The most prominent feature of this futuristic-primitive building is the massive perforated copper tower that emerges from the surrounding canopy of trees, making all those who approach from the 9th Avenue entrance to Golden Gate Park feel like the vanguard of an expedition that's just stumbled across an abandoned mothership. The effect is at once overwhelming and electrifying. Inside, however, the exterior walls take a backseat to the impressive and vast collections of art. The de Young holdings include some 27,000 paintings, sculptures, objects, crafts and textiles from Africa, Oceania and the Americas dating from the 17th to 20th centuries. Rotating exhibitions cover a wide swath—everything from the treasures of King Tut and the Impressionists to Edward Hopper and Keith Haring. There's also an excellent store and café with large outdoor seating areas in a sculpture garden. The observation tower with commanding views over the park is worth the trip alone; the courtyard, café, store, sculpture garden and tower can be entered without paying admission.
|Venue name:||M.H. de Young Museum||Contact:|
Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr
|Opening hours:||Tue–Thu, Sat, Sun 9:30am–5:15pm; Fri 9:30am–8:45pm|
|Transport:||Bus 5, 21, 44|
|Price:||$10, seniors $7, youth 13–17 and students $6, children under 12 free.|
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My favorite part about this museum isn't actually the exhibits that rotate through here—though those are fantastic as well. It's the observation deck that you can head up to (for free!), giving you a beautiful 360 view of the city. This is where the scope of Golden Gate Park, and much of the inner Richmond and all the way to the ocean, can be seen. It's a lovely thing to do whether you're actually visiting the museum, or just passing by it.