San Diego has one of the most diverse cultural landscapes in the nation. Beneath the city’s laid-back exterior, you’ll find top-notch theater, the largest collection of museums west of the Mississippi and a world-class symphony and opera scene. Whether you’re enjoying an inspiring performance by a local artist or exploring one of our noted art museums, you won’t be disappointed.
The sprawling 1,200-acre Balboa Park is home to more than two-dozen cultural institutions, including the world-famous open-air San Diego Zoo, home to over 4,000 creatures; the Tony Award-winning Old Globe Theater, one of the most esteemed regional theaters in the country; the San Diego Museum of Art, the region’s oldest and largest art museum; and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, home to Southern California's only IMAX Dome Theater. Lush gardens, including the Botanical Building with its striking lily pond, are some of the most-photographed scenes in the park and a must-see for all who visit San Diego.
USS Midway Museum
No carrier has the history or the crew to match the USS Midway, a 47-year odyssey that spanned the end of WWII and Desert Storm in which more than 225,000 Americans took part. Take a self-guided audio tour of the 60 exhibits throughout the historic aircraft carrier and 25 restored aircraft. Family-oriented activities for all ages abound: three types of flight simulators, music videos, short films, climb-aboard aircraft and cockpits, interactive exhibits, "Ejection Seat Theater" and much more.
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
The newly expanded Museum of Contemporary Art provides downtown with a spacious, dynamic cultural venue. Preserving the history of what was originally the 1915 Santa Fe Depot baggage building, the structure has been renamed the Jacobs Building following an impressive renovation for the presentation of art. Adjacent to the Jacobs Building is the Copley Building, a new three-story structure with open galleries, 120-seat auditorium and a terrace with spectacular harbor views.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
The Birch Aquarium sits on a picturesque bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is the perfect spot for coming face-to-fin with some the ocean’s most fascinating inhabitants. From the 13,000-gallon shark reef tank to the hands-on tide pools, kids of all ages will have a memorable time discovering more about sea creatures, our climate and ocean sciences.
San Diego Symphony
For over 100 years, the San Diego Symphony has been delighting music-goers and has become one of the leading orchestras in the U.S. The symphony offers classical music as well as an outdoor summer concert series of pop music on San Diego's glittering waterfront.