The Junípero Serra Museum, operated by the San Diego History Center, continues to be an iconic regional landmark located just above Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. The museum sits on one of the most significant historical sites on the West Coast, the site of the first permanent European settlement in what is today the State of California.
The Conrad Prebys Foundation, a local philanthropic organization known for providing vital funds in support of the visual and performing arts, higher education, youth development, healthcare, and medical research, had granted $330,000 to the San Diego History Center for the restoration of the North Tower and East Façade of the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park. This comprehensive restoration work on the North Tower and East Façade matched the West Façade work completed in 2019 and debuted at the celebration of the 250th anniversary of contemporary San Diego. The restoration work has been completed and the Museum has been reopening to the public to experience its popular interactive exhibitions.
Admission to the museum is not a fixed fee, but rather a suggested minimum donation of $10. For more information, you can contact the San Diego History Center at [email protected] or 619-232-6203. The Junípero Serra Museum is located at 2727 Presidio Drive, San Diego, CA 92103. Please note that Presidio Park and the Serra Museum, as a National Register District and historic building designed in 1928, do not meet current standards of accessibility. There are multiple elevations, including uneven surfaces and paths, some sloped or with stairs, and few with handrails.
The Serra Museum is open Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm or by appointment for groups. However, it will be closed for special events on certain dates.
The Junípero Serra Museum has completed a much-anticipated renovation that provides visitors with a transformed experience. The new core exhibition explores the earliest history of San Diego, including the stories of the people who lived along the river’s edge since time immemorial, as well as those who came to settle the area and changed and used the river in order to adapt to San Diego’s arid climate. The new exhibit also focuses on the Presidio as the site of San Diego’s and California’s original European settlement, one that was an active military garrison from 1769 to 1835. Visitors can step back in time to view the Presidio and the Kumeyaay settlement of Kosaii.
This renovation, eight years in the making, preserves and restores the original architectural splendor of the interior spaces of the museum, and provides visitors with breathtaking views from the Serra’s iconic tower. It was made possible with the support of presenting partners – the San Diego River Conservancy and State Coastal Conservancy, as well as a group of grant matching donors and dedicated advisors and subject matter experts. The San Diego History Center is deeply grateful for their support in bringing this transformative experience to the public. Furthermore, the new exhibit also features touch screen technology that allows visitors to interact with the exhibits in a more engaging and immersive way. Additionally, the museum features a number of video interviews with experts and historians who provide in-depth insight into the history of the area and the people who lived there.
Driving to the Junípero Serra Museum is easy and convenient. It is easily accessible via major highways and roads, and there are several parking options available for visitors. The museum has a small parking lot on site, but it fills up quickly on weekends and holidays, so it is recommended to arrive early or plan accordingly. There are also several street parking options around the museum, but they are limited and may fill up quickly as well. Visitors can also find parking in the surrounding neighborhoods, and walk a short distance to the museum. There is also a paid parking lot located at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, which is a short walk from the museum.
It is always recommended to check the parking situation before visiting, and to allow extra time for finding parking. Three years have passed since the updates, the museum continues to be a must-visit destination for those interested in the history of San Diego and the West Coast. The restoration work has stood the test of time and the museum continues to provide an engaging, interactive and informative experience for visitors.
Hours – Sat-Sun 10am-4pm (Last entry at 3:45pm)
Phone – (619) 232-6203
Address – 2727 Presidio Drive in San Diego, CA 92103
Website – sandiegohistory.org/serramuseum