Balboa Park, located inside of San Diego, is one of the most famous attractions in the area. Once you’re there, you’ll see why.

Scattered within the 1,200-acre park, is a little something for everyone including beautiful gardens, walking trails, theatres, the San Diego Zoo, and well over a dozen museums -and counting.

Inside this post, we will talk about one museum in specific: The San Diego Natural History Museum. Ready to discover what it’s all about?

The San Diego Natural History Museum


The San Diego Natural History Museum– or “The Nat” – grew out of what was once the San Diego Society of Natural History, founded in 1874.

The museum, as it is today, has been open since January 1933. It’s nearly double in exhibit space and features all of the natural history and biodiversity in the Southern California area.

Its collection of 9 million specimens spans across five different floors of exhibitions with everything from fossils and dinosaurs to flesh-eating beetles, a pendulum which proves the earth is spinning, and a 3D theater to help bring it all alive. 

What’s more? Because The Nat believes nature is the biggest exhibition of all, they offer fun adult and family programs with free guided hikes and informational talks. 


All your exploring is bound to work up an appetite. Glide into the museum’s Flying Squirrel Cafe. The menu consists of freshly prepared soups, homemade salads, grilled sandwiches, and brewed-to-order espresso drinks. 

Hours and Admission

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The museum is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm, and closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission prices are as follows: $19.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors, $11.95 for ages 3-17. Age 2 and under is free. 

If you are a San Diego resident or plan on visiting with one, free admission is offered every single Tuesday of the month. However, it’s on a rotation with the other museums in the park. So you will have to call ahead to find out which Tuesday they are offering their discount. 

Happy exploring!