6 ways to see Dr. Seuss’ influence in San Diego

The iconic author lived in La Jolla from 1948 until his death in 1991 — but his local legacy lives on.

SD Geisel Library UC San Diego

The famous Geisel Library at UC San Diego is named after Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

Photo via Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and schools, libraries, and community centers across the US will partake in a reading celebration. In San Diego, fans of the iconic author and artist revere his work year-round. Seuss lived in La Jolla from 1948 until his death in 1991; his name is synonymous with our city and his legacy is all around.

One, two, three — where can it be? Here are six places you should go to see reminders of Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

SD Geisel Library UC San Diego

The Geisel Library is designed to looks like hands holding books.

Photo via Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

Geisel Library | UC San Diego

This architectural gem was designed in 1970 by William Pereira, and its futuristic shape is meant to look like hands holding up books. In 1995, it was renamed in honor of Theodor Geisel and his wife, Audrey, for their generous contributions to the library.

Today, it houses the historic “Dr. Seuss Collection,” which contains original drawings, sketches, proofs, notebooks, manuscript drafts, books, and other memorabilia. The university says there are ~8,500 pieces in the collection dating from 1919 to 1991, some of which sometimes go on exhibit during the summer session.

There’s a permanent exhibition of selections from the collection on display outside the Seuss Room, and a digital collection you can see online anytime.

You’ll also find a life-size bronze statue of Dr. Seuss — sitting at his desk, with the “Cat in the Hat” looking over his shoulder — on the building’s west side.

SD Legends Gallery La Jolla San Diego

Legends Gallery in La Jolla features Dr. Seuss works for sale.

Photo via Legends Gallery

This fine art gallery features dozens of Dr. Seuss artworks on display at any given time, and all are for sale. You’ll spot colorful illustration art from classic stories like “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Legends Gallery Director Roree Mayhew tells SDtoday that fans particularly gravitate towards the art from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” and Dr. Seuss’ “Unorthodox Taxidermy” pieces.

SD Old Globe Grinch Tree

Once the Whoville tree goes up, you know it’s “Grinch” season in San Diego.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

“Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” | The Old Globe

A longtime tradition in San Diego, this musical based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved story takes over The Old Globe in Balboa Park every holiday season, from about mid-November through New Year’s Eve. The theater is transformed into Whoville, complete with a festive tree.

San Diego Central Library | Downtown San Diego

Nestled on the first floor of the Central Library, you’ll find the Denny Sanford Children’s Library featuring 16-ft murals of beloved Dr. Seuss characters, bright spaces, and 70,000+ books for little readers. A special section is dedicated to Dr. Seuss books.

SD Central Library kids library

Murals, murals, everywhere: The Denny Sanford Children’s Library inside San Diego Central Library.

Photo via @jasmineifang

SD Central Library

We’re feeling the Dr. Seuss vibes at the Central Library.

Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

This art gallery showcases the works of 25+ artists, including a collection of works by Dr. Seuss. See illustrations, archived works, rare editions, and more — and sometimes special exhibitions during certain times of the year.

SD Ellen Browning Scripps Park San Diego

The trees at this La Jolla park are said to have inspired the trees in “The Lorax.”

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

Ellen Browning Scripps Park | La Jolla

This scenic, oceanfront park is said to have inspired the “Truffula Trees” seen in “The Lorax.” From his La Jolla home, Dr. Seuss was able to see a rare Monterey Cypress tree that stood at the park, which sparked ideas for the environmental conservation themes found in “The Lorax.” The so-called “Lorax Tree” collapsed in 2019, but a visit to this site may inspire you as it did Dr. Seuss.

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