Here's a fun, educational thing to do while in SF. The Asian Art Museum has over 15,000 objects, covering 6,000 years of Asian history. These artifacts -art, statues of deities, etc-cover the entire gamut of Asian history. There's too much to mention here, so I'll post their web page. All of it is just fascinating.
I was attracted to the museum because of an exhibit of recently uncovered Thai artifacts, and discovered many more amazing things. I learned so much about Asian art and history. There's nothing like seeing something that was made by a person who lived 1,000 years ago. What was this person thinking about when he or she made this piece? What was he or she like? It's like getting to know a bit about that person.
The museum is a celebration of San Francisco's Asian heritage. Find it at 200 Larkin Street, at the Civic Center.
It's called Musee Mechanique and is now temporarily at Pier 45. It was located at the Cliff House for years until the renovation completion this past year.
I remember Laughing Sal and many other of these machines as a child visiting what was Playland at the beach.
This is a must for the entire family and kids love it. There are vintage coin operated fortune tellers, wurlitzers, a farm, a barbershop quartet and much more. Too much to mention here. Most of these machines can be operated with a quarter.
It's different and unique to San Francisco.
This greenhouse is at the Golden Gate Park on eof the oldest ones.
You can find here lots of rare, tropical and exotic plants
It is one of the first monuments you see of the Park if you come through Union in direction to the Pacific Ocean…
At 45 Pier, you can find this Museum, you do not have to pay to enter. While Stacy was so concentrate doing his photos of Alcatraz and the submarine, i got inside to check what it was this all about. I just loved and knew Stacy would do it as well so I call him to enter.
WE bought played some of them inside and memories of the past (Barry island or my mother histories came back to our minds)
A must visit even if it is a off the beaten path….
San Francisco has somewhat of a reputation as having not-very-good museums. This has changed in recent years, fortunately. One of the best is the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. It is off the beaten track - in the NW part of the city. The building itself is a work of art - severely damaged in the '89 earthquake it was closed for several years for renovation. As the MH DeYoung museum is being torn down and rebuilt, much of it's permanent collection is now housed here. It has a very diverse collecion from aincient art to presen day pop art. Highlights - Rodin collection, a stunning collection of 15th c. paintings, pop art featuring Warhol and Rauschenburg, and several "art rooms" featuring 17th century panelling! Also, great views of the Marin headlands and the GG bridge!
Right now (summer 2003), the Musee Mecanique is located in Fisherman's Wharf, on Pier 45, which is generally quite busy. Normally, however, it's located out at Ocean Beach's Cliff House, which is undergoing a renovation, and most visitors don't make it out there.
The museum houses an extraordinary collection of toys and machines, many of them reminiscent of the Zoltar machine that made such an impression on Tom Hanks's character in Big . There are gypsy fortune tellers, machines that reveal what happens at a French, or an English execution, viewers in which you can watch various mildly risque movies from the early 20th century, and other attractions like Laughing Sal, a life-size doll with an eerie laugh that often scares young children.
The museum is a lot of fun: the machines might be quaint, but they are often very amusing, and definitely bring out the inner kid. It's free, in one sense, but you need quarters, or occasionally dimes, to operate all of the machines: it's that rare museum that costs as much as you want it to!
The Museum of San Francisco, The Musee Macanique is very odd but interesting. Nice exhibit on the history of SF, but after that are tons of coin operated Antique carny games and pin ball machines. Games of chance, skillI and strength that all came from an old SF amusement park, Playland at the Beach (1928-1972) It's kind of earie to walk around all the old arcade games and toys. Includes miniature model of the old amusement park. Free Admission. Kids would like this place, unless it scared them. Located towards the end of Fisherman's wharf at Pier 45 until the end of 2004, then moves back to it's original location at the Cliff House. Check out the website for more info and photos of the games.
The ‘Stern Grove’ festivals on Sundays in June/July/August are brilliant fun. Best of all it’s free – the music and the atmosphere in a wonderful little natural amphitheatre in the heart of wooded parkland. Grab some others, a picnic and soak it all up – from jazz to opera, beats to bass there’s something for everyone. Check the programmes online!
Computer fans, this museum is for you! This museum will show you the evolutionary history of one of our most important tools of today, the computer. This museum stores all the computers in history; they are actual computers that were once running and now are on display. There are guided tours to help you to explore the world of computers. I STRONGLY recommend this museum to anyone who uses a computer, because it is important and interesting to learn about the evolution of the computer. Besides, the admission is free (donations are welcome). See the web site for directions and hours.
The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose is really a must-see if you're coming to the Bay Area (although I'm putting this tip as an Off the Beaten Path of San Francisco). This museum is great for your kids and yourself. You can experience and learn the newest technologies that have recently been developed, including cool games, robots, communication, etc. There is also an IMAX theater too. Tickets are $9 each (for exhibits, or IMAX individually) or $16 for combo (exhibits and IMAX). See the web site for more information.
You will find plenty of commercial galleries around Union Square, especially along Geary and Sutter. But for more interesting (for me), contemporary stuff, in downtown I would head to the easternmost block of Geary (between Grant and Kearney). Galleries here occupy upper floors of the buildings. The largest collection of them are in 49 Geary, on the south side of the street, Another important colony is in 77 Geary; Don't overlook Paule Anglim across the street (14 Geary, second floor), either.
Two blocks north on Grant is John Berggruen (228 Grant), an important gallery featuring the best of bay area artists like Diebenkorn and Lobdell.
Worthwhile galleries can also be found around SFMOMA, especially the magnificent Crown Point Press (20 Hawthorne).
Pick up a copy of San Francisco Bay Area Gallery Guide, available from the hotel concierge or at any of the galleries, and start exploring!
The North Beach museum is a cute little repository of old photos and whatnots from the colorful history of this vibrant neighborhood. It was really interesting to me to see the people who built the city and read their stories.
Kids would enjoy a little schooldesk from earlier times.
This museum is tiny and REALLY hard to find. It's at 1435 Stockton. Which is an unmarked address. But there is a bank there. Just charge into the bank and head UP the stairs, and that's where you'll find the museum!
When in Sf, don't miss an oppurtunity to go to the famous Fillmore Auditorium and step into the most famous musical venue on the west coast and perhaps the entire US.
The Doors have played here, so have The Who, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin you name it and the fillmore has hosted them.
They serve alcohol at the bar inside and the crowd is young and very into the music.
Recently the Fillmore has hosted some of the world's top dj's playing their sets in the same halls that echoed the voices of jim, jerry, janis, jimi and the likes.
The fillmore is located on Geary blvd and Fillmore Street in the Western Addition. Take the Geary bus (31) and get off near the Boom Boom Room (John Lee Hooker Blue's club is across the street).
Down in Woodside, set on 650 rolling acres is the Djerassi Ranch, home to the Resident Artist program where artists come to create writing, art, sculptures and music. Every so often (check the website for dates) 2-mile and half day tours of the sculptures and grounds are offered. I've included one of my favorite sculptures that artists in residence have created. St. Denis Tower is set up on a hill and is created out of willow branches woven together. I've too many pictures to include here, so check my 'Djerassi travelogue' for pictures of more sculptures
Every first Thursday of the month, local art galleries stay open until about 7:30 so art lovers, social butterflies, and curious geaorges can check out the latest exhibits, drink some wine, and improve their aesthetic tastes. The downtown galleries that participate in this are at 49 Geary and 75 Geary (you can't miss the people streaming in and out of the buildings). A few blocks up are the Sutter Street galleries including HangART and Hang Art annex. (www.hangart.com).