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Whether it's roaming bison or Impressionism, the San Francisco Bay Area probably has some form of museum to honor it.
Visit fine arts museums, aquariums, and beautiful parks that make nature the focus. Delight the kids with interactive museums designed just for them. Have a penchant for nautical history? The coastline offers a multitude of opportunities to see old ships and even learn sea chanteys!
The Bay Area's museums are also a great way to discover how San Francisco came to be what it is today. Treat yourself and your family to a few days of exploration at the museums of your choice.
SFMOMA - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Conveniently located in the flourishing Yerba Buena Gardens cultural district, SFMOMA offers the West Coast's most comprehensive collection of 20th-century art as well as an ever-changing program of special exhibitions.
Ticket valid for general admission only and is not valid for special exhibitions, lectures, film programs, or with any other discount.
Open daily (except Wednesdays) from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm; Thursdays until 9:00 pm; Closed Wednesdays; Summer hours (Memorial - Labor Day) open at 10:00 am
151 Third Street (between Howard and Mission) in the Yerba Buena Gardens cultural district Bus: Take the 30 Stockton, 45 Union or 14 Mission to 3 rd and Mission (415) 357-4000 www.sfmoma.org Insider's Tip: The least crowded time to visit is early afternoon on Mondays or Tuesdays, or Thursday evenings.
EXPLORATORIUM Feed your senses at this internationally acclaimed museum of science, art and human perception. With over 650 hands-on exhibits, it's a playground for your mind, a scientific funhouse, and an experimental art laboratory all rolled into one. Voted "Best Museum" and "Best Family Outing" in San Francisco. (CitySearch.com)
Ticket valid for general admission only; Not applicable for the Tactile Dome or with any other offer.
Winter (September to May) open Tuesday through Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Wednesdays until 9:00 pm, closed Mondays, except holidays; Summer (June to August) open daily 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Wednesdays until 9:00 pm
On the way to the Golden Gate Bridge at the Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street us: Bus Routes 28, 30, 43 Additional Facilities: Tactile Dome (separate admission); Webcast Studio, McBean Theatre, Exploratorium Store, and Exploratorium Café
(415) EXPLORE; (415) 397-5673 www.exploratorium.edu
Insider's Tip: Beat the crowd weekdays 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm or Wednesday evenings!
PALACE OF THE LEGION OF HONOR A city landmark and one of the most beautiful museums in the country; 4,000 years of ancient and European art; paintings by El Greco, Rubens, Rembrandt, Seurat, Monet, Degas, Picasso; sculpture by Rodin; oceanview courtyard dining.
Ticket valid for general admission only; Some special exhibitions require minimum surcharge.
Open Tuesday - Sunday, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm In Lincoln Park Golf Course at 34 th Avenue and Clement Street
Additional Facilities:Museum Store and café with ocean view
(415) 863-3330 www.thinker.org
Bus: From downtown SF take the 38 Geary bus to 33 rd Ave. and transfer to the 18 bus
CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND STEINHART AQUARIUM Earth, Ocean, Space. All in one place! Admission includes the Steinhart Aquarium and the Natural History Museum. Explore the ocean's sea life, survey African Animals and California in the wild. Ride an earthquake and travel back three billion years in time.
Ticket valid for general admission only and not valid for special exhibitions, lectures, film programs, or with any other discount.
Open daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm; extended hours during summer In Golden Gate Park Additional Facilities:Morrison Planetarium (additional charge), cademy Store, and café
(415) 750-7145 www.calacademy.org Bus: 44
Asian Art Museum
The Asian Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. Its holdings include nearly 15,000 treasures spanning 6,000 years of history, representing cultures throughout Asia. Opening March 20, 2003 the museums new home is the result of the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the citys former Main Library, a 1917 beaux artsstyle building. Renowned architect Gae Aulenti oversaw the dramatic transformation of the buildingnow featuring 40,000 square feet of gallery spaceallowing the museum to better fulfill its mission of leading a diverse global audience in discovering the unique material, aesthetic, and intellectual achievements of Asian art and culture.
Hours (beginning March 21)
Tuesday through Sunday 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. with extended evening hours every Thursday until 9:00 p.m.
The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays (New Years Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas), and during certain large scale Civic Center Events (please call for details).
200 Larkin Street (between Fulton and McCallister Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94102
Cable Car Museum
Cable Car Museum listed as one of the "World's Top Ten Free Attractions"
Travel expert Arthur Frommer have picked the San Francisco Municipal Railway's Cable Car Museum as one of the top ten free attractions in the world. The museum is at the cable car barn at Washington and Mason Streets in San Francisco. Special areas above and below allow excellent views of the huge drive wheels and the electric motors which move the cables used to propel the cable cars. There are also historical displays on San Francisco's cable cars, as well as actual cable cars that operated in 19th-century San Francisco, including a car that ran on Andrew Smith Hallidie's Clay Street Hill Cable Railroad, the world's first successful cable car line.
Further, the museum has a gift shop where visitors can purchase books and memorabilia on both the cable cars' and San Francisco's past and present. The museum is open every day of the year except for New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., November through March, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., April through October. Persons interested in obtaining more information about the Cable Car Museum can call the museum at 415-474-1887.
Cable Car Barn & Powerhouse 1201 Mason Street San Francisco, CA 94108 (corner of Mason and Washington Sts.) Information Provided by www.sfmuni.com.
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