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Parking and Directions


We are located in Balboa Park ( 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 ), near the intersection of Park Boulevard and Village Place, just south of the San Diego Zoo. See Balboa Park Map for available parking, tram and museum locations with the park.


Construction update 2024: The Nat is building and planting a new interpretive garden, and construction fencing may cover certain pathways. Please plan ample time to locate parking at The Nat or adjacent parking lots. For visitors requiring ADA access into the building, please follow the sidewalk around the fig tree lawn (adjacent to Spanish Village and the Casa Del Prado Theater) to reach our north ADA entrance.

There are numerous small lots throughout the Park, including a parking lot next to the Museum's east side, and two parking lots near the Balboa Park Carousel on Village Place and Park Blvd. We are also directly south of the San Diego Zoo, which has a large public parking lot.

For easy access to the center of Balboa Park, you may park in the Inspiration Point lot (on the east side of Park Blvd., between Presidents Way and the Balboa Park Activity Center) for ride the free tram into the center of the Park. See Balboa Park Map with parking lots and tram stops.

Parking for visitors with disabilities is available on the east and west sides of the building.

Public Transit

For more details, see the Metropolitan Transit System's website, use their Online Trip Planner (OTIS) or phone 619.233.3004 ( see additional numbers). Print out a detailed downtown bus and trolley map (PDF*) created by the Metropolitan Transit System. 

The Museum is on the #7 bus line, which runs very frequently between downtown San Diego (along Broadway for most of the downtown portion of the route) and east San Diego and La Mesa (along University for most of eastern portion).

bus.png MTS bus from downtown

Take any outbound #7 bus. The bus will travel north on Park Blvd. The nearest stop to the museum is at the pedestrian overpass which crosses over Park Blvd. An earlier stop at the Rose Garden is also close.

bus.png MTS bus from east San Diego

Take any inbound (Downtown) #7 bus. The bus will travel west on University Avenue and turn south onto Park Blvd. The nearest stop to the museum is the one immediately after the Zoo, at the pedestrian overpass that crosses over Park Blvd.

trolley.pngArriving by trolley

Take any trolley into downtown San Diego. Get off at the City College stop (12th Ave. and C St.) Transfer to the outbound #7 bus just around the corner at 11th and C.

train.png Arriving by train

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner offers 11 trains daily from Los Angeles to San Diego. When making train reservations, you can also reserve bus transportation from the Santa Fe station to the Museum. Group of 20+ receive a 20% discount and seniors 62+ receive a 15% discount. For reservations call 800.872.7245 (groups call 800.872.1477).

Other Options

Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego  makes nine stops at some of San Diego's prime tourist spots, including Old Town, Seaport Village, Horton Plaza, Coronado, and Balboa Park—in front of the Zoo, a short walk from the Museum