Located in the heart of Balboa Park in San Diego, the Museum of Photographic Arts is an independent museum that offers more than just the standard fare. In fact, the museum boasts an impressive collection of more than 7,000 photos, some of which are displayed in their respective galleries. Although not all the pictures are on display at any given time, the museum is open seven days a week. In addition to the artifacts, the museum also houses a small modern cinema, a well-appointed gift shop, and a plethora of seating areas. You can visit the museum at 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101.

There are plenty of free museums to choose from in San Diego, so make sure to take advantage of the opportunity. In particular, check out the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, which boasts the world’s largest operating model railroad. Also, don’t miss out on the quaintly named Alcazar Garden, where you can see an impressive array of colorful murals. Also be sure to check out the Mingei International Museum, which celebrates the art of the everyday object. Among its wares are an impressive collection of artifacts relating to the Chinese emperors of the seventeenth century, including a model of the royal palace where they are ensconced.

While the Museum of Photographic Arts isn’t for everyone, it is well worth the visit if you are in the area. Whether you’re a history buff, a science aficionado, or just a big picture buff, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the best things to do in San Diego happen to be free or nearly so. If you’re in the area, you may want to plan your trip around the park’s best and brightest. Most of the larger institutions are open to the public; if not, you can always hop on a complimentary shuttle or call ahead for an appointment. Some of the more unique museums have special collections, tours, and lectures. You can get the lay of the land and see the best of San Diego for less than the price of a bucket of beer at your local tavern.

While you’re in the park, you may want to check out a number of the other finalists, such as the Timken Museum of Art, which offers free admission for the duration of its ten-week exhibition season. If you’re into the arts, you may be interested in visiting the San Diego Museum of Art, which boasts a massive collection of art and archaeology, as well as a number of galleries and special collections.

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