Know Before You Go

About Our Museum Space

Our museum is a 17,000 square-foot exhibit hall that showcases automobiles and motorcycles organized into several compelling exhibits. The exhibit floor includes a mix of our permanent collection, loaned vehicles, and thematic exhibits. Expect to spend about an hour seeing the entire space. However, avid fans have been known to spend up to three hours enjoying the car collection!

Resident Free Tuesday

We are free to San Diego County Residents on the 4th Tuesday of most months and close at 3:30.  (We do not have a free Tuesday in September or December).  Proof of residency is required for anyone 18 and up: Driver's License, State Id, School Id, Military Id, bank statement or utility bill with all names printed plus picture ids. Non-residents must still purchase admission tickets.  Sorry, no food, drinks or strollers are permitted. The Kids Corner is closed on Free Tuesdays. Groups larger than 6 must have a confirmed reservation.

Conduct & Behavior

  • While we understand your enthusiasm, there is absolutely no touching of cars or motorcycles.
  • Do not cross the barriers; remain on the main walkways within the Museum.
  • Guests 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
  • No running within the Museum.


Parking is free in Balboa Park. Balboa Park's free parking tram stops just in front of the Museum in Pan American Plaza.

Food & Drink

  • No food or drinks are allowed inside the Museum.
  • There are multiple shaded tables in the plaza just outside our Museum for dining, and several food options are located within Balboa Park. 

Accessibility & Service Animals

  • The one-story floor plan of the San Diego Automotive Museum easily accommodates a smooth experience for wheelchairs and other mobility devices. If needed, wheelchairs are available for Museum guests to use on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The San Diego Automotive Museum is pet friendly. All pets must always be leashed and under the control of their owner. Pets must remain on the main walkways within the Museum. 
  • Restrooms are equipped with handicapped stalls and baby-changing stations. Sorry, our bathrooms are not available to the public; tickets must be purchased to use our bathrooms.  


  • Strollers are permitted in the Museum during normal days.
  • Strollers are not permitted in the Museum on Resident Free Tuesday and December Nights. 

Photography & Flashlights

  • We encourage you to take photos for personal use, except where prohibited as marked.
  • Photographs cannot be published, sold, reproduced, transferred, distributed, or otherwise commercially exploited in any manner whatsoever.
  • For press and other special photography, including film and video projects, please contact us for special arrangements. 


Smoking is not permitted in Balboa Park. No tobacco, including smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or vaping devices are allowed in the Museum or in the park.


The San Diego Automotive Museum is a weapons-free facility. Firearms, weapons, and explosives are strictly prohibited.