Some of us need that extra shove to shake off the boring field trips of our youth and explore local museums on our own time. A great way to get reacquainted with the city's cultural touchstones is by taking advantage of the monthly free admission days offered by just about every museum in town. We've narrowed down the list to these must-visits:
Asian Art Museum First Sunday of the month
Spend a Sunday getting lost amidst the thousands of treasures housed in this Civic Center behemoth. The Asian Art Museum's marble staircases and ancient artifacts will enthrall even the most jaded of museum visitors
Conservatory of Flowers First Tuesday of every month
Take a botanical tour around this small and slightly sweaty indoor greenhouse jam-packed with plants and flowers from all over the world. Actually, a few curious additions look downright other-worldly.
Contemporary Jewish Museum First Tuesday of the month, and the first full weekend of the month for Bank of America card-holders
You can't miss this place, with its striking architecture inside and out. The museum plays host to an endless number of fascinating exhibits, not to mention a really fantastic kosher cafeteria.
deYoung Museum First Tuesday of the month, and the first full weekend of the month for Bank of America card-holders
The deYoung Museum is the one museum that you've simply got to visit, or we might not let you live in San Francisco anymore. The city's cultural icon in the heart of Golden Gate Park houses international treasures and a very cool 360-degree lookout.
Japanese Tea Garden Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 9am and 10am
We will never ever stop recommending a visit to the Japanese Tea Garden. This quiet oasis in the middle of Golden Gate Park is easily worth the price of admission, but a free weekday morning spent among the pagodas and bonsais sounds like sheer heaven.
Legion of Honor First Tuesday of the month, and the first full weekend of the month for Bank of America card-holders
Lovers of the European classics won't want to miss a tour of the Legion. Roman fans will be especially pleased to pose with the famous "Thinker" up close.
Musée Méchanique Always free (and always worth it)
If you can handle the hordes at Fisherman's Wharf, you shall be rewarded with a giant and gratis hangar full of vintage arcade games. All a lively afternoon at Musee Mechanique ever costs is a handful of quarters... and some hand sanitizer.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts First Tuesday of the month
Keep current with some of the city's freshest art exhibits and ever-changing calendar of cultural events.