Visiting Salk

Salk Docent-Led Architecture Tours

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Visiting Salk - Salk Docent-Led Architecture Tours

Salk Docent-Led Architecture Tours


Visiting Salk

The Salk Institute has been described as one of the most significant architectural sites in the United States and has garnered accolades for its design and preservation. Salk’s original buildings, designed by preeminent American architect Louis Kahn in collaboration with founder Jonas Salk in the early 1960s, were declared a historical landmark in 1991.

Visitors are welcome during normal business hours, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Pre-registration is required. The Institute is closed to visitors on weekends, holidays, and for private events.

The Salk Institute campus will be closed to visitors on the following dates:
November 24 & 25, 2022
December 19, 2022 – January 2, 2023

Pre-registration is required for all visitors.
For more information, view our Frequently Asked Questions.


Option One: Self-Guided Campus Tours

Groups of one to seven visitors may register to visit the campus during business hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. There is no fee to visit the campus, however we do ask that you consider making a donation to our conservation program. If you prefer a docent-led tour, please see the options below.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


Option Two: Docent-Led Campus Tours

Groups of one to seven visitors may register for a docent-led tour, held every week on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:00 a.m. This is an hour-long group tour and you will be joined by other visitors from the public. The fee is $20 per person.If you prefer a private docent-led tour, please see below.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR A DOCENT-LED CAMPUS TOUR


Option Three: Private Docent-Led Group Tours*

Groups of 1-10 people: $200
Groups of 11-20 people: $400
Groups of 21-30 people: $600

For groups larger than 30 people, please email tours@salk.edu

*Special pricing is available for students and educators (K thru 14). Please submit the tour request below, and you will be contacted with additional details.

Private docent-led group tours may be requested for Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. unless the Institute is closed for holidays or private events. Private docent-led group tour requests must be submitted at least 10 business days prior to the prospective tour date.  Tours are subject to availability.  We reserve the right to reschedule your tour.

Click here to register for a Private Docent-Led Group Tour


VISITOR PARKING

There is no public parking available for visitors and tour attendees on the Salk Institute’s campus. We encourage guests to use free parking along Torrey Pines Scenic Drive or in the Gliderport parking lot. Paid public parking is available at the Sanford Consortium lot, which is located just across the street from the Salk Institute. The current fee is $3/hour.

If you plan to drive your own vehicle, please allow an extra 15-20 minutes to park.

Click here to view the parking map»


CONSERVATION EFFORTS

Built in the early 1960s, the Salk Institute is revered around the world as a modern architectural treasure. In July 2017, Salk Institute announced with the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) that conservation efforts were complete for one of the key architectural elements at the Salk Institute—its teak window walls. The project offered Salk an opportunity to be proactive in maintaining and conserving the teak for the next 50 years. Learn more about the teak project here». As part of its Keeping It Modern initiative, the Getty Foundation awarded the Salk Institute a grant to begin the necessary work to support the conservation of the concrete facades. Learn more about the concrete project here».

Please note: Concrete restoration work is in progress and visitors should expect to see some construction in the main courtyard.


The Salk Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) research institute, and all proceeds from the Architecture tour program support the Institute’s conservation efforts.

For more information, please see our FAQ page or contact us at tours@salk.edu.