Where Is the Best Place to See Art in San Francisco?

Are you an art lover planning a trip to the cultural capital of San Francisco? You’re in luck! The city boasts a thriving art scene that showcases classics alongside local artists. In this blog, we will unveil the best art galleries that contribute to the city’s vibrant cultural tapestry — all of which are perfect to explore on your trip to San Francisco! 

At Incredible Adventures, we love sharing our hometown with visitors from around the world. As the Greenest Tour Company in San Francisco, you can check out our day trips from San Francisco that use eco-friendly renewable alternative biofuels. This means you can enjoy the ride without worrying about your carbon footprint! You can also browse our Top 5 Neighborhoods to Visit in San Francisco for more destination inspiration.

Just get in touch to learn more about our San Francisco tours and start planning your trip!

1. Visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art On a Trip

Location: 151 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103

At the center of the city’s art scene is the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Located in the Yerba Buena neighborhood, SFMOMA houses an extensive collection of modern and contemporary works, spanning paintings, sculptures, photographs, and new media installations. 

You can see familiar works by Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, and Jackson Pollock, plus other contemporary pieces by equally talented newer artists. Find new favorites across the gallery’s seven floors and 45,000 square feet of art-filled space! Tickets cost $30 for adults. The museum is free for under 18s and discounted tickets are available for seniors and young adults.  

A man admiring two colorful paintings in the best place to see art in San Francisco.
A visitor enjoys art at SFMOMA (Source | License)

2. Explore the Asian Art Museum on Your San Francisco Trip

Location: 200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Nestled in the Civic Center neighborhood, the Asian Art Museum boasts one of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world. The collection spans over 6,000 years, showcasing works from China, Japan, Korea, India, and other Asian regions. Enjoy historical pieces and contemporary artworks on regular rotation, with the second and third floors alone containing 2,000 pieces on display! 

There is an ongoing exhibition by Ruth Asawa, an influential Bay Area artist, which features her distinctive wired sculptures and information about her life and civic activism. Tickets cost $20 for adults and there are a range of discounts available, making the Asian Art Museum a great day out without breaking the bank.

An exquisite painting of a serene landscape adorned with majestic trees and subtle depictions of fauna, showcasing impeccable artistry.
Caption: Artwork at the Asian Art Museum (Source | License)

3. See the Museum of the African Diaspora on Your San Francisco Tour

Location: 685 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) stands as a captivating tribute to the African diasporic experience. MoAD is located in the Yerba Buena cultural district, just around the corner from SFMOMA, meaning you can visit both museums in one day!

MoAD is a contemporary museum celebrating Black cultures and learning through a diasporic lens. With rotating exhibitions that celebrate the cultural heritage of the people of Africa and African descendant cultures worldwide, the museum is a thought-provoking stop on any art lover’s journey through San Francisco. There’s also a great gift shop on site that offers accompanying exhibition catalogs, children’s books, and coffee table books on various Black artists.

General admission is $12, with discounts available for seniors, educators, and students, plus free tickets for young people. 

Explore the vibrant art scene in San Francisco, California with Mgad.
Outside the MoAD (Source | License)

4. Have Fun in the Cartoon Art Museum on Your San Francisco Vacation

Location: 781 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94109

A great stop for adults and kids alike, the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco is a fun stop for comic and cartoon enthusiasts. Situated in the Fisherman’s Wharf district, this unique museum celebrates the artistry of cartoons, comic strips, and animated characters. Spanning the art form from its inception to now, the museum is the only one of its kind in the Western United States.

With new exhibitions on show three to four times a year, the museum houses more than 7,000 pieces of cartoon memorabilia, prints, and drawings by artists including Edward Gorey and Chuck Jones. With emerging artist exhibitions and interactive displays, there is plenty to enjoy for the whole family at the Cartoon Art Museum. There are also workshops and classes that visitors can get involved with, just make sure to book ahead. You can also check the museum’s events calendar for more information.

Admission for adults is $10, with other tickets priced below this amount for San Francisco residents, seniors, students, and kids.

An art-filled room in San Francisco adorned with a plethora of posters.
Pre-workshop at the Cartoon Art Museum (Source | License)

5.  Enjoy the Museum of Craft and Design on Your San Francisco Tour

Location: 2569 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Located in the eclectic Dogpatch neighborhood, the Museum of Craft and Design offers a curated collection that spans a wide spectrum of disciplines, including textiles, ceramics, and furniture. Acting as a platform for emerging and established artists alike, its rotating exhibitions and educational programs engage visitors in the intersection of craftsmanship, design, and artistic expression. 

With four new exhibitions a year, you can enjoy discovering how each exhibition examines how the art of design interacts with cultural issues. The museum also offers a virtual experience online, so you can get a taste of what to expect when you visit! General admission is $10, $8 for students and seniors, and under 12s go free.

An art sculpture in San Francisco featuring blue and red tones, displayed on a white pedestal.
A sculpture at the Museum of Craft and Design (Source | License) 

While that brings our virtual exploration of San Francisco’s art galleries to a close, there are plenty more to enjoy on your visit! How many will you tick off your to-do list?

Explore Incredible Adventures’ range of day tours in and from San Francisco to experience even more of this fantastic city. If a particular tour has caught your eye, get in touch with us! We’re just a few clicks away from your next adventure.