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Best Museums Near Downtown San Diego

San Diego, America’s Finest City, comes well-endowed with world-class museums, and at Hotel Republic they’re yours to explore with a supremely comfortable and luxurious Marriott Autograph Collection home base.

A famously dense concentration of museums and educational institutions awaits not far from our Downtown San Diego hotel in the historic, beautifully landscaped grounds of Balboa Park, including more than a few housed in some of the magnificent architecture constructed for the 1915-1916 Panama California Exposition.

And with one of our Hotel Republic Balboa Park Explorer Passes, you’re perfectly poised to museum-hop in this magnificent greenspace!

Hotel Republic’s Picnic in Balboa Park Package

There’s no better way to experience the edifying wonderment of Balboa Park’s family of museums than via one of our Hotel Republic Picnic in the Park Packages. This offer combines a pair of seven-day Balboa Park Explorer Passes with a gourmet picnic lunch packed in a Hotel Republic backpack you’ll get to take home as a keepsake, plus valet parking.

An Explorer Pass gives you access to an amazing spread of Balboa Park museums and cultural institutions. You can check out all the details right here, but let’s take a quick tour of just some of those destinations you’ll have admission to with our special Hotel Republic package!

San Diego Museum of Art

Established in 1926 as the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, this fabulous museum boasts more than 20,000 pieces in its permanent collection, including objects dating back to 3000 BCE.

The San Diego Museum of Art is perhaps best-known for its internationally significant share of works by Spanish Old Masters such as Goya, El Greco, and Sanchez Cotán, but you’ll also find notable holdings of Asian art and German Expressionist paintings among many other multimedia creations. Current exhibitions include Masters of Photography: The Garner Collection and Pearls From the Ocean of Contentment.

San Diego Natural History Museum

The “Nat,” as it’s widely known, has been illuminating the natural world since way back in the 1870s, and it remains one of the city’s top draws. Alongside a regular feast of temporary exhibits, explore permanent installations such as Fossil Mysteries, which explores Southern California and the Baja Peninsula’s primordial past (from dinosaurs to Ice Age beasts); Coast to Cactus in Southern California, a tour of the region’s ecosystem diversity; and Skulls, with some 200 animal skulls of every shape and description.

Oh, and don’t miss the selfie opportunity in front of the imposing lifesize model of the giant prehistoric shark Megalodon.

San Diego History Center

Situated in Casa de Balboa, the San Diego History Center sheds light on this city’s deep and multicultural heritage through exhibits such as the Historic Clothing & Textile Collection, the San Diego Fine Art Collection, and a vast treasure trove of photos documenting San Diego’s past. The History Center also oversees the much-recommended Junipero Serra Museum in Old Town.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

From the antique flying machines on display in the Golden Age of Flight Gallery and whole squadrons of vintage warbirds to some truly iconic spacecraft, the San Diego Air & Space Museum explores the history of flight and space exploration in eye-popping fashion. Special exhibits currently on display include SPACE: Our Greatest Adventure and American Women in Flight.

Fleet Science Center

Young and old alike get to beef up their understanding of the world’s fundamental physical processes—all while having a blast—at the Fleet Science Center, host to more than 100 interactive exhibits and plenty of programs aimed at both children and grownups. Don’t miss the IMAX dazzlement on offer in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater.

Explore Balboa Park’s Wide-Ranging Museums With a Hotel Republic Explorer Pass

We’ve only scratched the surface of Balboa Park’s lineup of educational and interpretive institutions, which also include must-see spots such as the Mingei International Museum, the Veterans Museum, the Museum of Photographic Arts, and the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, among others. Take advantage of our Hotel Republic Picnic in the Park Package with its Explorer Passes and picnic-fixings during your next stay at our Downtown San Diego hotel!

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