A Day at San Diego Natural History Museum

San Diego’s Balboa Park comes veritably stuffed with attractions—all arrayed within truly sumptuous landscaping, some of the loveliest of any urban park in the country. Those attractions include no fewer than 17 museums, among the standouts of which surely is the Nat.

We’re talking, of course, about the San Diego Natural History Museum, one of the very oldest of its kind west of the Mississippi River and a fixture of America’s Greatest City since 1874. As a guest of ours at Hotel Republic, you’re nicely positioned to explore the Nat’s signature blend of fascinating permanent displays and temporary exhibitions: the kind of stuff that’ll feed or reawaken your sense of wonder about the world. Heady, yes, but presented in such an engaging manner as to be the very opposite of dry.

All February long, Macy’s Museum Month means you can enjoy half-off admission to the Nat (as well as 40-plus other San Diego museums), so it’s the perfect season to take in its charms—whether for the first or the hundredth time!


The Nat covers some spectacular and engrossing territory. Roll back the years—like, a lot of years—in Fossil Mysteries, which evokes the prehistoric ecosystems of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. Dinosaurs, Ice Age mammals: It’s quite the menagerie, and it’ll add some dramatic context to your stay with us here in San Diego. More here-and-now ecological marvels await your exploration in Coast to Cactus in Southern California, which puts our globally significant biodiversity front and center.

Models and taxidermy critters are all well and good, but there’s a lot to be said for the “barebones” (if you will) elegance of skeletons. Skulls puts nearly 200 of the Nat’s animal skulls on display, from whoppers (elephants, rhinos) to the delicate (our native western black-headed snake).

Meanwhile, Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage puts on display rarely or never-before seen highlights from the Nat’s 8-million-strong collection of specimens.

Among the temporary exhibitions you can enjoy right now, Baja’s Wild Side reveals Baja California’s Pacific Coast, while The Cerutti Mastodon Discovery puts the spotlight on 130,000-year-old mastodon bones unearthed right here in San Diego.

Other Nat Attractions

The 300-seat Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater, meanwhile, hosts the biggest Dolby® 3D experience in the Golden State. You can currently catch the (educational) big-screen spectacles of Titans of the Ice Age 3D and Incredible Predators 3D (as well as Ocean Oasis 2D). And the Nat calendar comes mighty jampacked for February, from the 21-and-over Secret Society of Adultologists: Courtship, Love, and Sex on the 9th to a big old birthday bash for Mr. Charles Darwin on the 11th.

So take a short jaunt from your chic guestroom or suite here at Hotel Republic and check out the marvels of the San Diego Natural History Museum this winter!

View All Posts