Plan Your Visit

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Museum Hours and Admission

Museum Hours
Wednesday – Friday 10 AM to 4 PM
Saturday 10 AM to 2 PM
Sunday – Tuesday Closed

Pay What You Wish Admission
Suggested minimum admission: $5/person
The amount you pay for admission is up to you. We look to your generosity to help support the museum in sharing our archaeological history with the community.

Note: See our COVID-19 Visitor Guidelines for more information about what to expect during your visit. Walk-ins are welcome. You can also purchase museum admission in advance below.

Purchase Museum Admission


From I-15 North or South

Exit I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway and go EAST. Continue around the shopping center.
Turn RIGHT onto San Pasqual Road – 1 mile
Turn RIGHT onto San Pasqual Valley Road  (78). Continue past past the Wild Animal Park – 6.4 mi.

The San Diego Archaeological Center will be on your left. Disabled parking is available next to the building by going up the short ramp on the left (west) side of the parking lot.

By Land and By Sea

New information is challenging our worldview and causing us to rethink what we know about ancient peoples. Over the last 50 years, archaeologists thought they knew how the first humans arrived in the New World and spread out to different areas of the Americas. Recent finding have begun to dispute previously accepted theories and have sparked a surge of interest in New World archaeology.

Who were the first people to come to the Americas? Where did they come from and how did they get here? What happened after their arrival?

In this exhibit, explore these theories about who, when, and how these early peoples came into the New World.

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Archaeology 101

trowelArchaeology is the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains.

Archaeology is important because by knowing our past, we can understand where we came from. It widens our understanding of human culture, technology, and lifestyle beyond what is written in the history books.

What is an artifact? How do archaeologists know where to dig? How are stone tools made? In this exhibit, learn the basics about archaeology through hands-on activities for children and adults.

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The Life Story of a Pot

Explore how local pottery was made and used.

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It’s A Crime

Every year thousands of artifacts and antiquities are stolen and wind up in private collections, unavailable to the public. Learn why keeping artifacts is against the law.

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Lives and Lifestyles on Block 112: The Untold Story of San Diego’s Working Class

This exhibit explores the socioeconomic lives of people who lived in Downtown San Diego in the 1880s.

Museum Activities for Kids

Field Lab – Calling all Junior Archaeologists! Use your excavation skills to uncover the past. Then examine and record your findings in our new field lab – just like a real archaeologist!

Underwater Archaeology – Did you know that archaeologists not only work on land, but underwater as well? Learn how archaeologists study underwater sites in this exhibit.

Archaeology Quest – Journey through the museum searching for clues to find out all about local archaeology.


Museums for All – Year-round free general admission for EBT card holders.

Cuseum App

Archaeology and technology come together as the San Diego Archaeological Center partners with Cuseum, a museum engagement platform that will enhance the visitor experience. Explore the museum through self-guided walking tours featuring enhanced content, such as demonstrations. Visitors also have the convenience of making a donation or becoming a Center member directly on the web app.

View the app

Gift Shop

colorful maskThe Center has many items for sale that will further your knowledge and interest in the field of archaeology. Proceeds support Center Operations, Educational Programs, Research and Community Outreach. Drop by our gift shop and take home a souvenir or special gift.




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