San Francisco's incredible cultural scene is ready to welcome you back. Here's how to safely experience it all.

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May 19, 2021

The Arts Are Open In San Francisco

In San Francisco, the arts are open—and art is everywhere. Visit our museums and arts organizations, enjoy public art outdoors, and let San Francisco inspire you.

Now that we're ready to welcome you back, it's time to decide how you want to experience San Francisco culture on your next visit. Use this handy guide to learn which experiences are available to you and start planning today!

Of course, the first thing you should do is sign our Safe Travel Pledge to show your fellow travelers that you're committed to traveling responsibly, ensuring that others can have the same experiences you do when they're ready to travel.

Art

San Francisco's museums hold unmatched collections of art spanning thousands of years of history, six continents, and countless styles of expression. The city's galleries give you a chance to look at the works of some of the most exciting creative minds on the planet. Read on to get acquainted with some of our legendary cultural powerhouses and learn how to plan your visit.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

The home for modern and contemporary art in San Francisco, and the first of its kind on the west coast, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art showcases boundary-breaking works in painting, sculpture, and photography. Explore all seven stories of the building, which is itself a piece of architectural wonder. Find out what you need to know about new visiting protocols, then book your tickets.

Hotels Near SFMOMA: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, The St. Regis San Francisco, W San Francisco, The Palace Hotel.

The de Young Museum

Located in beautiful Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum houses American artworks from the 17th to 21st centuries. Global galleries of photography, costumes, and textiles highlight works from Africa and Oceania. Learn about the de Young's safety rules since reopening, then book your tickets.

Hotels with Easy Access to the de Young Museum: Courtyard San Francisco Union Square, Hotel Adagio, San Francisco Proper Hotel.

The Asian Art Museum

Home to works that span 6,000 years of Asian history, the Asian Art Museum is a true gem among San Francisco's cultural institutions. With a new expansion slated to open in 2021, there will be more room than ever before for its expansive collection. Find out how they've prepared to welcome visitors back before booking your tickets.

Hotels Near the Asian Art Museum: San Francisco Proper Hotel, Courtyard San Francisco Union Square, JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square, The Westin St. Francis San Francisco, San Francisco Marriott Union Square.

The Museum of Craft & Design

Located in one of San Francisco's craftiest neighborhoods, the Museum of Craft & Design is dedicated to the way we make art in our world. Showcasing works done with the most traditional of tools as well as those on the cutting edge (no pun intended), the Museum of Craft & Design is sure to inspire your own creativity. Get familiar with their new rules before booking your tickets today.

Hotels Near the Museum of Craft & Design: The Clancy, The Palace Hotel, Le Meridien.

Legion of Honor

This neo-classical shrine to fallen soldiers houses 4,000 years of ancient and European painting, sculpture, and furniture. Located in Lincoln Park, the Legion of Honor's incredible collection inside is matched by its unbelievable views outside. From here, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, and the Pacific Ocean at breathtaking angles. Book your tickets ahead of time.

Hotels with Easy Access to the de Young Museum: San Francisco Proper Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco Marriott Fisherman's Wharf.

History & Nature

The California Academy of Sciences

Explore the natural world at the Academy, which houses a rainforest, an aquarium, a planetarium and more, all under one (living) roof. New rules ensure visitor safety while still allowing you to experience most of the Academy's most fascinating exhibits. Learn how to plan your visit before booking your tickets ahead of time.

Hotels with Easy Access to the Academy: Courtyard San Francisco Union Square, Hotel Adagio, San Francisco Proper Hotel.

The GLBT History Museum

A monument to the history of the gay rights struggle in America, the GLBT History Museum sits proudly in the Castro, San Francisco's legendary "gayborhood". You can explore its extensive archives all year round, since Pride is a permanent state of mind in San Francisco. Plan your visit now.

Hotels with Easy Access to the GLBT History Museum: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, The St. Regis San Francisco, W San Francisco.

Vibrant Cultures

Contemporary Jewish Museum

Celebrating the history, tradition, and culture of the Jewish community, both here in San Francisco and around the world, the Contemporary Jewish Museum features rotating exhibitions of works by Jewish artists, cartoonists, filmmakers, and fashion icons. Learn about the Museum's new policies and then book your tickets.

Hotels Near the Contemporary Jewish Museum: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, The St. Regis San Francisco, W San Francisco, The Clancy, The Palace Hotel.

Live Performance

Given new public safety guidance for gathering indoors, San Francisco's music and performance venues are starting to announce new concerts and shows that could make for a fun night out during your next visit.

Feinstein's at the Nikko

This intimate venue in the Hotel Nikko regularly welcomes local talents and Broadway headliners alike. Performances resume on May 20 with the husband-and-wife duo Jarrod Spector and Kelli Barrett.

Public Art

You don't have to go indoors to see great art in San Francisco. Murals, sculpture, and light art installations can be found in every neighborhood of the city and can be enjoyed for free.

The Women's Building

A cornerstone of the community on 18th Street, The Women's Building's entire three-story facade is covered in detailed artwork that celebrates women leaders in the fields of politics, art, science, and social justice.

Hotels with Easy Access to The Women's Building: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, The St. Regis San Francisco, W San Francisco.

Precita Eyes Mural Arts and Visitor Center

Start your exploration of the Mission District's abundant outdoor murals at Precita Eyes. The staff of this community-based non-profit can give you terrific tips for a self-guided tour of neighborhood artworks and other favorite local haunts.

Hotels with Easy Access to Precita Eyes: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, The St. Regis San Francisco, W San Francisco.

Balmy Alley

Murals first appeared along the Mission's Balmy Alley in the 1980s in response to human rights violations and political corruption in central America. Today, the themes of the artwork here have expanded to include gentrification and government injustice. You'll find Balmy Alley between 24th and 25th streets, and Treat and Harrison streets.

Hotels with Easy Access to Balmy Alley: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, The St. Regis San Francisco, W San Francisco.

Clarion Alley

Clarion Alley is known for community and arts activities. This collection of murals reflects a variety of artistic styles and often depicts themes of social inclusiveness. More than 700 murals have been created since 1992, speaking to community concerns of social, economic, and environmental justice. You can find Clarion Alley between 17th and 18th streets, and Mission and Valencia streets.

Hotels with Easy Access to Clarion Alley: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, The St. Regis San Francisco, W San Francisco.

The Presidio

A former military installation, this enormous park at the northern edge of San Francisco features hiking and biking trails that include outdoor artwork. Andy Goldsworthy is a master of creating using only natural materials, and his four artworks scattered across the Presidio's grounds make for a truly fun artistic scavenger hunt.

Hotels Near the Presidio: San Francisco Marriott Fisherman's Wharf.

Illuminate SF

Delight in the longest nights of the year in San Francisco. Illuminate SF is a collection of large-scale light art installations that span the city and turn our long winter evenings into bright and bold spectacles. The main event happens during the holidays, but a number of light art installations can be seen year-round. This includes the incredibly popular "Entwined", a new addition that's turned Golden Gate Park into an after-hours must-see.

Hotels Great for Seeing Light Art: San Francisco Proper Hotel, The Palace Hotel, San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

Want to take a deeper dive into San Francisco's arts and culture scene? Check out sfarts.org.

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