Art Museums & Galleries

The greater San Diego area is home to an incredibly vibrant and diverse art scene.  Dozens of museums and galleries attract art enthusiasts from casual gazers and serious buyers who enjoy taking in exhibitions from local emerging artists and modern avant-garde collections to some of the finest masterpieces in existence.

Liberty Station is part of 360 waterfront acres of the former Naval Training Center, where visitors can leisurely stroll among well-preserved and historic Spanish Colonial Revival architectural masterpieces. Guests often spend hours exploring dozens of buildings home to a diverse and ever-changing cadre of cutting-edge creators. You’ll have a full day connecting, strolling, shopping, and dining while looking for perfect pieces of local art to take home with you.

Another stop at the top of your list should be the San Diego Museum of Art.  Located in the heart of Balboa Park and immediately recognizable by its striking plateresque-style façade, the museum holds two major exhibitions each year, along with more than a dozen smaller rotating showcases. Collections include pieces dating from 5,000 B.C. to the modern day and include Spanish, European, Latin American, Asian, and American artists.   

While you’re in Balboa Park, also be sure to visit the Museum of Photographic Arts, one of only three independent museums in the nation dedicated solely to the lens-based medium, with galleries in English and Spanish and a permanent collection of nearly 9,000 images.  

The park is also home to the Mingei International Museum and the San Diego Art Institute…two other venues worth checking out.

If modern works are more to your liking, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art.  You never know what to expect with changing exhibitions from the museum's collection of more than 5,600 works. 

 If you’ve got children, be sure to stop by The New Children's Museum downtown, a destination packed with kid-friendly activities. Or stop by Wonderspaces San Diego for a unique interactive experience.  

Fans of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Road Runner, and Wile E. Coyote must visit the Chuck Jones Gallery to find dozens of pieces from Jones and the creators of other well-known cartoons and pop-culture icons such as The Simpsons, Star Wars, and Peanuts.  The San Diego Comic Art Gallery is also another great stop for fans of the genre.

You could spend weeks taking in all the “A-List” art locations in San Diego.  But don’t forget that sometimes the best treasures are the ones you find in small neighborhood galleries.  You’ll find countless undiscovered gems in every part of the area.

That’s the beauty of art in San Diego…you never know where you’ll find it.

And in San Diego, you have a dazzling array of chances to do just that.