Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla

by Wendy VanHatten

If maps are of interest to you, take some time to explore the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla. This is not a typical museum.

For one thing, it’s smaller than most museums. It’s more than an educational visit as well. The goal is to create an awareness and appreciation for history, geography, and politics of the world. The artistic beauty and sheer magnitude of the collection will surprise you.

Wander though and look at maps that depict our world from those who first thought they knew what the world looked like to what it actually is today. You might be amazed at how close some were and how almost accurate others were.

Many explorers mapped out the geography as they traveled, giving others a glimpse of what the world as they knew it looked like. These are original maps. Fun depictions of Disneyland to San Diego’s Oil Fields to a map of the world from 1472 might be on display.

The permanent exhibition includes maps from a copy of 1472 map by Isadore of Seville, which is considered to be the first printed map. There’s also a tourist map of Southern California. Quite the eclectic group.

Island maps, sea charts, celestial maps, the Holy Land, maps by Benjamin Franklin, a rare manuscript map of New England by John Thornton, and so many others are displayed in various rooms.

There is a variety of educational tools and opportunities available for schoolteachers, educators, and the general public as well. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

If You Go: The Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla is located at 7825 Fay Ave. Suite LL-A, La Jolla. They are open by appointment. Call 855-653-6277 or email