Museums in San Francisco
60+ San Francisco Museums
San Francisco is known for its famous landmarks, delicious food, and vibrant culture. But, did you know that it’s also home to some of the best museums in the country?
Whether you’re a history buff or an art enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in the Bay Area. So, here are our picks for some fun museums in San Francisco and a list of more than 60 more!
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Must-Visit San Francisco Museums
Children’s Creativity Museum
The Children’s Creativity Museum is ideal for kids two to 12 years old and is located in Yerba Buena Garden Park.
This museum in San Francisco offers numerous inspirational exhibits. You’ll find activities like an animation studio where you can make characters and movies. There are also a tech lab where you can program a robot and an imagination lab where you can design something out of the box. You can also take the Mystery Box Challenge, which inspires you to create your own original innovations.
The Creativity Theatre conducts concerts, seminars, and other educational activities for children.
Website – Children’s Creativity Museum
221 Fourth Street – San Francisco 94103
$15 on Thursday and Friday 10 am to 12:30 pm
$20 on Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
Year-long memberships available
Cartoon Art Museum
The Cartoon Art Museum is near Ghirardelli Square on the edge of Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s a cartoon art and caricature museum featuring works by both local and foreign artists.
The venue is a welcoming beautiful brick structure with plenty of room for exhibits and art shows. Comic book fans will particularly appreciate the exciting collection of cartoon art, comic strips, pages from comic books, anime, and digital cartoon art.
One of the more permanent exhibits is The Batman Armory. It showcases costumes and Props from the Bronze Armory Studios. Plus, you’ll see events like the Graphic Novel Readathon on the schedule.
About the Cartoon Art Museum
Website – Cartoon Art Museum
781 Beach Street, San Francisco 94109
Open daily except Wednesday – 11 am to 5 pm
Individual Membership $50/year – Family $80/year
$10 adults – $7 for San Francisco residents – senior/military/students $6; kids 6-12 free
The Musée Mécanique (meaning “Mechanical Museum” in English) is a for-profit museum at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. It’s family-owned and operated since 1933.
Visitors will appreciate a coin-operated arcade from the twentieth century and other fascinating artifacts. This location has an extraordinary collection of over 280 mechanical amusement machines. Musée Mécanique boasts one of the world’s most extensive private-ownership collections, ranging from fully-automated orchestras to ancient slot machines.
Website – Musée Mécanique
Pier 45 Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco 94133 (at the end of Taylor Street)
Open every day 10 am to 8 pm
The Legion of Honor
Legion of Honor is a historical fine-art museum in San Francisco that exhibits works by European artists. It’s located in Lincoln Park with a beautiful view of the city, the Pacific Ocean, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
The museum’s permanent collection contains works by Louis XV, Rodin, Salone Dore, Gerome, and others and decorative art, photographs, sculptures, paintings, and antiquities. It also hosts temporary exhibitions of Tissot, Rubens, Degas, and other international artists.
Museumgoers will also appreciate photo exhibits by Bill Owens, Eadweard Muybridge, John Gutmann. The cafe serves delicious food, and the store sells various books, puzzles, and accessories. And, organ concerts are held at the museum regularly.
Website – Legion of Honor
Lincoln Park – 100 34th Avenue San Francisco 94121
Tuesdays through Sundays – 9:30 am to 5:15 pm
Tickets vary depending on the event – select a reservation time along with tickets – in the $30 to $35 range with discounts available for seniors and students
California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a San Francisco-based research center and natural history museum. It was founded in 1853 as a research organization.
Kimball Natural History Museum, the Morrison Planetarium, Rainforests of the World, and the Steinhart Aquarium are the Academy’s four principal museum programs. These interactive displays around the museum allow the entire family to learn in a fun and instructive way.
About the California Academy of Sciences
Website – California Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park – 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco 94118
Monday through Saturday 9:30 to 5 pm
Sunday – 11 am to 5 pm
Thursday Nightlife 21+ – 6 to 10 pm
Admission varies based on dates, times, and events (in the $35 range)
Museums in San Francisco, CA
|San Francisco Museums||Address||Website|
|African American Art & Culture Complex||762 Fulton St||http://www.aaacc.org|
|American Book Binders Museum||1962 Harrison St||https://bookbindersmuseum.org|
|Asian Art Museum||4051 Judah St||https://asianart.org|
|Beat Museum||540 Broadway||http://www.thebeatmuseum.org|
|Cable Car Museum||1201 Mason St||http://www.cablecarmuseum.org|
|California Academy Of Sciences||55 Music Concourse Dr||https://www.calacademy.org|
|Cartoon Art Museum||781 Beach St||https://www.cartoonart.org/|
|Children's Creativity Museum||221 4th St.||https://creativity.org|
|Chinese Historical Society Of America Museum And Learning Center||965 Clay St||https://chsa.org|
|Ck Contemporary||357 Geary St||http://ckcontemporary.com|
|Counterpulse||80 Turk St||https://www.counterpulse.org|
|Curiodyssey||1651 Coyote Point Dr.||https://curiodyssey.org|
|De Young Museum||50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.||http://famsf.org|
|De Young Museum-Golden Gate Park||50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr||https://deyoung.famsf.org|
|Fantasy Arts Museum||2339 Irving Street, 2nd Floor||http://www.fam.sitecity.ru|
|Fort Point National Historic Site||Long Ave & Marine Dr||https://www.nps.gov/fopo/index.htm|
|Fouladi Projects||1803 Market St||https://fouladiprojects.com|
|Glbt History Museum||4127 18Th St||https://www.glbthistory.org|
|Haas-Lilienthal House||2007 Franklin St||https://www.sfheritage.org/haas-lilienthal-house|
|Haight Street Art Center||215 Haight St||https://haightstreetart.org|
|Henry Wilson Coil Masonic Library And Museum||1111 California St||http://www.masonicheritage.org/contact.htm|
|Hiller Aviation Museum||601 Skyway||https://www.hiller.org|
|International Museum Of Women||222 Sutter St||https://www.imow.org|
|Keane Eyes Gallery||349 Geary St||https://www.keane-eyes.com|
|Legion of Honor Museum||100 34Th Ave||https://legionofhonor.famsf.org/|
|Madame Tussauds San Francisco||145 Jefferson St||https://www.madametussauds.com/san-francisco|
|Magnes Museum||282 2Nd St||https://www.thecjm.org|
|Maritime Museum-San Francisco Maritime National Hi||2 Marina Blvd||https://www.nps.gov/safr/index.htm|
|Musee Mecanique||45 Pier Ste D7||http://museemecanique.org|
|Museum Of 3D Illusions San Francisco||55-61 Jefferson St||https://sfillusions.com|
|Museum Of African Diaspora||90 New Montgomery St||https://www.moadsf.org|
|Museum Of Glbt History||657 Mission St||https://www.glbthistory.org|
|Museum Of Ice Cream||1 Grant Ave||https://www.museumoficecream.com/|
|Museum Of Russian Culture||2450 Sutter St||http://www.mrcsf.org/home|
|Museum Of Vision||655 Beach St||http://www.museumofvision.org|
|Neo Modern||1898 Union St||http://www.neomodern.com|
|Octagon House||2645 Gough St||http://www.octagonhouseca.org|
|Pacific Coast Air Museum||2330 Airport Blvd||https://pacificcoastairmuseum.org/|
|Pacific Heritage Museum||608 Commercial St||http://www.ibankunited.com/phm|
|Philippine Folklife Museum Foundation||447 Sutter St||https://philippinefolklifemuseum.org|
|Randall Museum||199 Museum Way||https://randallmuseum.org|
|Ripley's Believe It Or Not!||175 Jefferson St||http://www.ripleys.com|
|Romer Young Gallery||1240 22Nd St||https://www.romeryounggallery.com|
|San Francisco De Asis - Mission Dolores||3321 16Th St||https://www.missiondolores.org|
|San Francisco Fire Department Museum||655 Presidio Ave||http://www.sffiremuseum.org|
|San Francisco Jewelry Museum||888 Brannan St||http://www.jewelryexchangeco.com|
|San Francisco Maritime Museum/Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building||900 Beach St||http://www.nps.gov/safr/planyourvisit/hours.htm|
|San Francisco Railway Museum||77 Steuart St||http://www.streetcar.org|
|SF MOMA (Museum of Modern Art||151 Third St||https://www.sfmoma.org/|
|Sfo Museum||San Francisco International Airport||https://www.sfomuseum.org|
|Society Of California Pioneers||101 Montgomery St Ste 150||https://www.californiapioneers.org|
|Studio For Urban Projects||917 Bryant St||https://studioforurbanprojects.org|
|Tenderloin Museum||398 Eddy St||http://www.tenderloinmuseum.org|
|The American Book Binders Museum||355 Clementina St||https://bookbindersmuseum.org|
|The Contemporary Jewish Museum||736 Mission St||https://www.thecjm.org|
|The Gregangelo Museum||225 San Leandro Way||https://www.gregangelomuseum.com/tours-sf-tickets-to-another-world|
|The Mexican Museum||649 Mission St||https://www.mexicanmuseum.org|
|The Randall Museum||745 Treat Ave||https://randallmuseum.org|
|Treasure Island Museum||300 Montgomery St||http://www.treasureislandmuseum.org|
|Uss Pampanito||45 Pier||http://www.maritime.org/pamphome.htm|
|Walt Disney Family Museum||104 Montgomery St||https://www.waltdisney.org|
|Wells Fargo Museum||420 Montgomery St||https://www.wellsfargohistory.com/museums/san-francisco|
Did we leave your theater off the list? Send us the info and we’ll be sure to add it.
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Frequently Asked Questions
There’s no lack of museums in the Bay Area with over 60 prominent venues right in the city. Some of the best include MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), DeYoung Museum, Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum, Exploratorium, and San Francisco Maritime Museums.
Many of San Francisco’s museums have at least one exhibit targeting younger visitors. Families will appreciate the Children’s Creativity Museum, Cartoon Art Museum, Exploratorium, Madame Tussauds, and Museum of 3D Illusions.
The Museum of 3D Illusions in San Francisco describes itself as the “most fun museum!” That’s because it’s fully interactive. Visitors step inside 3D art exhibits creating incredibly unique photo opportunities. And, for visitors needing to relieve some stress, the Museum of 3D Illusions also hosts a “Smash It” room.