Things To Do in San Francisco

California Attractions for the San Francisco Bay Area Region

California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences - Immerse yourself in the world's oceans and fresh water environments displayed in Steinhart Aquarium, including a two-story coral reef tank. Discover the wonders of the natural world through changing natural history exhibits. The Academy is open to the public at 875 Howard Street in downtown San Francisco during its rebuilding project in Golden Park, which is scheduled to be completed in 2008.

de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco - The City's largest public arts institution. Comprised of the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum and the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, FAMSF is also the City's most successful public/private partnership.


Exploratorium - Housed within the walls of San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium is a collage of over 650 science, art, and human perception exhibits. The Exploratorium is a leader in the movement to promote the museum as an educational center.

Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay - A unique educational and entertainment facility dedicated to the rich and diverse aquatic life of the San Francisco Bay and its surrounding waters. The Aquarium provides a window to the Bay that focuses on its distinctive ecosystems and seeks to entertain, educate and inspire preservation of this wonderful natural resource.

Preservation Park - Located near Oakland's City Center, the Park's 16 turn-of-the-century buildings are today renovated and with their facades restored, are set among manicured lawns and lush plantings, complete with Victorian park benches and street lamps.

NASA-Ames Research Center - The Center is an exhibit hall where the public is invited to come see and experience first-hand NASA's historic accomplishments and ongoing research. There are many artifacts on display including wind tunnel models, a Mercury spacecraft, a Moon Rock, a space suit, and several research aircraft. Ongoing research programs are highlighted with displays, models and more.

Hiller Aviation Museum - A collection dedicated to man's concept of flight. The Museum's exhibits highlight the many historic advancements native to Northern California, and show how technologies resident here today will shape the future of air transportation.

Museum of Craft & Folk Art - The only museum of its kind in northern California. Its unique exhibition program is dedicated to contemporary craft, American folk art, and traditional ethnic art.

San Francisco Zoo - The largest zoological park in Northern California and one of the Bay Area's most popular cultural and recreational attractions, the San Francisco Zoo is home to over 250 species of exotic and domestic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.

The Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf - Step back in time and enjoy the ancient art of wax sculpting. Visit celebrities, U.S. presidents, world leaders, and lots more.

Sharpsteen Museum - Permanent exhibits are designed to present the history of the upper Napa Valley from its pre-history to post World War I with an emphasis on people and changes brought by the period of U.S. emigration and development.

Waterworld California - An exciting water park featuring pools, slides, thrilling rides and more located in Concord.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum - A wildlife rehabilitation and educational center that focuses on native California wildlife and natural history. The museum exhibits live, non-releasable native wildlife. The museum operates the oldest and one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation hospitals in the United States, treating more than 6,000 injured and orphaned wild animals each year.

Oakland Zoo - Nestled in the rolling hills of 525-acre Knowland Park. Each year thousands of families and school groups from around the Bay Area come to visit over 300 native and exotic animals that live in naturalistic habitats at the Zoo.

Jack London Square - A special spot at the water's edge where places for shopping, dining, and daydreaming are all waiting for you. Jack London Square features 15 varied restaurants, specialty shops, USS Potomac, Yoshi's Jazz Club. Accessible via ferry from San Francisco.

Children's Fairyland - An historic 10 acre outdoor park in which children's literature is 'brought to life' through fairy tale exhibits, animals, and Talking Storybooks which children activate by turning a 'Magic Key.'

Hall of Health - Sponsored by Children's Hospital Oakland, is a community health-education museum and science center dedicated to promoting wellness and individual responsibility for health.

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology - Explore the diversity of human cultures from the state of California and around the world, visit The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Marine Mammal Center - The Center rescues and rehabilitates more marine mammals than any other institution in the world. Education programs also aim to increase public knowledge and awareness of the marine environment as a critical link to the survival and health of all life.

California's Great America - Considered Northern California's most thrilling park. The park offers shows, thrill rides and entertainment for the entire family.

Lick Observatory - Researchers conduct leading-edge research to answer the most profound questions in observational astronomy. Lick Observatory is open to daytime visitors nearly every day of the year. Visitors can enjoy a brief guided tour of the Great Lick Refractor in the main Observatory building.

Montalvo Arts Center - This century-old, Mediterranean-style villa nestled among 175 acres of the beautiful Saratoga foothills, is home to Montalvo, the organization. Gallery exhibitions, concerts, literary readings, and special events take place throughout the year.

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo - The Park is a peaceful, creative and safe place for children of all ages, with the main focus on 'little ones' between the ages of 2-10. There are creative play areas, children's rides, hand puppet and marionette shows, special events, and birthday areas.

The Tech Museum - A hands-on technology museum devoted to inspiring the innovator in everyone. Explore over 250 interactive high-tech exhibits in a 132,000-sq.-ft. museum and Northern California's only IMAX Dome theater.

Winchester Mystery House - Historic 160-room Victorian mansion built by rifle heiress Sarah Winchester. Beautiful details mixed in with bizarre oddities, such as doors opening onto walls and stairs going nowhere. Guided tours offered daily.

Roscicrucian Egyptian Museum & Plamentarium - This beautiful complex, established in 1927 in San Jose, houses several Egyptian-style buildings on a five-acre, park-like setting featuring broad lawns, palm trees, rose gardens, and exotic plants from around the world.

Chinese Culture Center - The Center is a major community-based, non-profit organization established in 1965 to foster the understanding and appreciation of Chinese and Chinese American art, history, and culture in the United States. The Center offers a variety of educational and cultural programs. These programs include lectures, workshops, classes, art exhibitions, dance and musical performances and more.

Intel Museum - Here you can experience the power of computer chips first hand, and the evolution of their development.

Cartoon Art Museum - The Museum is one of three museums in the United States dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in all its forms. This unique institution houses approximately 11,000 original pieces in its permanent collection. A complete volume research/library facility. In addition to seven major exhibitions a year, the museum offers a classroom and a bookstore.

San Francisco Cable Cars - Interactive demos on how cable cars work, cable car route maps with popular destinations, cable car fares and etiquette, and the location and hours for the San Francisco Cable Car Powerhouse.

Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum - A hands-on, multimedia arts and technology experience for kids. Explore animation, digital arts, special effects, music videos, and more. Embrace, explore, and share your creativity with family and friends.

Chinese Historical Society of America - The Museum introduces the rich history of the Chinese American experience through exhibits, events, and a large collection. Located in the Heart of Chinatown.

Red & White Fleet - Sail under the Golden Gate and around Alcatraz aboard the 1-hr Golden Gate Bay Cruise, or enjoy sunsets, appetizers and live music aboard the relaxed 2-hr California Sunset Cruise.

Beat Museum - Preserving the Beat Generation with artifacts and displays of various photographs, letters, magazines, books, album covers, and newspaper clippings tied to the Beats' rebellion and the effect it had in the '50s and '60s.

Napa Valley Museum - Dedicated to promoting the cultural and environmental heritage of the Napa Valley. Exhibits represent a diverse range of subjects from fine arts to history to natural sciences.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - The first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. From the outset, the museum has championed the most innovative and challenging art of its time, and continues to exhibit and collect work by both modern masters and younger, less-established artists.

Legion of Honor

Legion of Honor - San Francisco's most beautiful museum, displays an impressive collection of 4,000 years of ancient and European art in an unforgettable setting overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Blue & Gold Fleet

Blue & Gold Fleet - The Bay Area's largest provider of ferry and water excursion services. Blue & Gold Fleet is the exclusive provider of tours to Alcatraz under concession to the National Park Service. Additionally, they offer a range of cruises including spectacular Bay Cruises, ferries to Sausalito, Tiburon, Alameda/Oakland, Vallejo and Angel Island.

San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni)

San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) - Provides transportation to all points of interest within San Francisco. The Muni system operates both diesel and electric trolley buses, historic streetcars and the world famous Cable Cars.

Oakland Aviation Museum - The Museum's facilities are located in a vintage hangar at Oakland International Airport's historic North Field. The hangar serves as the primary facility of the Museum, providing indoor and outdoor exhibition space, an education room, a History Flicks room, a research library and aircraft restoration work areas.

Filoli Center - Filoli is a wondrous 650 acre estate. Magnificent gardens are seemingly untouched by the passage of time. A grand Georgian mansion sits amongst these gardens where hundreds of rare flowers, plants and trees flourish. Wander trough the estate on the brick paths that invite visitors from all over the world to explore the grace an beauty of Filoli.

Asian Art Museum - 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.

PIER 39 - San Francisco's Number One Attraction provides visitors with postcard views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, the San Francisco Bay and the City skyline. Visitors can enjoy shopping, entertainment, dining, and more!

Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum - Two floors, 11 galleries, over 10,000 square feet of exhibits, state of the art interactive displays, illusions and much more!

Old Faithful Geyser of Napa Valley California - Visit the show of California's Old Faithful Geyser, a spectacular, nature-directed performance. Old Faithful Geyser of California throws a tower of thousands of gallons of water skyward. The water, 350 degrees hot, shoots approximately 60 feet into the air and dances on the breezes for about three or four minutes, then recedes. Repeat performances play about every 30 minutes.

Pixieland Amusement Park - A clean park and great fun for kids ages 1 to 10, featuring a mini train, carousel, airplanes, antique cars, frog hopper & roller coaster! The Kids Cafe boasts fresh daily hand dipped corn dogs & spun cotton candy. No cost for admission, just buy tickets for rides. Birthday Parties! Group events! BBQ picnic area & duck pond, too!

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom - Experience wildlife and wild rides at America's only combination theme park, wildlife park, and oceanarium. Come see how more than 30 exhilarating rides, 10 shows, and 35 exotic animal attractions add up to one amazing adventure.

Ruth Bancroft Garden - Preserving an exceptional example of American garden design, The Ruth Bancroft Garden demonstrates the beauty and excitement possible in a water-conserving landscape and is Internationally recognized as one of the finest private gardens in North America.

Paramount Theatre - One of the finest remaining examples of Art Deco design in the United States. Home of both the Oakland Ballet and the Oakland East Bay Symphony and, as one of the San Francisco Bay Area's premiere performing arts facilities, hosts a year-round schedule of popular music concerts, variety shows, and movies.

Oakland Museum of California - Provides unique collections, exhibitions and educational opportunities designed to generate a broader and deeper understanding of and interest in California's environment, history, art and people.

Chabot Space & Science Center - The universe is yours to experience. Set amid 13 trail-laced acres of East Bay parkland, with glorious views of San Francisco Bay and the Oakland foothills, CSSC is a hands-on celebration of sights, sounds, and sensations.

University of California Botanical Garden - Located in Strawberry Canyon above the Berkley campus overlooking the San Francisco Bay. The Garden features one of the most diverse plant collections in the United States. The Garden's 34 acres contain over 13,000 species and more than 21,000 plants from all over the world arranged by region.

Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive - Located at the University of California and is particularly noted for its collection of late twentieth-century art.

Roaring Camp Railroads - Deep in the heart of the magnificent redwood forests of California's scenic Santa Cruz Mountains, south of San Francisco and north of the beautiful Monterey Bay, is America's last steam-powered passenger railroad with year-round passenger train service: the historic Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow-Gauge Railroad.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk - Located on a mile-long beach between Monterey and San Francisco, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is your admission-free hot spot for beach vibes and classic rides!

Hakone Japanese Gardens - Saratoga's beautiful Japanese gardens are located just 1/10th of a mile above the Village of Saratoga. In this city park you will find one of the most beautiful and authentic Japanese gardens in the United States.

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose - The striking 52,000 square foot purple building was designed to serve the needs of children, families and schools as a center for learning and discovery. Encompassing the broad themes of community, connections and creativity, exhibits invite self-directed, open-ended explorations, while programs provide facilitated, focused, and sustained interactions.

San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles - The Museumís exhibits and programs promote the appreciation of quilts and textiles as art and provide an understanding of their role in the lives of their makers, in cultural traditions, and as historical documents.

Mexican Heritage Plaza - Located in the heart of San Jose's oldest and largest Mexican-American community. The Plaza features a theater, thematic gardens, a pavilion, plaza, festivals and events for the entire family.

Raging Waters - The Bay Areaí's largest water theme park, offers family recreation on the grounds of Lake Cunningham Regional Park in San Jose. There are water slides, thrill rides and attractions designed for every member of the family including an interactive family play structure and pint-sized attractions for the little ones.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts - The mission of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is to present arts and entertainment reflecting the San Francisco Bay Area's diverse cultural populations to the widest possible audiences. Program areas include Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Film/Video and Education.

Lawrence Hall of Science - Located at the University of California, Berkley which offers a fun family center featuring hands-on exhibits, events, classes, and summer camps, workshops, labs and planetary shows.

San Jose Museum of Art - San Jose's premier art museum, with a focus on contemporary art in all media. The Museum also offers a unique museum store and cafe.

Fisherman's Wharf - San Francisco's most popular destination is known for its historic waterfront, delicious seafood, spectacular sights and unique shopping, Fishermanís Wharf offers a wide array of things to do for everyone.

Contemporary Jewish Museum - Embracing a range of artistic disciplines and media, the Museumís exhibition program includes contemporary art and historical objects, film and music, conversations, lectures, literary readings, and other live performance.

AT&T Park - Attending a Giants game at AT&T Park is a unique and exciting entertainment experience. Perfectly situated and centrally located in San Francisco, AT&T Park is one of the most unique venues. Tours available.

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers - A unique living museum that is bursting with life just waiting to be discovered. Its intimate setting gives visitors an up-close look at rare, exotic plants and beautiful tropical flowers.

S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien - One of two remaining fully functional Liberty Ships of the 2,710 built and launched during WWII. A living museum, and historic landmark, climb aboard and experience the ship.

USS Hornet Museum - A national treasure, having participated in two of the greatest events of the 20th century -- World War II and the Apollo 11 manned space mission. Visit this historic ship and learn about its role in these events.

Seymour Marine Discovery Center - Visit a working marine laboratory. Exhibit halls, aquarium, and touch tanks. Hold a sea star, marvel at the world's largest whale skeleton, and more.

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