Fodor's Expert Review San Diego Museum of Man

Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo Museum/Gallery Fodor's Choice

If the facade of this building—the landmark California Building—looks familiar, it's because filmmaker Orson Welles used it and its dramatic tower as the principal features of the Xanadu estate in his 1941 classic, Citizen Kane. Closed for 80 years, the tower was recently reopened for public tours. An additional timed ticket and a climb up 125 steps is required, but the effort will be rewarded with spectacular 360-degree views of the coast, Downtown, and the inland mountains. Back inside, exhibits at this highly respected anthropological museum focus on Southwestern, Mexican, and South American cultures. Carved monuments from the Mayan city of Quirigua in Guatemala, cast from the originals in 1914, are particularly impressive. Exhibits might include examples of intricate beadwork from across the Americas, the history of Egyptian mummies, or the lifestyles of the Kumeyaay peoples, Native Americans who live in the San Diego area.

Museum/Gallery Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook Views Fodor's Choice Family

Quick Facts

1350 El Prado
San Diego, California  92101, USA


Sight Details:
Rate Includes: $13; special exhibits extra; Tower tickets (including museum admission) $23, Tower tours are timed-entry and can be booked in advance through website or on arrival at museum

What’s Nearby