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San Francisco and Bay Area Museums

The museums listed below are found in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most are excellent, some offbeat or downright quirky. Follow the link from the blurb for more detailed information. Museum ratings generally reflect how enjoyable they are for general audiences and how well they present their subject. You may rate a museum more highly for topics of special interest to you. A five star rating is a "Must See" in our opinion.

Bay Area Discovery Museum - Sausalito - Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge, this children's museum has programs designed for children 5 and younger and for 6 through 8 years. Closed most Mondays. Open 9am to 4pm, (10 to 5 on weekends). Tickets range from $7.50 to $8.50. Allow at least 90 minutes. Not yet rated.

Blackhawk Automotive Museum - Danville - Located in the East Bay, over the hill from Oakland. An exhibition of roughly 100 automobiles selected to represent the epitome of historically significant and artistically inspired cars ranging from classic to contemporary. Closed most Mondays and Tuesdays. Open 10am to 5pm. Tickets range from $5 to $8. Not yet rated.

California Academy of Sciences - San Francisco - A trio of museums; the Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Natural History Museum. It's temporarily location on Howard Street is now closed as they move the collection to its new home in Golden Gate Park, scheduled to open on September 27th, 2008. Open 10 - 5 daily. Tickets range from $2.50 to $7. Allow about one hour minimum for each of the three museums.

C.E. Smith Museum of Anthropology - Hayward - Located on the Cal State Hayward campus, the museum houses collections of archaeological and ethnographic specimens from Africa, Asia and North America and small collections from Central and South America. Open Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm. Not yet rated.

Charles M. Schulz Museum - Santa Rosa - Located 60 miles north of San Francisco, this museum showcases the art of the Peanuts comic strip as well as the life Peanuts creator. Closed Tuesdays and major holidays. Open 12pm to 5pm weekdays, opens at 10am on weekends. Tickets are $5 and $8. Allow at least one hour. Not yet rated.

Children's Discovery Museum - San Jose - Located in downtown, this children's museum offers interactive exhibits targeted for children 4 to 10 years of age. Open daily 10am to 5pm (opens at 12 on Sunday). Tickets range from $6 to $7. Allow at least 90 minutes.

de Young Museum - San Francisco - Located in Golden gate Park, the de Young museum’s permanent collection has evolved from an assemblage of exotic objects from the Americas and Africa into a world-class collection of more than 25,000 western and non-western works of art. The newly reopened de Young provides San Francisco with a landmark art museum to showcase the museum’s priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of the native Americas, Africa, and the Pacific. Tickets range from $7 to $10, 12 and under are free. Allow at least 2 hours.

Exploratorium - San Francisco - Located in the Marina district, this science museum really puts the fun into learning. Excellent for adults and children, this attraction is highly recommended. Closed most Mondays, open from 10am - 5pm. Tickets range from $8 to $12. Allow at least 3 hours.

Hiller Aviation Museum - San Carlos - Located 24 miles south of San Francisco, this museum showcases breakthrough technologies in the history of flight. Museum is of particular interest to aviation enthusiasts. Open Daily 10am to 5pm. Tickets range from $5 to $8. Allow at least 90 minutes.

Morrison Planetarium - San Francisco - One of the three museums comprising the California Academy of Sciences; along with Steinhart Aquarium and the Natural History Museum. It's temporarily location on Howard Street is now closed as they move the collection to its new home in Golden Gate Park, scheduled to open on September 27th, 2008. Open 10 - 5 daily. Tickets range from $2.50 to $7. Allow about one hour for each of the three museums.

Natural History Museum - San Francisco - One of the three museums comprising the California Academy of Sciences; along with Morrison Planetarium and Steinhart Aquarium. It's temporarily location on Howard Street is now closed as they move the collection to its new home in Golden Gate Park, scheduled to open on September 27th, 2008. Open 10 - 5 daily. Tickets range from $2.50 to $7. Allow about one hour for each of the three museums.

Pez Museum - Burlingame - The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia is just 10 minutes south of SFO airport. Featuring a collection of roughly 400 Pez dispensers and merchandize for all things Pez, this is one of those quirky places worth visiting, just so you can tell people you saw it. The museum now also boasts a new wing, the Classic Toy Museum. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Tickets range from $1 to $3. Allow 20 minutes. Not yet rated.

SF MOMA - San Francisco - The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is located on Third Street. A world class museum featuring collections of architecture and design, media arts, painting and sculpture, photography as well as many visiting exhibitions. Closed Wednesdays. Open 10-6 (summer) 11-6 (winter) open until 9pm on Thursdays. Tickets $7 to $12.50. Allow at least 2 hours.

Steinhart Aquarium - San Francisco - One of the three museums comprising the California Academy of Sciences; along with Morrison Planetarium and the Natural History Museum. It's temporarily location on Howard Street is now closed as they move the collection to its new home in Golden Gate Park, scheduled to open on September 27th, 2008. Open 10 - 5 daily. Tickets range from $2.50 to $7. Allow about one hour for each of the three museums.

The Tech - San Jose - Located in downtown, this technology oriented museum offers over 250 exhibits. Of interest to adults and children, the Tech features many hands-on exhibits. The Tech also houses an IMAX theater for an unforgettable movie experience. Tickets for the museum range from $7 to $9 and $7 to $9 for an IMAX film. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. Allow at least 3 hours.

USS Pampanito - San Francisco - This WWII submarine is open for tour on Pier 45 at Fisherman's Wharf. Open daily from 9am to 6pm. Tickets range from $3 to $9. Allow at least 30 minutes. 3 stars - Worth Seeing

Zeum - San Francisco - Located in Yuerba Buena Gardens, this art and technology center for young people lets you explore visual, performing and media arts. Targeted for 5 to 18 year olds. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays (open Tuesdays during the summer) 11am - 5pm. Tickets range from $5 to $7. Allow at least 2 hours. Not yet rated.


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