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Approximate Duration: 3 hr

Top Rated Attractions in San Francisco

Search Radius (Miles)
Exploratorium

Developed by physicist Frank Oppenheimer and opened in 1969, this innovative and interactive museum is dedicated to art, science and human perception. Relocated from the Palace of Fine Arts to Piers 15 and 17, the modern space features plenty of new green technologies including the largest solar panel roof in San Francisco and offers over 600 hands-on exhibits. These hands-on displays unveil the mysteries of science and language, and present these theories simply and succinctly. Webinars, special events and seminars occur throughout the year. This San Francisco gem is a must visit.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art houses a permanent collection of over 15,000 works, including 4,700 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and 9,000 photographs. Originally opened in 1995, the museum has exhibited the works of Henri Matisse, Richard Diebenkorn, Dorothea Lange, Paul Klee, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney and many contemporary artists. Designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, the space itself is a wonder to behold. After a major renovation completed in 2016, the SFMOMA now boasts seven floors of art along with exciting new features including a living wall, sculpture garden and impressive views of Yerba Buena Gardens.

California Academy of Sciences

Located in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the greenest buildings in the city and has a platinum certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The museum features the newly renovated and expanded Steinhart Aquarium, complete with a hands-on tide pool and the well-known alligator swamp. Other exciting features are the Morrison Planetarium, the four-story rain-forest dome, and the Hall of African Mammals. In addition to these educational gems, the museum features other natural history exhibits as well as exhibits about global warming. The Academy Cafe offers international cuisine, while the elegant Moss Room restaurant is the only dining option available in the park past museum closing time.

University of California

Perennially ranked among the top universities in the world, this 1,232-acre (499-hectare) campus is embellished with iconic museums, historic libraries, architectural marvels and immaculate lawns. In addition to being educated and enlightened by Nobel laureates, the university also encourages its bright young minds to excel at sports NCAA sports, molding them into well-rounded individuals. Founded in 1868, UC Berkeley is the oldest educational institution in the University of California system. Campus life centers on Sproul Plaza and Sather Gate where you can find a reminder of Berkeley's place in American social history. The site also includes the plaque marking the spot where Mario Savio launched the Free Speech movement in 1964. Steve Wozniak, Chris Pine, Eric Schmidt and Gordon Moore are some of the university's most notable alumni.

Eastshore State Park

This state park, a former landfill, is being transformed into a recreational wonderland by a number of public agencies. Eventually, it will consist of 1,817 acres and span the shorelines of Albany, Richmond, El Cerrito and Emeryville. Until then, the park is open to the public and provides awesome views of the San Francisco Bay. This scenic spot in the making features a park, marina and trails along the shoreline.

Chinatown

Chinatown, one of the busiest areas in the city, is a hodgepodge of shops, restaurants and businesses of every kind. The vibrant and close-knit community that lives within this neighborhood has also made it one of San Francisco's top tourist destinations. Thankfully, there are many side streets, quiet shops and traditional restaurants that provide some relief from the bustle outside. Try your luck at one of the hundreds of dining options in the area, especially those serving Dim Sum, as they can be some of the best in the city. Also make sure to stop in some of the small herbal shops for some unusual trinkets and art.

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