Bonita Museum and Cultural Center

4355 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA 91902 - United States




Free Everyday

Enjoy your museum in South Bay San Diego, The Bonita Museum contains two large galleries for visitors to view history, art, and cultural exhibits. The front gallery presents a portion of the museum’s permanent collection which depicts the history of the region including Rancho de la Nacion ranchos and the Sweetwater Valley. The larger second gallery presents changing exhibits such as local contemporary art, history and cultural exhibitions.

The Bonita Historical Society is dedicated to preserve, for public education and enjoyment, the culture, history, art, crafts, and aesthetic facets of the region, specifically El Rancho de la Nacion in South San Diego County. The museum is located about 10 miles north of the Mexican/US border and 15 minutes to downtown San Diego.


"Permission To Come Aboard, The History of Navy Ship Design in Miniature" exhibition. Veteran, curator and artist Joe Frangiosa, Jr. walks visitors through history in ship environments from the 1760's Continental Navy up to the start of Naval Aviation and WW II. The exhibition tells the story of how the naval ship turned into what we know as the battleship. Each ship environment gives visitors a captain's eye view of the war scene before them, as if they were in the captain's office.

The exhibition highlights the legacy and shared cultural heritage of the Navy through sailor built models, ship artifacts, film, uniforms, toys and collectibles. These historic objects tell the story of the United States and the military families who made toys and brought toys home, passing down this indelible history of specific Navy ships. Visitors to the exhibition can explore the cultural heritage of life onboard a ship.

Through the exhibition, visitors will see a unique and intriguing collage of historical artifacts and collectibles which bonded Americans to the Navy. As a young nation, the Navy was responsible for planting a U.S. flag on the world stage. From the beginning of time, control of the seas dictated the success and survival of a country. The Navy legacy continues in San Diego to this day. Public support and awareness of the Navy and patriotism drive young people to serve and make our way of life possible.

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