From the ultimate mirror selfie to colorful and prismatic exhibits, the Exploratorium has a bevvy of picturesque Instagram-ready spots. Grab your phone and find out why the Exploratorium is known as a favorite #nofilterneeded spot in San Francisco.

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May 28, 2019

Ten Picture-Perfect Instagrammable Spots at the Exploratorium

From the ultimate mirror selfie to colorful and prismatic exhibits, the Exploratorium has a bevy of Instagram-ready attractions. Grab your phone and find out why the Exploratorium is known as a favorite #nofilterneeded spot in San Francisco.

"Colored Shadows"

Head to this exhibit in the Bechtel Gallery 3 and strike a dynamic pose with a trio of colors that respond to your movements. Stand close enough to the wall and you can create six different colors.

Giant Mirror

The Exploratorium takes the mirror selfie to the next level. Capture yourself upside down, multiplied and fish-eyed. There's no limit to the crazy ways you can capture your reflection. The Giant Mirror in Gallery 3, salvaged from a NASA flight simulator, will astonish you with reflected glory.

"Mood Lighting"

Pull an acrylic dome over your head and enjoy some sweet serenity at the "Mood Lighting" exhibit. Pass your camera to a friend and feel your mood shift as you're transported from one world to another. Get comfy and use the knob on the armrest to choose your best hue. Are you a spring or an autumn?


"Lumen-Illusion" in the Central Gallery provides a dynamic frame with a vintage 1980s vibe. "Stranger Things," anyone? The Gingham Instagram filter punches up the look and feel.


Dazzle yourself with beautiful views of Pier 15 and the Exploratorium while admiring "Buckyball," a towering, 25-foot illuminated sculpture by artist Leo Villareal. Snap a photo as the artwork glows in different colors; it is animated to display more than 16 million different color schemes. It looks good from all angles.

"Fog Bridge"

Artist Fujiko Nakaya's "Fog Bridge," an installation that stretches across a 150-foot-long pedestrian bridge, is a sight to behold on the grounds of the Exploratorium. The swirling fog from more than 800 nozzles adds a hint of mystery to every photo. "Fog Bridge" runs daily, including Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. For the best lighting, go for the 10 a.m. showing.

"Icy Bodies"

Chunks of disintegrating, frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) make for an exquisitely beautiful work of art. Head to Gallery 4: Living Systems and be mesmerized by Shawn Lani's "Icy Bodies." Make sure to try viewing it through a slow-motion lens.

"Spectral Meadow"

The Exploratorium hosts an abundance of kaleidoscopic photo opportunities. "Spectral Meadow" in the Osher Gallery 1 will get your rainbow slideshow started. You'd be hard-pressed to not find a beautiful picture opportunity.

"Distorted Room"

You'll feel like Alice in Wonderland in this Gallery 5 outdoor exhibit. Watch your friends grow and shrink as they wander the checkered floor. It may look like a normal room at first, but this great example of an Ames room offers multiple ways to experience different visual perspectives.

"Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery and Terrace"

These second-floor open spaces offer spectacular views of San Francisco Bay and the city. The gallery also presents exhibits and installations that continue the learning the Exploratorium is so well-known for. With their views, the spaces also are great group event locations.

The Exploratorium is conveniently located along the Embarcadero at Pier 15. All of these exhibits are included with general admission tickets, which can be purchased on-site or online here. "Buckyball" can be visited for free on the street outside the front entrance. For more information on all exhibits, please visit the Exploratorium online.


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