoy pursuits as diverse as sea kayaking, surfing, scuba diving and sailing. Those with a love of history and culture will find a wealth of museums celebrating artistic endeavors and cultural achievements. With its proximity to Mexico, San Diego offers a multicultural experience and an excellent range of cuisines in its world-class restaurants. From modern, stunning malls to eclectic boutiques, shopping is an adventure. San Diego truly offers something for everyone.

Click here for more information about museums around San Diego.


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