View all newsletters
Latest in Luxury - Sign up to our weekly newsletter
  1. Travel
  2. Destination Guides
November 22, 2016updated Dec 20, 2023

Top 6 San Francisco Museums

By Chris Boyle

By Codelia Mantsebo

The City of San Francisco is stunningly beautiful and culturally rich and its museums are no exception. From world-class aquariums to interactive science exhibits and artistry masterpieces, San Francisco’s museums are among the finest in the world.
With a wealth of museums, almost 50 of different ranges and qualities, SF allows visitors with a penchant for museums and discovery to visit a number of world-class museums in one day.
In addition, the city’s critically acclaimed architecture and gorgeous surroundings make San Francisco’s museums worth the visit.
Here’s a list of the must-see San Francisco museums for the elite traveler.

coloredshadows960x380Suited in a pristine new facility on Pier 15 on the Embarcadero, the Exploratorium is an interactive museum for everyone. Explore more than 600 interactive indoor and outdoor exhibits, including 150 new experiences and enjoy breathtaking views of the city and bay in the spectacular glass-and-steel Bay Observatory.
With six galleries to explore, each focusing on a different field, Exploratorium is easily a one-stop for all things science. Visitors can delve into the mysteries of human memory, emotion, judgment, and perception or explore their sense of touch in an engaging exhibit way through a series of textures. Exploratorium is a must-visit, created to answer your questions on the mysteries of science.

California Academy of Sciences

cas_exterior_kw_composite_webFeaturing the country’s largest natural history museum, an aquarium, and a planetarium housed in the greenest museum building in the world, the California Academy of Sciences is one of San Francisco’s must-see destinations.

A four-story rainforest under a 27-meter-tall dome and a breathtaking coral reef ecosystem are all highlights of this incredible exhibit. Visitors can also step into the Shake House to feel what San Francisco’s two biggest earthquakes felt like – the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta quake and the 7.9 magnitude Great San Francisco quake of 1906.
The California Academy of Sciences is also a renowned educational institution known for its innovative programs and is the only museum in the world to combine the wonders of an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum in one location.

de Young Museum

deyoung-about-sub-v4Located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the de Young’s collection exceeds 27,000 works from all over the world. It features art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas as well as Native American art from the 17th through 21st centuries, modern and contemporary art, photography, international textiles and costumes.
The building itself is an architectural titan, as it entwines into the natural environment of the park and incorporates historic structures of the older buildings into the new design.
On the ninth floor is Observation Level of the de Young’s Hamon Tower, offering remarkable 360-degree views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.

Legion of Honor Museum

legion-about-sub-v3Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Lincoln Park, the Legion of Honor Museum has a structure that’s as beautiful as the artwork within. Various works of art and paintings hung in a brilliantly designed building atop land with a remarkable view.
The Legion of Honor’s collection consists of more than 124,000 works from world renowned artists such as Monet, Picasso, van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, van Dyck, Cezanne, Gainsborough, and El Greco.
With an extensive collection, the museum features works from the 13th to the 20th centuries. Thus it holds 4,000 years of ancient and European art, French neoclassical architecture, robust statues, and an unbeatable view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco cityscape.
The European decorative arts, ancient Mediterranean art, striking sculptures and paintings, and the vast collection of paper drawings have put the Legion of Honor on the list of some of the best museums in the world.

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

collections_galleries_himalayas_430wLocated in the Civic Center neighborhood, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco houses more than 18,000 works of art. The grand museum is home to one of the world’s most diverse collections of art and objects from across the Asian continent.
Traversing 6,000 years of mankind’s history, guests can appreciate excellent works of art, figures, furniture, materials and protection, among different articles, starting from Turkey, China, India, Japan, the Philippines and other Asian societies.

The Walt Disney Family Museum
Dedicated to the life and work of Walt Disney, creator of some of America’s most beloved animation including Mickey Mouse, this museum is housed in a historic building on the Presidio. Offering a comprehensive history of this American legend, the museum features contemporary interactive galleries while high-tech exhibits are narrated in Walt’s own voice. Tracking Walt Disney’s rise to success, the exhibition features early drawings, cartoons, movies, music, listening stations, more than 200 video screens and an astounding model of Disneyland.

Content from our partners
Sky High Gourmet: Qatar Executive's Impressive Dining
The Best Family-friendly Vacation Destinations in Spain
W New York - Times Square: "We Do Things Differently"

Select and enter your email address Be the first to know about the latest in luxury lifestyle. Get the latest news on hotel openings and in-depth travel guides. Get insider access to exclusive promotions and special offers from our luxury partners.
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thank you for subscribing to Elite Traveler.

Websites in our network