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San Diego Air and Space Museum

Let your imagination take flight with a simulated trip to the moon or a browse through exhibits dedicated to flying machines. 

Your knowledge and understanding of the aviation world will reach new heights with a visit to the Air & Space Museum, one of Balboa Park’s most popular attractions since it opened in 1963. It’s home to dozens of aircraft. View a hot air balloon from 1783 and the actual Command module used on NASA’s Apollo 9 mission. See a model of the bright red Lockheed Vega in which Amelia Earhart set two of her aviation records. The model was used in the 2009 film Amelia, starring Hilary Swank.

Make your way through exhibits dedicated to the planes of both World Wars, and examine the aircraft that contributed to the Golden Age of Flight. Compare these to the hi-tech, supersonic rockets of the modern era, in the Modern Jet and Space Age Gallery. The museum also has the only GPS satellite on public display in the world.

The Education Center in the Edwin D. McKellar Pavilion of Flight hosts monthly family days, when children can participate in guided activities such as building their own gliders or miniature hot air balloon. Ask at the ticket desk or the Balboa Park Visitor Center for details. 

Some of the museum's simulators include a 4-D experience that will take you to the moon, fly you on a jetpack adventure or send you on a mission to Mars. Rides on the simulators cost extra. If you don’t have time for an extended visit, go to the Theodore Gildred Rotunda area for a smaller display of planes. The San Diego Air & Space museum is open daily, with extended hours in the summer. It is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Guide to Exploring around San Diego Air and Space Museum


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Lodging Near San Diego Air and Space Museum

See all 1,171 Hotels near San Diego Air and Space Museum
$102
The Horton Grand Hotel

The Horton Grand Hotel

311 Island Ave, San Diego
4.3
of 5, from 3,551 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This recently renovated 4-story hotel is within 4 blocks of PETCO Park, the San Diego Convention Center, Horton Plaza shopping, and 100 restaurants and bars; Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo are a 2-minute drive away.

$151
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

1 Market Pl, San Diego
4.5
of 5, from 7,731 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This expansive highrise hotel towers over San Diego Bay next to the Seaport Village retail complex, 1 block from the convention center, and 2 blocks from the historic Gaslamp Quarter.

$189
Westgate Hotel

Westgate Hotel

1055 Second Ave, San Diego
4.5
of 5, from 1,840 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This downtown hotel is within 2 blocks of Horton Plaza shopping center and trendy restaurants and nightclubs in the Gaslamp Quarter. The San Diego Convention Center is 8 blocks away.

$134
Wyndham San Diego Bayside

Wyndham San Diego Bayside

1355 N Harbor Drive, San Diego
3.9
of 5, from 6,608 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Just west of the downtown core, this San Diego hotel is across the street from the cruise ship terminal, Coronado ferry, and the Maritime Museum. The Gaslamp Quarter and Petco Park are within 1.5 miles.

$180
Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego

Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego

1047 5th Ave, San Diego
4.2
of 5, from 1,519 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Civic Core, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Westfield Horton Plaza and Copley Symphony Hall. Petco Park and San Diego Convention Center are also within 15 minutes.

$99
Gaslamp Plaza Suites

Gaslamp Plaza Suites

520 E St, San Diego
4.1
of 5, from 1,852 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Built in 1913, this 10-story boutique hotel is located in the center of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, amid numerous restaurants, shops, and nightclubs; the convention center is 8 blocks away.

$209
THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego

THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego

326 Broadway, San Diego
4.5
of 5, from 1,879 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

The palatial US Grant is in the center of downtown San Diego, facing the Westfield Horton Plaza retail and entertainment complex, and adjacent to the Gaslamp Quarter's vibrant nightlife and myriad restaurants.

$55
San Diego Downtown Lodge

San Diego Downtown Lodge

1345 10th Avenue, San Diego
2.7
of 5, from 645 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in Cortez Hill, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Copley Symphony Hall and San Diego City College. Balboa Park and San Diego Convention Center are also within 1 mi (2 km).