Top 5 San Diego Must-Dos For The Arts And Culture Lover

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Oct 13, 2019

As one of Mexico’s neighbours, it is no secret that San Diego is heavily influenced by culture and diversity. This shines through in the nine different art districts in this Southern California destination whether it’s the colourful murals in the streets or the abundance of music, dance and theatre.

For those of us who venture to new cities to geek out on the art, museums, history and anything else involving eclectic culture, San Diego will be a pleasant surprise. Enjoy some of California’s best beaches one day and spend the next day museum hopping at Balboa Park which they refer to as the Smithsonian of the West.

San Diego
San Diego Old Town Trolley Tour

Balboa Park

With 17 museums and cultural institutions, you will be able to find an exhibit on almost anything in Balboa Park from San Diego’s history and automobiles to the workmanship of local arts and crafts. If a fun day at the museum for you requires a science theme, head to the San Diego Air & Space Museum. If you’ve been collecting rocks and crystals since you were a little kid, check out how the masters do it at The San Diego Mineral and Gem Society. And if you’re just a good old-fashioned art lover, try the Art Institute or the San Diego Museum of Art. You could spend three days at Balboa Park, potentially even more, and it would still be hard to see everything – so take everything in when you visit one of California’s largest and most well-known culture hubs. 

Without Walls (WOW) Festival

From October 17th through October 20th, theatre company La Jolla Playhouse will hold the fourth biennial Without Walls (WOW) Festival at ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station. Out in the perfectly moderate San Diego sun, these outdoor performances will range from stories about Las Quinceaneras, a Latin traditional rite of passage to a tale of boats wandering the ocean propelled by children’s imaginations. Whether you’re a theatre lover or not, WOW Festival is given its name for a reason – it will keep you beyond entertained and educate you about the destination in an amusing, engaging way.

San Diego
La Jolla Playhouse

San Diego Trolley Dances

dancing San Diego
Manny Rotenberg

For those of us who appreciate art that is a bit more mobile, the San Diego Trolley Dances will surely be a day lifter. During the 21st Annual San Diego Trolley Dances on September 28th – 29th and October 4th – 6th, music and dancing will fill both the streets and trolleys in San Diego. Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theatre and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System are teaming up to put on quite the show for trolley riders.

Sometimes, art is meant to be enjoyed and appreciated without a heavy meaning attached and that is exactly what these dances are about. The dancers are simply moving as if they are taking the form of San Diego’s architecture and lights and shadows throughout the day. Choreographer Jean Isaacs created the dances back in 1999 in order to allow people to think out of the box and step away from their conventional routine, and 21 years later, it’s still a successful event.

Chris Rov Costa

Visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

This is where the history buffs of San Diego hang out and for good reason. Known as “the birth place of California,” Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is a glimpse into what life was like in San Diego’s colonial period from 1821-1872. The vibrant streets are filled with over one hundred shops, boutiques and restaurants that demonstrate authentic Latin culture.

Old Town San Diego

Old Town is also home to the Black Hawk Livery & Blacksmith which is considered the first public schoolhouse in San Diego as well as Casa de Estudillo, one of the finest adobe haciendas in the state. If you enjoy a little bit of spooky history, head to the Whaley House Museum Complex in the centre of Old Town to see the Whaley House – the most haunted house in the country according to the Travel Channel’s “America’s Most Haunted.”


San Diego
Toshiko MacAdam

Calling all families with children…deciding how to entertain your kids on holiday just got a whole lot easier. The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego has opened its newest commission on June 15th and it’s called Whammock! This interactive, three-dimensional textile space looks like a giant hammock of colourful crocheted circles with open pockets and other quirky little hints. Thanks to renowned textile artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, both children and adults are welcome to let loose and climb, swing, crawl or just lay in this strangely satisfying statue. Either jump on in with the little ones or let this new colourful friend of yours take the kids off your hands while you enjoy a cold craft beer.  


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