One of my favourite experiences in San Francisco was definitely the Exploratorium.
The Exploratorium is not just any museum, it’s a fusion of science and art in a fun interactive space. The Exploratorium was originally located at the Palace of Fine Arts until moving to San Francisco’s Embarcadero in 2013.
There are several different galleries that focus on different experiences including Tinkering, Living Systems, Human Phenomena, Seeing and Listening.
Some of my favourite exhibits in the Exploratorium include this massive sculpture by Scott Weaver made by over 100,000 toothpicks in the span of 37 years. The picture does not to do it justice, it’s definitely a spectacle to behold in itself.
Another area was the Observatory Gallery, which features interesting data visualizations including a 3D topographic map of the Bay Area that fuses real data (different ships passing through within the span of days, months, years).
In the Outdoor Gallery, they have an installation called the Fog Bridge #72494 that releases fog for six minutes every half an hour made by Fujiko Nakaya.
Another area that I enjoyed was the Central Gallery: Seeing and Listening. Here, we got to play with lights, vision, sound and hearing.
What was really crazy is the giant mirror they have in the exhibit, it’s about 12 feet wide and 8 feet high and the closer you get to it, the more 3D it becomes. It’s hard to explain but again, check it out for yourself. You definitely can’t miss it.
The beauty about the exploratorium is that there are always new exhibits to look at. Also, once your physical visit to the museum is over, the learning continues online through their activities, apps, blogs and videos.
Being mindful of the environment, the Exploratorium strives for a net-zero energy goal meaning they will produce more energy on-site than it consumes. They are hoping to become the largest net-zero energy use museum in the world.
The Exploratorium is made for the naturally curious – which encompasses all ages. There is just so much to see and do here, I don’t want to give it all away but if you have half a day to spare on your vacation, I’d definitely recommend checking it out!
For more information, check out the Exploratorium here:
Embarcadero and Pier 39
Although Pier 39 is considered a tourist trap, it is something you definitely have to go see if it’s your first time there. It was my first time and we were in the process of killing time, so we walked around Pier 39 very early in the morning.
Pier 39 houses many shops and restaurants, but is also home to the Aquarium of the Bay and also the infamous sea lions!
The pier is right at the edge of Fisherman’s Wharf (also a very busy tourist area) and is accessible by these great street cars (hold on tight!). From the pier you have a great view of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate bridge and the Bay Bridge.
Embarcadero spans from Second and King street and ends at Pier 45. Between these two end points you have the Ferry Building at Market, Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.
You’ll find great attractions including the Exploratorium and the world famous Boudin bakery. The long strip sees so many visitors every day, as it contains many of San Francisco’s popular tourist spots. The walk between the Ferry Building and Pier 39 is a longer one, so make sure that you’re wearing comfortable shoes.
Join me for my final post coming soon: Tech City (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tesla, Stanford, etc)
Read my previous San Francisco Posts:
Part 1: Dias De Los Muertos and the Mission District
Part 2: Cruising, Museums and Sight Seeing
Part 3: San Francisco Tours: Golden Gate, Sausalito, Monterey and Carmel
Part 4: Alcatraz and Dandelion Chocolate
Part 5: Exploratorium and Embarcadero, Pier 39
Part 6: Tech City: Google, Facebook, Tesla, Stanford