Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)
With its downtown setting near destinations such as Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter, the MCASD is easy to visit during a day of sightseeing. If you plan to check out additional attractions while you’re in town, purchase a sightseeing pass such as the Go San Diego Card to save money and time on admissions.
The museum showcases its modern art across three buildings, including part of the historical Santa Fe Depot, which dates back to 1915 and is now known as the Jacobs Building. Next door is the Copley Building and across the street is the 1001 Kettner building. In addition to site-specific installations by Richard Serra and Jenny Holzer, the collection features 1960s and ‘70s pop art, Latin American art, regional art from San Diego and Tijuana, and works by Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Mark Rothko.
Things to know before you go
- Admission is valid for seven days.
- Admission is free on the third Thursday of the month during evening hours.
- Large bags and backpacks must be left at the complimentary baggage check.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible with elevators for those with limited mobility.
How to get there
The MCASD is located on Kettner Boulevard in downtown San Diego, just north of Broadway and two blocks east of the waterfront. With its proximity to the Santa Fe and American Plaza transit stations, the museum is easily accessed via public transport, including the Trolley (light rail), the Coaster, and several city buses. It’s a 20-minute walk from the Gaslamp Quarter.
When to get there
The 1100 Kettner buildings are open every day except Wednesday while the 1001 Kettner building is open Thursday through Sunday; both have extended hours on the third Thursday of the month. Public tours led by gallery educators take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, as well as in the evening on the third Thursday of the month.
Take advantage of the MCASD’s location by exploring the San Diego waterfront before or after your visit. As you walk along Harbor Drive in the Embarcadero district, pass by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the 1863 Star of India sailboat, the USS Midway Museum, the cruise ship terminal, and the shops and restaurants of Seaport Village.
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