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826 Valencia

Attractions, Shops

Local literary lion Dave Eggers opened this non-profit kids' writing centre in 2002, an essential destination for those travelling with young aspiring...

826 Valencia Street
FreeMajor venue

Alcatraz

Critics' choice
Attractions, Museums

'Alcatraz' is Spanish for pelican, but to its inmates it was simply known as 'the Rock'. The West Coast's first lighthouse was built here in 1854, but it...

Alcatraz Island
Major venue

Aquarium of the Bay

Attractions

Clear, acrylic underwater tunnels give visitors a diver's-eye view of the Bay, while moving walkways take you through 300ft (91m) of water, past more than...

Pier 39

Bay Area Discovery Museum

Attractions, Museums

This hands-on museum, located just below the north ramp of the Golden Gate Bridge and boasting spectacular skyline views, offers a load of hands-on...

East Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road

Chabot Space & Science Center

Attractions, Museums

High in the Oakland Hills, the Chabot combines a superbly equipped, state-of-the-art planetarium with an observatory and film theatre; the latter runs 70mm...

10000 Skyline Boulevard

Chinese Culture Center

Attractions

Linked to Portsmouth Square by a footbridge and located on the third floor of a Hilton hotel, the Center hosts a variety of events, including Asian-themed...

Hilton Hotel, 3rd floor
Free

Columbarium

Attractions

This round, domed neo-classical rotunda is honeycombed with hundreds of niches, all filled with lavishly and individualistically decorated cremation urns....

1 Loraine Court
Free

Exploratorium

Critics' choice
Attractions, Museums

Housed in the historic Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium has over 600 interactive exhibits about science, art and human perception. A highlight is the...

3601 Lyon Street

Fort Mason Center

Critics' choice
Art, Attractions, Museums, Restaurants & cafés, Theatre

This collection of ex-military buildings features various cultural institutions, including the Museo ItaloAmericano (Building C, 673 2200,...

Marina Boulevard

Hyde Street Pier

Attractions

Maritime fans, students of history and children will love the historic vessels permanently docked here. Typical of the ships that would have been common...

At the foot of Hyde Street
Free

Jeremiah O'Brien Liberty Ship

Attractions, Museums

There's plenty for history buffs big and small to explore aboard the Jeremiah O'Brien, a veteran of D-Day and the only original ship to sail under its own...

Pier 45
Major venue

Marine Mammal Center

Attractions

Visit the sea lions and sea otters at this non-profit centre, which rescues sick or stranded animals, nurtures them back to health and returns them to the...

1065 Fort Cronkhite (Visitor Centre 1049)
Free

Pier 39

Attractions, Shops, Sport, health & fitness

A bustling tourist trap, all T-shirt shops and traders flogging Celtic art and music boxes, plus street performers, restaurants, a games arcade, a carousel...

Beach Street & the Embarcadero
Major venue

Rincon Center

Art, Attractions, Museums

The lobby (facing Mission Street) of this art deco post office-cum-residential and office tower has intriguing WPA-style murals. Painted in 1941 by the...

101 Spear Street
Free

San Francisco Art Institute

Attractions

This hip and prestigious art school offers the full spectrum of fine arts, including painting, film, photography, sculpture and new media. Its student shows...

800 Chestnut Street
Free
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