Discover the past, present, and future of the automobile at the San Diego Automotive Museum, and see a collection of Harley Davidson motorcycles and the famous 1947 Louie Mattar Cadillac that drove 6,300 miles (10,139 kilometers) without stopping. Learn about the history of the automobile and view a collection of classic cars.
The San Diego Automotive Museum offers activities for the whole family. Young kids can get behind the wheel of a stripped-down race car and hop aboard a full-sized motorcycle, while visitors of all ages can enjoy the museum’s collections and exhibits. There’s also a section on general automotive history, a 1928 Studebaker barn find, and a look at San Diego’s historic Plank Road.
For those who want to save money, entry is included in a discounted multi-attraction pass.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Expect to spend about an hour exploring the exhibits.
- Buy your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line at the ticket booth.
- Arrive early if you want to take advantage of the museum’s limited parking.
- Set aside some time to visit the other attractions in Balboa Park.
How to Get There
There are several ways to reach the Automotive Museum, located in Balboa Park. Ride the Route 120, Route 7, or Rapid 215 bus through the park. If you're driving, take Park Boulevard to Presidents Way and continue straight through the intersection with Pan American Road.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily to visitors, and there isn’t really a bad time to visit. If you want to avoid the crowds, arrive in the morning and expect to spend about an hour exploring the exhibits. The museum is closed during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Balboa Park Attractions
With museums and attractions, such as the California Tower and the San Diego Zoo, there’s no shortage of things to do in Balboa Park. Set aside some time to stroll through the gardens and grab a bite to eat at one of the outdoor cafes. Highlights include the Spanish Village Art Center, the Old Globe Theater, and the San Diego Air and Space Museum.