San Francisco is home to a variety of museums that are available to the public. Museums that include cultural, scientific, historical, or artistic exhibits can be found throughout the city. Here are a few of the museums in San Francisco that everyone should visit.
Once a high-security prison, Alcatraz Island is now run by the National Park Service. In 1986, Alcatraz was named a National Historic Landmark. The Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary ran from 1934 to 1963. Now, visitors can take a ferry to the island for a guided tour of Alcatraz. Landmarks include the Dining Hall, Library, Parade Grounds, Recreation Yard, Lighthouse, Main Cellhouse, Water Tower, New Industries Building, Model Industries Building, and what’s left of the ruins of the Warden’s House and Officer’s Club. History buffs will enjoy visiting this piece of the American past.
The Exploratorium is a hands-on science learning museum. Adults and kids will both enjoy exploring this museum together. This public learning laboratory allows its visitors to explore the world through art, science, and perception. Since the museum began in 1969, over 1,000 interactive exhibits have been added. There are typically 600 exhibits on the floor at a time. Explore exhibits and activities such as making a conductivity meter, leaning about frozen frogs and their contribution to the future of preserving organs, and speeding up geological time with a sedimentary squeeze box. You’ll never run out of things to explore in this museum.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Located in downtown San Francisco this nonprofit organization is home to an internationally recognized collection of contemporary art. It was the first museum on the West Coast to feature only 20th-century artwork. Currently, the museum displays over 33,000 art pieces of sculptures, paintings, photography, architecture, media arts, and design. The museum is one of the largest museums in the United States after their expansion and reopening in 2016. If you appreciate modern art then you can’t afford to pass up a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Walt Disney Family Museum
Here’s another great museum to enjoy with your children. Established in 2009, the museum was made in honor of Walt Disney’s life and lasting legacy. The museum is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Family Foundation, a nonprofit established by the heirs of Walt Disney. The museum displays artifacts that bring Walt Disney’s journey to life. You’ll find interactive galleries with early artwork and animations. The awards won by Disney throughout his life are exhibited in the lobby. There’s a digital theater inspired by Fantasia that screens Disney classics every day. Anyone that has grown up with Disney classics will enjoy this museum.
San Francisco Cable Car Museum
The Cable Car Museum located in the city of San Francisco is a free museum open to the public. You’ll find informative and historical exhibits on the San Francisco cable car system. Examples of old cable cars, along with smaller exhibits and a gift shop, are displayed at the museum. You’ll find the Sutter Street Railway grip car and trailer as well as the Clay Street Hill Railroad grip car. Grip car 8 from the Clay Street Hill Railroad is the only cable car that remains from the first cable car company. Take an entertaining walk through the past with the Cable Car Museum.