San Diego Archaeological Center


Location: San Pasqual Valley (35 Miles / 40 Minutes Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 9AM – 4PM. (10AM-2PM on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays.)

Cost: $2 Donation / $5 per Family

Features: 10,000 Years Worth of Archaeological Artifacts Found in San Diego County.

San Diego Archaeological Center Highlights: San Diego County is home to one of the largest populations of Native Indians. Their recorded history in San Diego goes back over ten thousand years. Over time, a lot of land in San Diego has been developed. In recent decades, an archaeologist is required to be on hand when land is being graded so any artifacts that are found can be preserved. These artifacts eventually find their way to the San Diego Archaeological Center where they can be preserved in an appropriate manner, researched, and shared with the public.

The San Diego Archaeological Center brings these artifacts to life by using them to tell stories about previous generations of mankind.  You will see a full array of historical artifacts telling the stories of Native Indians from thousands of years ago to the stories of life when the first European settlers arrived. From ceramics and tools to pictures, letters, and news accounts, visitors are provided a glimpse into the past. Some stories are easy to relate to because similar challenges continue to exist in our modern era while others make us appreciate how easy our lives seem to be relative to the rigors endured by our ancestors.

Plan on spending up to an hour or more. It will depend on how much detail you like to read and how much you like to reflect as you take a glimpse into the lives of previous generations. For an idea of what to expect, view some of the online exhibits of San Diego artifacts.

You will also find a gift shop where you might find a nice present for a history buff or books that explore the mystery of archaeology or provide a perspective on history as told through artifacts.

Food – There are no restaurants immediately nearby unless you go into the nearby Wild Animal Park. You could stop by Orfila Winery, which is just 4.5 miles to the west, and get a small bite to eat with a wine tasting. Otherwise, you will find a number of chain restaurants available next to the I-15 freeway, about 7 miles to the west.

Information on Visiting the  San Diego Archaeological Center

San Diego Archaeological web site – Sign up for their newsletter, make a donation, or learn about archaeology in San Diego.

Directions from Google Maps to 16666 San Pasqual Valley Road in Escondido, CA 92027. It is 1.5 miles east of the Wild Animal Park entrance.

Traffic – The San Diego Archaeological Center is surrounded by the Wild Animal Park, farm land and open space. This makes getting in and out of the Center relatively easy.

You will generally not encounter traffic delays when driving to the Archaeological Center during its normal operating hours. (Learn more about getting San Diego traffic updates.)

Parking – There is a good size parking lot in front of the Archaeological Center.

Transit – Buses do serve the San Diego Archaeological Center on weekdays.  See San Diego Transit Information for access to the Bus Schedules and the online Transit Planner. (Note: Select the Wild Animal Park as your destination when using the online Transit Planner since the Archaeological Center’s address is not recognized by the system. Ask the bus driver to drop you off at the Center, which is 1.5 miles past the Wild Animal Park, before it continues on to Ramona.)

Related Attractions – Visitors may be interested in three additional attractions along a five-mile stretch of San Pasqual Valley Road and San Pasqual Road, including the award-winning Orfila Winery, San Pasqual State Historic Park, and the San Diego Zoological Society’s Wild Animal Park.

If you enjoy driving and scenic views, continue east for 6 miles along San Pasqual Valley Road towards Ramona.  You will quickly leave the valley and drive around hairpin turns along the side of a mountain with a panoramic view across a river bed to mountains on the opposite side of the valley. It will be the type of drive you see in car commercials. The drive back down is even better.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: *Top San Diego Museums*, North County Inland |

One Response to “San Diego Archaeological Center”

  1. Doug says:

    The best little museum in San Diego. You will be surprised and educated with a visit to this museum. Yes, there are very important archaeological sites right here in San Diego County. The exhibits are excellent. The location is very significant, too, being next door to the San Pasqual Battlefield State Historical Site and Museum, open only on weekends. Make the trip, you’ll be glad you did.

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