San Diego

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San Diego Automotive Museum

The San Diego Automotive Museum is a staple attraction for car enthusiasts and history buffs alike, located in the heart of Balboa Park, San Diego’s cultural hub. The museum showcases an impressive collection that celebrates the history and culture of the automobile.


The museum features a diverse collection of cars and motorcycles that span over a century of automotive history. Exhibits rotate regularly, providing a fresh experience with thematic displays that cover various aspects of automotive design, technology, and cultural impact.

Exhibits and Collections

The permanent collection includes a range of vehicles from classic vintage models to futuristic concept cars, each with its own story. The museum also offers special exhibits that may focus on specific types or eras of vehicles, influential automotive designers, or the impact of cars on society and popular culture.

Educational Programs

The San Diego Automotive Museum offers educational programs designed to engage visitors of all ages. These programs often focus on the science of automotive design and engineering, the evolution of transportation, and the role of automobiles in shaping modern society.


The museum is located at 2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101. This places it within Balboa Park, close to other cultural institutions like the San Diego Air & Space Museum and the San Diego Natural History Museum.


For more information on current exhibitions, admission fees, and opening hours, you can visit the San Diego Automotive Museum’s official website at

Things to Do

At the San Diego Automotive Museum, visitors can:

  • Explore the museum’s collection of historical and rare vehicles.
  • Enjoy special rotating exhibits that delve into specific themes or periods.
  • Participate in educational workshops and lectures.
  • Attend special events and programs that may include car shows and meet-ups.
  • Purchase automotive-themed memorabilia and souvenirs from the museum gift shop.

Tips for Visiting

  • Check the museum’s website or call ahead for information on current exhibits and any scheduled special events.
  • Balboa Park has its own free tram system which can help you navigate between the various museums and attractions.
  • Consider purchasing a Balboa Park Explorer Pass if you plan to visit multiple museums in the park.
  • There are parking lots around Balboa Park, but they can fill up on weekends and holidays, so consider arriving early or using public transportation.


The San Diego Automotive Museum is not just a collection of vehicles; it’s a celebration of the automobile’s role in shaping the modern world. It offers a nostalgic journey through time for car aficionados and an educational experience for all visitors. Set in the picturesque Balboa Park, a visit to the museum can easily be combined with stops at other cultural attractions in the area.

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