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Top 5 San Francisco Museums

Updated on December 7, 2021

San Francisco is a city of diverse culture, rich history and colorful ethnic groups. As a historic city by the San Francisco Bay, San Francisco offers world class art, science, and fun for you and the whole family. You can enjoy hours after hours exploring the museums in San Francisco. The treasures of San Francisco are presented in the museums with beautiful artworks, sculptures and science exhibits. You will be able to explore San Francisco’s history, art, culture, tradition as well as modern technologies and inventions in the museums, art galleries and exhibitions around the city. Roving the museum is a great way to explore San Francisco and understand the culture and lifestyle. Here is a brief description of the most popular museums in San Francisco:

Video overview

1. California Academy of Sciences

California academy of sciences is one of the largest natural history museums that houses over 26 million of specimens. This is home to attractive exhibits, captivating live species from around the world and a fascinating team of scientists working and researching for the sustainability of the biodiversity. This academy features an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum. The aquarium includes several underwater species such as sharks, sting rays, tropical fish, and waddling penguins. The species are shown in artificial coral reefs and swamps. The planetarium is the largest completely digital planetarium dome in the world. The shows presented here are entertaining and informative. The rain forest resembles the environment of the Amazon jungle with big trees, bush and marshlands. The exhibits are amazing and exciting for people of all ages. This museum is located on the southern edge of the Music Concourse, in the Golden Gate Park.

Location map of California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences:
55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA

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2. Asian Art Museum

Asian art museum of San Francisco is one of the largest museums in the western world that shows the arts and cultures of Asia. It is located in the Larkin Street. It has the most comprehensive collection of Asian arts in the world. It houses more than 18,000 artifacts from over 40 Asian countries dating back to 6000 years. You will see the superb collection of Asian paintings, porcelains, sculptures, arms and armor, furniture, textiles, and bronze objects in this museum. You will get an insight of Asian history, art and culture after visiting this museum. The museum is divided into several sections based on the different regions and countries and those are – South Asia, The Persian World and West Asia, Southeast Asia, The Himalayas and The Tibetan World, China, Korea, Japan.

Location map of Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum:
200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

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3. De Young Museum

Founded in 1895, de Young Museum has an extensive collection of American art, textile arts, and art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas from the 17th through the 20th centuries. The museum is located in the Golden Gate Park and is a part of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. It was shifted to the Golden Gate Park in 2005 in a state of the art building that integrates art, architecture and the natural landscape together. It has become the cultural landmark of San Francisco now. Special exhibitions are arranged throughout the year in this museum to showcase different art, textile and cultural artifacts. It also has a permanent collection of painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and works on textile and paper.

De Young Museum, San Francisco
De Young Museum, San Francisco | Source

Location map of de Young Museum

de Young Museum:
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA

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4. Legion of Honor

This is another museum of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, located in San Francisco's Lincoln Park. This is the most beautiful museum in San Francisco, which is a wonderful French styled neoclassical building overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The museum building itself is a great thing to see. It also has some exclusive collection of ancient art and European paintings and sculptures. The collection contains over 124,000 works of art featuring European arts, sculptures and paintings and ancient art from the Mediterranean and the near east. The museum area also has a souvenir shop and a café.

Legion of Honor
Legion of Honor | Source

Location map of the Legion of Honor

Legion of Honor:
100 34th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA

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5. Cable Car Museum

This is an interesting thing to see in San Francisco. Visitors can see the historic Cable Car Powerhouse and Barn from here. You can see how the cable cars are operated from the powerhouse. You need to watch the actual cable winding machinery from an elevated gallery. You will also see the antique cable cars, track and trails and the first cable car in San Francisco on 1873.

Cable Car Museum
Cable Car Museum | Source

Location map of the Cable Car Museum

Cable Car Museum:
1201 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA

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Besides these notable museums in San Francisco, there are many other museums located in this city that are worth visiting such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Exploratorium, The Walt Disney Family Museum, Cartoon Art Museum, Musee Mecanique.


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