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.
Entry is free to the museum
Proctor Valley Monster Footprint
Paleontology of the Sweetwater Valley and San Diego
Sculpture of San Diego Symphony conductor Mastro Jahja Ling
Mehl Lawson, Cowboy Artists of America sculpture
Current & Upcoming Exhibitions
Art, History, and Culture exhibitions:
Art in the Museum Saturday:
Chalk Art “Chalk of the Town” with artists August Sarmiento and Sam King
Saturday, April 24th 11AM – 4PM
Socially distant outdoor free event
Ongoing- Sine Kwento: Filipino Stories in Film
Sine Kwento: Filipino Stories in Fim with filmmakers Benito Bautista and Emma Francisco. Sine Kwento “remembering our past by celebrating and sharing its inspiration” is an exhibition about the history of Philippine Cinema. Starting in the Philippines and then transitioning to California, the exhibition takes visitors from the beginnings of cinema into the modern age of media and content creation by Filipino-American vloggers in San Diego, California including curators Benito Bautista and Emma Francisco. Programming includes film screenings created by global Filipino filmmakers, as well as panel discussions and open-mic activities with creative collaborators in film, music, and spoken-word (poetry) by San Diego Filipino-American artists.
Meet the curators and see the exhibition (20 min. video)
Permission To Come Aboard: The History of Navy Ship Design
July 1 – September 18, 2021
The Bonita Museum & Cultural Center is excited to present the history and legacy of the United States Navy through a major exhibition opening July 1 through September 18, 2021. The exhibition will include sailor-built models, artifacts, photographs, uniforms, and toys detailing the history of the Navy including the Marines and the start of naval aviation from the 1760’s through the 1940’s.
Visitors can walk through environments representing the early wooden hull period of ships of the United State Navy and experience the transition to the ironclad ships of the Spanish American War. Naval history of WWI and WWII introduce steel shipbuilding as well as aviation and Marine Corps history.
The exhibition will include resource material and public engagement through lectures and public photos explaining the expansion of the Navy in San Diego, specifically into Coronado, South Bay San Diego, and Baja California during the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II. The history of San Diego Navy ship building from wooden hulled boats to iron clad and steel aircraft carriers tells the story of ingenuity and hard work to problem solve and bond together during wartime.
The evolution of US NAVY ships from the “Age of Wood and Sail”, “Ironclad & Steam” era, steel hull “Great White Fleet” era leading into the super dreadnought battleship of WWI. This battleship ultimately resulted in the aircraft carrier prior to WWII.
Public engagement exhibit including photos of current and past South Bay Veterans including stories relating to:
o Video recording of oral histories
o Gold Star families and street names in Chula Vista
o History of the WAVES, Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency
VIP Opening: Friday, June 25th “Salute to the Military Golf Tournament” starting at 1pm
Day of the Dead:
Siqueiros Art Foundation
Oct.30 – Nov.2
Visit Bonita Museum & Cultural Center
4355 Bonita Road
Bonita, CA 91902
Open Wednesday through Saturday
10 AM - 4 PM
4355 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA