MOMA opens soon, but San Francisco Has Plenty of other Museums, too

Visiting a museum is always a unique experience, as each one has its own distinct characteristics, style, and of course, content. Although one could argue the restaurants and hotels that a city have to offer are extremely important, the distinct array of museums in a city says a lot about its commitment to culture and art.

Museum subjects vary greatly from city to city, and can range from firefighter's museums to fine art to sports. It's no different in San Francisco, with a wealth of museums ranging from MOAD to The Cartoon Art Museum. And most of the cities best museums are concentrated around Yuerba Buena Park, so true museum lovers could knock out three or four world-class museums in one day and on foot.

And since the largest and most well-known of the museums in this area, SF MOMA, is closed for construction until 2016, now is a great time to give the smaller but just as fascinating museums in a chance to show off their cultural wealth.

Although a good night's sleep at a fine hotel or a splendid meal at a four-star restaurant can really make a trip, think about what a day at a thoughtful museum can offer: significant memories that can last a lifetime.

Cartoon Art Museum
Photo courtesy of Cartoon Art Museum


A delightfully unique attraction, the Cartoon Art Museum is an anomaly in the western United States and the region's only museum wholly dedicated to cartoon art. Located in the city's Yerba Buena cultural district, it houses nearly 6,000...  Read More



For those who like their museum visits sprinkled with Disney magic, be sure to check out the Walt Disney Family Museum. Offering a comprehensive history of this American legend within the beautiful confines of the Presidio, the museum tracks...  Read More

Asian Art Museum


The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. Its holdings began with the generous donations of collector Avery Brundage, and now, the facility houses nearly 15,000...  Read More

Cable Car Museum


This museum has been called "one of the top 10 free attractions in the world" by travel guru Arthur Frommer. It's an excellent for all ages because it celebrates the fun whimsy of cable cars but doesn't skip the more complicated mechanics, as...  Read More



If you want a museum experience that's educational and fun for kids, take the trip over the Bay to Sausalito and visit the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Everything about the museum is made to make learning fun for the whole family, including the...  Read More



The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is dedicated to sharing the art and stories of our common African heritage with audiences from around the world. Showcasing the history, art, and cultural richness that resulted from the migration of...  Read More

Lincoln Park


Unlike some of the other museums on this list, the structure that houses this museum is as beautiful as the artwork within. The extensive collection features works from the 13th to the 20th centuries, including those by Monet, Manet, Rubens, Van...  Read More

de Young Museum
Photo courtesy of de Young Museum


First opened in 1895, the de Young is San Francisco's oldest, most diversified art museum. In late 2005, after many months of renovation, the facility reopened with a new, copper-clad exterior and updated, newly fashioned exhibits. The museum's...  Read More



Although the de Young museum has the most striking of all the San Francisco museums, the Contemporary Jewish museum has to rank a very close second. Opened in 2005, the 63,000 square foot stunning museum by designer Daniel Libeskind celebrates...  Read More



The Exploratorium believes the fundamental childhood traits of being playful and curious should be fostered for a lifetime. Founder Frank Oppenheimer believed in intertwining art and science to make learning attractive and memorable through...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

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