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Save up to 55% on San Diego Automotive Museum and 44 other San Diego attractions with the Go San Diego Card.

San Diego Automotive Museum

A $8.50 value, FREE with your Go San Diego Card!

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San Diego Automotive Museum

The San Diego Automotive Museum, dreamt up by renowned collector and racer, Briggs Cunningham, first opened its doors in 1988. Since then, it has become a world-class attraction for millions of local automotive buffs and tourists.

Housed in a building constructed in 1935 as part of the California Pacific International Expo, this structure was only meant to be temporary. It still stands over 70 years later, and has been used for an array of purposes, from a Naval barracks to a dance hall.

Its current purpose is by far the most unique, and the staff of the museum wouldn't have it any other way. Cars on display are lovingly restored and preserved by a dedicated team of visionary volunteer technicians, who work hard to make this a must-see attraction for anyone passing through the San Diego area.

Visit the San Diego Automotive Museum and find out why the automobile is a crucial part of the American identity, as well as a symbol for progress and ingenuity.


Daily, 10:00 am–5:00 pm. Last admission is at 3:45 pm.
Please note, Go San Diego Card holders may enter this attraction until closing or 5:30pm, whichever comes first.


Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day
New Year's Day
All holiday hours are subject to change without notice.

Redemption Instructions

Present your Go San Diego Card at the admissions counter.

Included Extra(s)

Skip the Line! Proceed directly to either available admissions counter with Go San Diego Card.


2080 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101

Driving Directions

From I-5 South: Take the 10th Street exit; turn left on A Street.; turn left on 12th Street (which becomes Park Blvd.); turn left at President’s Way (you are now in Balboa Park); when you come to the stop sign, the Museum will be to your left with parking right in front. From I-5 North: Take the B Street Pershing exit; stay on B Street; turn right on 12th Street (which becomes Park Blvd.); turn left at President’s Way (you are now in Balboa Park); when you come to the stop sign, the Museum will be to your left with parking right in front.

Guests visiting this car-enthusiast's haven can marvel at timeless automotive memorabilia and the 90 incredible vehicles on display, while enjoying rotating exhibits and shows such as Lowriders of Southern California, Law Enforcement Vehicles, and Cadillacs. Bring the whole family along, because the San Diego Automotive Museum is child-friendly!

Younger motor enthusiasts can experience sitting in a real racecar and climbing on a full-sized motorcycle, immersing themselves in authentic Americana.

Perhaps the most talked-about attraction of the San Diego Automotive Museum is the Fabulous $75,000 Car, a truly unique Cadillac containing everything one could possibly need for a cross-country road trip, including a toilet, refrigeration, and a kitchen sink.

Learn about Louis Mattar, the entrepreneur behind this awe-inspiring car, who established a cross-country endurance record in 1947 by driving the car from San Diego to New York and back without stopping. His incredible trip totaled 6,320 miles and required him to refuel from a moving gas truck, even though his gas tank held 230 gallons.

Still don't believe he could have done it without stopping? The car also featured a mechanism that allowed the tires to be inflated while in motion, hydraulic jacks that allowed the wheels to be changed while driving, and a movable platform that allowed for on-road maintenance. This incredible, albeit cramped automobile is alone worth the trip to the San Diego Automotive Museum!

Find out how the automobile has come to symbolize American progress and determinism as you meander through a maze of metal and horsepower at the San Diego Automotive Museum. Get yourself in gear for a visit to this one-of-a-kind museum that gives visitors a rare look into the world of automotive history and ingenuity.

Save on admission to the San Diego Automotive Museum, plus San Diego's top museums, sights, and tours all for one low price with the Go San Diego Card!

Review Snapshot® by PowerReviews Express
 3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 customer ratings)
Average Rating for San Diego Automotive Museum
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[1 of 1 customers found this review helpful]

Lots of cars
By Michael Verified Reviewer from San Diego, CA on
Easy in and out, CARS, Great price
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Smart Destinations San Diego Automotive Museum:

I'm not that big into cars so this isn't my favorite attraction in the park but it's great for car-lovers. Lots of older cars to see. Good photo ops. Older museum.

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  • Open year-round
  • Good for families
  • Parking available
  • No restaurant or snack bar
  • Restrooms
  • Disabled access
  • Reservations not required

Go San Diego Card

At a Glance


2080 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619-231-2886

Website: www.sdautomuseum.org

Adult Gate PriceChild Gate Price
$8.50 $4.00
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