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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
3rd St, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA 94103
This exciting museum offers five floors of gallery space that house more than 15,000 pieces of artwork, some of which are part of the permanent collection. A free, 45-minute tour is recommended to help visitors get their bearings. Exhibits change often, ensuring something new and challenging throughout the year.
California Academy of Sciences
Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco, CA 94118
Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:30am – 5pm | Sun: 11am – 5pm
The California Academy of Sciences is a world-class scientific and cultural institution based in San Francisco. The Academy recently opened a new facility in Golden Gate Park, a 400,000 square foot structure that houses an aquarium, a planetarium a natural history museum and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof. The new facility is also home to the Academy’s staff of world-class scientists, an education department that provides a wide range of student and teacher services, and an extensive science library with over 20 million specimens and artifacts.
Asian Art Museum
Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94102
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. Its holdings began with the generous donations of collector Avery Brundage, and now, the facility houses nearly 15,000 treasures that span 6000 years of history. More than 2500 extraordinary works are displayed at any one time. Together they constitute a comprehensive introduction to Asia’s major cultures, including those of India, Tibet, China, Japan, and Korea. The museum is located in the city’s former library.
de Young Museum
Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118
First opened in 1895, the de Young is San Francisco’s oldest and most diversified art museum. In late 2005, after many months of renovation, the facility reopened with a new, copper-clad exterior and updated, newly fashioned exhibits. The museum’s collections feature primarily American art from the colonial period to the mid 20th century, but you’ll also find textiles, crafts, and decorative arts, not to mention extensive collections of African, Oceanic, and pan-American art.
Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94123
Founded by physicist Dr. Frank Oppenheimer in 1969, Exploratorium makes learning fun through hands-on participation. More than 650 exhibits keep visitors attentive, and for an additional (and a lot of fun), folks can brave the Tactile Dome. This attraction lets you crawl, climb, and slide through a pitch-dark, soundproofed labyrinth navigated only by touch. NOT for claustrophobes! Advanced reservations are suggested for the Tactile Dome.
No admission fee the first Wednesday of the month. Located within San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts.
Legion of Honor
th Ave and Clement St., Lincoln Park, San Francisco, CA 94121
The structure that houses this museum is as beautiful as the artwork within. The extensive collection features works from the 13th to the 20th centuries, including those by Monet, Manet, Rubens, Van Gogh, Picasso, Seurat, and other European artists. Earlier works date from approximately 2500 B.C. An original cast of Rodin’s “The Thinker” dominates the museum entrance.
San Francisco Museum of Craft & Design
Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94102
Fronted by a charming courtyard, this museum occupies the elegant building that once housed Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Salon. Today, beautiful objects rather than bodies are the focus, showcasing both the creative process and the products of design. Past exhibits have been dedicated to industrial design, textile design, furniture, toys created by well-known artists, and the accumulated works of specific designers. The museum shop allows you to take home a wealth of sensual goods in a variety of media of sensual goods in a variety of media. Free docent tours can be arranged.