Salk Institute
Tour Information
Architecture Tour Information

The Salk Institute continues to be acclaimed by architecture critics as one of the world's boldest structures. Completed in 1965 and now designated a historical site, the Institute fulfills founder Dr. Jonas Salk's vision of a facility with open, unobstructed laboratory interiors set in a dramatic location that inspires creativity among its researchers. The Institute rests on coastal bluffs in La Jolla, California, 350 feet above the Pacific Ocean on a 27-acre site donated by the City of San Diego. For more information about the history of the Salk Institute please click here.

Salk is pleased to offer a guided architecture tour, Monday through Friday at Noon. The one-hour tours are led by trained and knowledgeable docents. Advance ticket purchase or reservations are essential for all Salk tours. For additional information, contact Salk tours at or 858-453-4100, Ext. 1287, weekdays 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Each weekday at 11:40 a.m., the Salk Institute is pleased to offer a complimentary "Meet a Scientist" program. All tour guests are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy and interesting and educational chat about the latest discoveries at the Institute with a Salk researcher.

Tour Pricing: Adults: $15
Students (w/ ID), Seniors (65 and older), and Military: $10
Children 12 and under: Free

Please expect to see some scaffolding around the building and construction during tours occurring between September 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016. The Salk Institute is more than 50 years old now, a historic milestone for a campus that is revered around the world as a modern architectural treasure. The buildings are generally in terrific condition, but the teak is the weakest component of the materials used in its construction and thus aging the most quickly. The Salk Institute has partnered with the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) to develop the Teak Fenestration Conservation Program, which will follow international best-practices in conservation, restoration and replacement of the building structures. The project offers Salk an opportunity to be proactive in maintaining and conserving the teak for the next 50 years. We thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to conserve the integrity of the Salk Institute.

Frequently asked questions»
History of Salk»
Parking lot map»
Photo and video guidelines»


Docents left to right: Conrado Gallardo, Carol Chin, Jeanine Gettinger, Ellen Zimmerman, Barbara Alcorn, Lily Robinson, Don McKahan, Elena Oanta, and Cynthia Burke

Architecture Tour Docents

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Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Street: 10010 N Torrey Pines Rd
City: La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: 858.453.4100
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