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“San Diego's Best with World Significance in Scientific Discoveries”
Review of Salk Institute

Salk Institute
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US$ 90.00*
and up
Private San Diego Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #5 of 79 things to do in La Jolla
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 2 December 2017

The tour is a must for almost everyone (maybe not young children) as the "iconic" architecture, building materials, history of the institute, life changing scientific discoveries, and the location with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop are all ingredients that make this one of San Diego's most important and interesting places to visit. The docent was delightful, very knowledgeable, and totally enthusiastic. WOW

2  Thank ellen3618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"louis kahn"
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"architectural tour"
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"architecture buffs"
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"architectural features"
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"gravel lot"
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"great architecture"
in 4 reviews
"famous architect"
in 2 reviews
"reflecting pool"
in 2 reviews
"the pacific ocean"
in 11 reviews
"glider port"
in 7 reviews
"places in the world"
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"san diego"
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"torrey pines gliderport"
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"free parking"
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"science"
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"jonas"
in 15 reviews
"masterpiece"
in 13 reviews
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Reviewed 10 November 2017 via mobile

Tour has optional meet the scientist presentation prior. Researcher shared cancer studies. The presentation was very interesting.
Although the architecture style is not my favorite, it was interesting to learn the process. I appreciated the historical background. Our tour guide also shared stories regarding the architecture.

Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2017

We attended the tour on November 6, led by a docent who is the wife of an architect. She was pleasant, informative and patient. We saw the library and the auditorium, as well as being given an appreciation of the architectural excellence of the buildings and facilities. We were fortunate to visit with a post doc student who outlined an excellent summary of the scientific projects that are underway at Salk. Remarkable. Not to be missed.

Thank Leonard J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2017

As a local, we were inspired to tour the Salk Institute after visiting a recent Kahn exhibit. We booked in advance on-line for the tour which takes place at noon on weekdays. Parking is roughly a 7 minute walk down the road in a dusty gravel lot near the glider port. After finding the non-obvious entrance, we checked in with the guard who gave us badges to wear while on campus.

While we waited for our tour to begin at noon, there was a 'Meet a Scientist' talk by an employee. (Mon/Wed/Fri at 11:30am). You can also use this time to use the toilet facilities, just inside the building.

The tour guide took us around the exterior of the building for about an hour, talking about how the building came about and pointing out the architectural features. We were able to see the labs through the windows, but you're not allowed inside the building. The exterior teak wood features have recently been replaced/refurbished, so I was glad to see them in their new state as they add a pop of contrasting color to the paleness of the concrete.

Unfortunately, the San Diego weather was overcast, so it wasn't the best for photos that day, but if you're a photographer, you'll probably enjoy getting shots of this unique building and all its angles.

I found the tour interesting, but not overwhelmingly exciting or engaging. Not sure it's worth the $15. Perhaps the tour guide could have been a bit more enthusiastic and passionate? I found the building fascinating, yet at the same time somewhat rough and ugly. As a local however, I'm at that point where I like to do more 'in-depth' activities in San Diego, so this was definitely one of them.

I would highly recommend the tour for architecture buffs, photographers, tourists, San Diegans and students. Not recommended for young children. See my attached photos.

Tip: Visit the nearby glider port in conjunction with your visit. The views are great and there's a cafe (with outdoor seating). If you plan in advance, you can even go tandem gliding!

If you found this review useful, please click the 'Thank' button. Happy travels.

5  Thank lwew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 November 2017

I saw this site for the first time in the movie My Architect about Louis Kahn, I have always dreamt to visit it and I got the opportunity. Wow, it is a true masterpiece. Absolutely stunning! Ellen , the lady who hold my tour, has been working in the site for more than 20 years and , describes all the details with a lot of passion.

Thank fedartuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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