Tour Guidelines

Important Rules and Information about California Tower Tours


  • California Tower Tours accomodate up to six (6) people to promote social distancing between households.
  • Facemasks are required for the duration of your visit to the Museum and Tower.
  • Handrails and other surfaces throughout the museum are frequently sanitized for your safety.
  • Guests may buy tickets at the Museum lobby or purchase their tickets in advance online.
  • California Tower tour tickets are non-refundable.
  • Guests must be at least six years old to enter. All guests must be able to make the climb up the Tower unassisted.
  • Guests must arrive at the Museum at least 10 minutes before their tour starts. Tours will not wait for late guests and late guests will not be allowed to join a tour that has already begun. Tickets will not be refunded or exchanged for guests who are late for their tour.
  • Arrive at Balboa Park early to allow plenty of time for parking and getting to the Museum. There is a lot of parking in Balboa Park, but it’s also a popular place! You may end up parking farther away than you expect. Parking and directions are here.
  • Guests will need to sign waivers for themselves and any minors accompanying them.
  • Tours last 40 minutes, including 10-15 minutes on the viewing deck.
  • The tour goes to the first viewing deck of the Tower. It does not include the second and third viewing decks, which are the top two levels of the Tower, as they cannot accommodate a meaningful number of guests and have not had additional safety features added.
  • It is recommended that guests wear flat-soled shoes that cover the whole foot.
  • Bring your point-and-shoot or smartphone cameras! There are lots of great pictures to take.
  • We have free lockers where guests can store personal items while on a California Tower tour. No bags of any kind (no matter how small or large or fanny-packed) are permitted on the tour. Flying devices, large video cameras, or large photography gear are also not allowed, and other items may be forbidden at the discretion of Museum staff. If in doubt, please ask! We recommend you leave big or valuable items at home. The Museum is not responsible for items placed in lockers.
  • Guests are not permitted to do the California Tower tour on their own. Guests must stay with their group and be accompanied by a tour guide at all times. Any guests who do not stay with the group will immediately be escorted out of the California Tower.

For more information, please read our Frequently Asked Questions.

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