Our museums and archives are temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The San Diego History Center

The History Center presents engaging, family-friendly exhibitions with participatory activities that tell the remarkable stories of our region – past, present, and future. We also offer popular public programs and special events.



The San Diego History Center in Casa de Balboa 
is located in the heart of Balboa Park
1649 El Prado, Suite #3 San Diego, CA 92101

Casa de Balboa is located at the east end of El Prado, near the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the Bea Evenson Fountain. Casa de Balboa also houses the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) and the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

For a location map: Balboa Park Map
For detailed information about parking: Parking & Transportation



Give Forward is our donation-based admission policy. We don’t charge a fixed admission fee but look to your generosity to help make history accessible to all in our community, including those who otherwise may not be able to experience it. Suggested minimum donation: $5.





  • No food or beverages.
  • No pets. Service animals are welcome.
  • Photography is permitted. Tag us! No flash, video, tripods, monopods, or photos in areas with the “no photo” symbol. 
  • You may be photographed or videotaped while inside the museum.
    Speak with a Visitor Service Associate of you prefer to opt-out.
  • No large bags, oversized items, or plants.



As a public service, Balboa Park organizations offer free admission on a rotating basis to the taxpayers of San Diego County. The History Center’s Residents Free Tuesday is the second Tuesday of every month. All participants must show one of the following forms of ID: CA driver’s license, utility bill, San Diego Library Card, student ID, or active duty or dependent military ID.



Guided and self-guided group tours are available of History Center galleries as well as walking tours of historic Balboa Park.
For information: Tours & Guided Walks

Gallery Guide

Guía de Galería

Balboa Park:
The Jewel of San Diego

Join us for a 30-minute Emmy Award-winning documentary that highlights the past, present and future of Balboa Park, one of San Diego’s most recognized and beloved public landmarks.

Screening daily at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
Film times are subject to change.  Please contact the San Diego History Center Welcome Desk for more information.

For More Information

Please click here for more information on the film



The Balboa Park Explorer Pass is your ticket to some of the best museums San Diego has to offer, including the San Diego History Center. There are many options to chose from to make your visit memorable. Click the link below to learn more and purchase your own pass.

Learn More

For more information: info@sandiegohistory.org or 619-232-6203