4.24.2013

Hidden Gems: The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum



I used to work at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Even though I've moved on, I'm still a fan so I can't help putting in a small plug for my former employer.

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is located on the corner of Third and J, downtown. It is off the main drag, so discreet you might accidentally walk right by it. In fact many people do. Others peer in trying to decide if the museum is open, even though their hours are posted on the door. I understand this inclination. They keep the lights low in the museum because saving energy is important to them. But don't let this deter you. Go right on in, because inside you will find a hidden gem, a treasure. You will find people who are deeply passionate about this place. Ask questions. They will love it. That's why they're there. Also, you will find interesting artifacts. A bone toothbrush. A nearly 1500-year-old Buddha head. If you have kids you may find a few minutes of relief when a member of the staff hands them a scavenger hunt or invites them to open the drawers of the medicine cabinet in search of a tiny treasure, a lizard skeleton. Or you can steal a few peaceful moments in the museum's Chuang Garden. It is an urban oasis. A bit of green in the middle of a concrete jungle.

The museum is a bargain. It is $2 for guests over 12 years of age and free for guests under 12. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30am until 4:00pm and on Sundays from noon until 4:00pm. The building pictured above is actually only one of the museum's three spaces. But start here, at the corner of Third and J.

The next time you're downtown, I highly recommend you stop by for a visit. And when you do, please tell them the museum scout says hello.