Accessibility at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park

The San Diego History Center is committed to providing access to all visitors. We want to make your visit as easy and comfortable as possible. This page contains information to help you plan your visit. Once inside the museum, questions about accessibility may be directed to the Welcome Desk.


Accessible Entrance & Facilities

The entrance from El Prado is ADA-accessible. All levels of the building are accessible by elevator, including exhibition spaces, Research Archives, and Administrative Offices. All restrooms and water fountains are wheelchair accessible.


There are two accessible parking spaces in the parking lot located on the south side of our building, Casa de Balboa (at the end of Space Theatre Way). There are two accessible parking spaces and several short-term green zone and 1- to 2-hour time zone parking spaces along Village Place on the west site of the Natural History Museum. There are six accessible parking spaces in the parking lot located on the east side of the Natural History Museum (to your left off Village Place). There are seven accessible parking spaces in the parking lot located on the south side of the Fleet Science Center (to your right off Space Theatre Way).

Sensory Information

Light, noise, and crowds vary widely throughout the building. If you or someone in your group is sensitive to noise, consider bringing noise reducing headphones.


Social Stories

Social stories are guides to help prepare individuals with autism for social interaction and public events. Check out social stories for seven museums in Balboa Park, including the San Diego History Center, which were co-authored by high-functioning young adults with autism as part of a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Learn more.

Social Story (English)
Social Stories (Spanish)

Tactile Elements

Tactile elements are included throughout the museum (e.g. touching artifacts, reproductions, models).


Free manual wheelchair loans are available at the Welcome Desk on a first-come, first- served basis. The wheelchair is available for use while inside the Museum.

Service Dogs

Service dogs are welcome. Service dogs must be on a non-retractable physical leash that is less than six feet in length. Each visitor may only have one service dog. Per the U.S. Department of Justice’s ADA requirements for service dogs, the dog must be trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability. Visitors are not allowed to bring emotional support animals into the History Center.

Video Captions

At the Welcome Desk, request video captions in either English or Spanish for the documentary film, Balboa Park: The Jewel of San Diego screening daily in the Thornton Theatre.

Open captioning of exhibition videos and audio descriptions are incorporated into select exhibitions.

Large Print Exhibition Text

Large print exhibition text is available for use in select exhibitions. Ask at the Welcome Desk for availability.

Accessibility at the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park

The Serra Museum and presidio site are not currently ADA-accessible. There are plans for the City of San Diego to make it so.

To experience the presidio site’s surroundings and history remotely, visit