San Francisco Museums & History

San Francisco Museums & HistorySan Francisco derives its unmatched diversity from the various cultural influences and historic events that have shaped it over the course of time. To get a better view and understanding of those people, places and events, make plans to visit one of the many stellar museums and historic places in the city. All of these venues do an exemplary job of telling the stories that have gone on to become the history of the much-loved City by the Bay.

Asian Art Museum
The Asian culture is a vital part of San Francisco's identity. To celebrate the cultural contributions, you can get a deeper and quite colorful view when you visit the Asian Art Museum. This museum is one of the largest venues in the world devoted entirely to Asian art. When you enter the venue, you will be struck by the incredible variety of pieces which number to over 15,000. Every one of these exhibits span nearly 6,000 years of history. The sheer depth and breadth of the art presented here is a sweeping introduction to Asia's major cultures as well as those of India, Tibet, China, Japan and Korea.

Address: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 - MAP
Phone: (415) 581-3500
Web: www.asianart.org

The Mexican Museum
While The Mexican Museum's collection is relatively small, it does make up for its lack of size with its breadth of history. The exhibits cover Mexico's history from pre-conquest to the contemporary era. These visually compelling pieces of Mexican craft are augmented by the addition of various creations of art of the Americas that provide a more sweeping yet integrated perspective. Along with these compelling presentations, the museum also features an excellent gift shop in which you will surely find the perfect souvenir to remind you of your visit.

Address: Laguna Street and Marina Street, Fort Mason Center, Bldg D, San Francisco, CA 94123 - MAP
Phone: (415) 202-9700
Web: www.mexicanmuseum.org

Cable Car Museum
San Francisco's Cable Car Museum has the distinction of being recognized as one of the top 10 free attractions in the world. It also offers a unique peek into how San Francisco's signature means of transportation is constructed and operated. You will be able to take several photos from the second level that overlooks the various exhibits, as well as get close to different displays that feature vintage cars in either completed form or in various parts. The various informative displays illustrate the compelling history of cable cars.

Address: 1201 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 - MAP
Phone: (415) 474-1887
Web: www.cablecarmuseum.com

Cartoon Art Museum
The Cartoon Art Museum is virtually guaranteed to put a smile on your face as you walk through it and see the nearly 6,000 original items housed in this fascinating facility. The museum received the support of Charles M. Schultz, the creator of "Peanuts," and it was with that impressive blessing that the museum transitioned from a mere idea to becoming the only collection of its kind west of the Mississippi. Located in Yerba Buena Gardens in the city's art center, this popular venue attracts cartoon and comic lovers from all over the world. In addition to the major exhibitions held yearly, the museum also features the very popular bookstore that features several unique items for sale.

Address: 655 Mission Street, Yerba Buena Gardens,
San Francisco, CA 94103 - MAP
Phone: (415) 227-8666
Web: www.cartoonart.org

de Young Museum
For a look back that stretches all the way to the nation's colonial period, check out the awe-inspiring exhibits at the de Young Museum. This venue was first opened in 1895 and holds the distinction of being the city's oldest, most diversified museum. Even though it was remodeled in 2005 and several of its exhibits were updated, it still stands as one of the world's most fascinating collections of African, Oceanic, and pan-American art. This is highly worth checking out!

Address: 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park,
San Francisco, CA 94118 - MAP
Phone: (415) 750-3600
Web: www.famsf.org

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Art lovers will truly feel like they are in their element when visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This impressive, five-story building is filled with some of the world's most famous creations of modern artistic expression created by some equally well-regarded artists. If the depth and breadth of it all is a bit much for you at first, a free, 45-minute guided tour is offered to help you acclimate yourself with all of these incredible pieces. The exhibits change quite often, and that constant change not only offers a chance to see some riveting work, but it makes the museum a kind of work-in-progress art project in and of itself.

Address: 151 3rd Street, Yerba Buena Gardens,
San Francisco, CA 94103 - MAP
Phone: (415) 357-4000
Web: www.sfmoma.org