Visit La Jolla Museums

Museum Sights

The sunshine here never gets old. However, when you do want to give your skin a short rest from the rays, the local museums are the perfect spot to do so. Spend time in these locales absorbing new knowledge such as taking in world renowned art or learning about local history and culture.


Museum of Contemporary Art

The La Jolla branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has been bringing folks onto it’s Prospect Street location since 1950. It’s constantly rotating exhibits to keep things fresh and undergoing renovations to further enhance its art exhibitions. After spending time walking the interior and taking in the galleries, make sure to get back outside into the sun to take in the ocean view that lays in front of the museum, then head to the museum’s garden to see some art in green form. If you’ve been inspired to do some art of your own, bring a sketchpad and let your artistic side take over.

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

This library is free to enter, though it’d be worth an admission price! The Spanish-Renaissance styled library was built in 1921; the exterior is as beautiful today as then and interior been refurbished since that time. Peruse books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and other materials on a wide range of artistic and musical genres. You can simply take in the interior and explore the works…or you may be even become a member to take materials home!

Membership fees vary; there are both individual and family plans, but the maximum amount no matter what is $75 fee a year. So if you’re a local who goes inside and each time comes out wanting to continue reading a book or dreaming of taking home a record, membership here is a great option.

La Jolla Historical Society

The quaint museum run by the La Jolla Historical Society is the epitome of charming. Located at 7846 Eads Avenue, just off Prospect, this cottage gives you a historical feel and context for the very city you’re in. Step inside the to see the carefully put-together exhibits of this historic Wisteria cottage, which has had many significances since it’s creation. Across more than 100 years, it’s served as a home, a school, a bookstore and, since 2005, a museum.

The Historical Society also hosts events. We particularly want to highlight their yearly spring event, the Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla. Buying a ticket lets you explore normally off-limits, private gardens in the community that are truly tremendous. Not only it is a great event, your money for tickets is all going to continue the mission of the historical society.

Map & Atlas Museum of La Jolla

When you think of maps, you may think of the giant foldout ones you grab on trips to foreign cities or locals ones to have in your car in case the GPS fails. However, there is a lot of history, beauty and culture surrounding maps that we don’t think about, specifically with antique maps and atlases. This museum has niche rotating exhibits showcasing this such as “A Selection of 19th Century Gold Rush Maps”.

Come explore this small but impactful museum for yourself. It’s open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from 11 am to 4 pm.

Nearby Balboa Park

Head to the nationally famous Balboa Park in nearby San Diego. Just above the heart of SD’s downtown, this massive park has 17 glorious museums to shed light on any topic you may have interest in. Learn more about the park and its museums at our Balboa Park Page.


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