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“Quirky Museum”

San Diego Museum of Man
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Ranked #84 of 434 things to do in San Diego
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Owner description: The San Diego Museum of Man is your museum! Join the hundreds of thousands of people each year who come to see its exhibits on beer, monsters, torture, race, human and primate evolution, and more. You can also experience one of most important ancient Egyptian collections in the United States, which includes authentic Egyptian mummies, an exceptionally rare child sarcophagus, and one of the world's few surviving examples of Nefertiti's cartouche. Also, for the first time in 80 years, we are now offering guided tours of the California Tower - one of San Diego's most iconic landmarks. Tower tour tickets are timed like theater tickets, so be sure to purchase tickets in advance to secure your desired date and time.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
158 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
“Quirky Museum”
Reviewed 16 August 2010

I loved the Museum of Man while visiting San Diego, but I think that the experience would depend largely on which temporary exhibits were in place. The day I visited, at the suggestion of the taxi driver, the exhibits included one on the history of board games and I quickly became fascinated as I read about how different games developed across the world and how games from different cultures had common elements, etc. It was fun to see games like one of the Parker Brothers originals "The Corner Grocer". I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the building is beautiful. Check the special or temporary exhibits before you go if anthropology and evolution aren't your thing.

Thank annikalibby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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289 reviews from our community

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Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
466 reviews
217 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 781 helpful votes
“The building it is housed in is more interesting than the museum”
Reviewed 2 February 2010

I hate to rip a museum, especially in today's tough environment for non profit entities, but we found the exhibits in this museum to be kind of boring and the museum to be a little overpriced ($10/adult).

Located in a beautiful and ornate tiled dome with an adjoining bell tower, near the center of Balboa Park, the interior of the building is surprisingly plain. The museum has exhibits on two floors. We found the ancient Egyptian exhibit to be the most interesting since the museum does have a nice but small collection of Egyptian artifacts. However, the Mayan exhibit was confusing and mainly contained replicas and casts, not actual artifacts. The evolution exhibit wasn't very intersting at all. I felt like I was back in science class.

My advice is to appreciate the exterior of the building and skip the museum.

Thank Jason P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fascinating Anthropology Museum”
Reviewed 13 November 2008

The Museum of Man is a wonderful place to learn about who we are and where we came from. It's a LARGE anthropology museum that couldn't have done better at summing up my college degree. I was pleased to find that it covers all four fields of anthropology: Cultural, physical, linguistic, and archaeology. The museum is very colorful and uses models, artifacts, skeletal material, and hands-on activities as learning tools. There were lots of fascinating exhibits, including mummies, skulls that featured all forms of trauma, shrunken heads, and genetics. I'd recommend this museum to anyone who is interested in the origins and diversity of our species.

Thank theh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Temecula, CA
1 review
“Horrible Museum!”
Reviewed 12 September 2008

Very very small museum with limited collections. So many of the supposed "hands-on" exhibits were broken that we gave up even trying. Need some serious updating! The building itself is beautiful (inside & out), but the museum itself sucks.

Thank MuggsA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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