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San Diego Sights

San Diego Air & Space Museum

  • 2001 Pan American Pl. Map It
  • Balboa Park
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 10/23/2014

Fodor's Review

By day, the streamlined edifice looks like any other structure in the park; at night, outlined in blue neon, the round building appears—appropriately enough—to be a landed UFO. Every available inch of space in the rotunda is filled with exhibits about aviation and aerospace pioneers, including examples of enemy planes from the world wars. In all, there are more than 60 full-size aircraft on the floor and hanging from the rafters. In addition to exhibits from the dawn

of flight to the jet age, the museum displays a growing number of space-age exhibits, including the actual Apollo 9 command module. To test your own skills, you can ride in a two-seat Max Flight simulator or try out the F-35 interactive simulator. Movies in the 3D/4D theater are included with admission.

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Sight Information


2001 Pan American Pl., San Diego, California, 92101, United States

Map It



Sight Details:

  • Museum $18 (more for special exhibitions), Flight Simulators $5–$8 extra, restoration tour $7 extra and subject to availability
  • Daily 10–5, last admission 4:30

Updated 10/23/2014


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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By Paul

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Jan 16, 2005

What A Surprise!

San Diego has more of a reputation for things nautical than aerospace. So, it was a pleasant surprise to find this museum! Inside the wondererful Walter Dorwin Teague designed building is an excellent display of all the eras of flight-from the Wright Brothers (there is a Wright flyer simulator) to the Apollo 9 spacecraft. The museum not only displays planes, but engines as well. In addition, there are exhibits about a variety of topics inluding one

on women in flight careers. There are some rare planes at the front entrance-an experimental sea plane jet fighter, the only one built, and an SR-71 Blackbird. Balboa Park is a collection of museums, and on Tuesday, on a rotating basis, admission to some of the museums is free, a truly generous custom. While not nearly as big as the USAF Museum in Dayton, OH or the Smithsonian exhibits in Washington, this is a remarkably good museum. If you like things aeronautical, make it a part of your San Diego visit.

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