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This is San Diego's premier art museum. Perhaps best known for its impressive array of Spanish art, including masterpieces by El Greco and Goya, the 12,000-piece permanent collection also boasts one of the world's most comprehensive holdings of South Asian paintings. French art from the 19th and 20th centuries includes pieces by Monet, Degas, Matisse, and Toulouse-Lautrec. American artists, such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Mary Cassatt, as well as modern artists from California and Mexico, are also well represented.

Traveling exhibitions include "Picasso to Pollock" in 2014, and "The Art of Music and Coney Island" in 2015. While visiting the museum, if all the aesthetic appreciation works up your appetite, drop by the outdoor cafe in the Sculpture Garden to eat surrounded by the works of artists such as Alexander Calder and Henry Moore; the relaxing spot offers gourmet pizzas and sandwiches, kids' meals, and a happy hour. The SDMA also plays host to regular events in music, dance, and film, including a summer screening series in the garden. Culture & Cocktails is a quarterly evening affair that may pair a delicious Mumba Mule cocktail with a closer look at Indian miniature painting.