On a blistering hot Saturday in late September, we enjoyed the air-conditioning and exhibits at the San Diego Air & Space Museum with Dan's parents. This was a first visit for all four of us, and I was very impressed by the museum's offerings.
The San Diego Air & Space museum is located in Balboa Park, a sprawling complex that includes gardens, museums, and the world famous, San Diego Zoo. Parking was free, although since it was so busy, we ended up parking in a lot that wasn't directly attached to the museum. Admission was $19.50 for adults and $16.50 for seniors, we also added five dollars per ticket to see the special exhibition; Da Vinci: The Ultimate Innovator.
Exhibits located at the entrance, were a taste of things to come, but also focused on the Apollo Missions. Dan's family has an inside joke about "Moon Rocks" that predates my joining the Germain family, and although they've explained, I'm still lost. Here are some pictures from the entrance, including the Moon Rock.
The Da Vinci: The Ultimate Innovator exhibition, focuses on Da Vinci's machines. The exhibits included drawings and models, with many of the models being interactive. Although the exhibition was well-worth the five dollar surcharge, I found it significantly less interesting than the exhibits in the main gallery.
My father-in-law is a retired British Airways Flight Engineer, and although we couldn't find a BA Fight Engineer Insignia, this is the closest we got, with a British European Airlines Stewardess Insignia. The museum had hundreds of insignias in a range of ranks, from airlines all over the world.
Surely, these portraits of inductees into the International Air and Space Hall of Fame, are meant to be funny, right? It's unbelievable that they are not done on black velvet. Not to disrespect their accomplishments, but we got a good laugh looking at these portraits and wondered why they weren't more dignified.
Yes, this last one is Harrison Ford, who is an advocate for private aviation. Nice earring Ford!
My favorite exhibit was a small display for the now defunct San Diego based airlines, PSA. I love the cool stewardess uniforms, especially those sherbet orange go-go boots!
The aviation portion of the museum is extensive, with a big focus on artifacts from both World Wars.
Even with all of the WW2 artifacts, one display was quite a shock. They had the suits of Winston Churchill, Hermann Goering and Adolph Hitler.
The space component of the museum was relatively small and I didn't take any photographs, except for this final one, of Dan in a ride simulator near the exit.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is a worthy addition to a San Diego vacation itinerary. If you go, make sure to have a snack at the Alaska Airlines Flight Path Grill. It's located on an upper deck, with outside patio seating and excellent views of downtown. As its name infers, we saw many planes soaring above us. I noticed that the museum had plenty of interactive exhibits geared towards children, including a 4-D movie experience. This is a great museum for all ages and something that you should allow at least three hours to tour.