History Museums in San Francisco

Top History Museums in San Francisco, CA

History Museums in San Francisco

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What travelers are saying

  • Montreal_native
    Edmonton, Canada1,583 contributions
    Past by randomly and the stagecoach caught our eye. Its free to walk around and they had some pretty interesting displays about the history of Wells Fargo and San Francisco. Worth a look if you have the time.
    Written March 11, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • lizSiouxFalls_SD
    Tonopah, NV165 contributions
    I've never seen anything like this. I am glad I went. I would say it is worth a visit. The staff was friendly.
    Written June 8, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Margaret H
    Oakland, CA191 contributions
    I spent the day at the Chinese Historical Society of America. This first photo is a piece of embroidery was made by a woman “detained” inside Angel Island (a very different experience from Ellis Island). By not widely teaching this history and learning from it, we condemn ourselves to continue to repeat it.

    Unlike Ellis Island, where Europeans were subject to restrictions that precluded entrance for some but not most immigrants, the Angel Island Immigration Station employed discriminatory policies that were used to prevent Asians from immigrating. This approach was an outgrowth and implementation of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which had resulted from years of racial hostility by white Americans against immigrant Chinese labourers.

    Did you know that birthright citizenship was secured by a supreme court case that was brought by a Chinese American born in SF? Did you know that the Chinese being prevented from participating in two branches of government by the Chinese Exclusion Act, banded together to file judicial cases and appeals relentlessly?

    I did not know the architect, Julia Morgan, designed this structure. The building was formally a YWCA, with separate entrances for Chinese women and white women. What a unique opportunity to learn about the contributions of Chinese Americans and what they have suffered to pave the way for the current generation.

    When you are done visiting, you can walk a few steps to fabulous Chinese Bakeries and restaurants or the fortune cookie factory since you are in SF’s Chinatown. They even provide you with maps to them inside the museum.

    If you want to do something off the beaten path, this place is a definite possibility.
    Written September 17, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • The_Loup_Garou
    Phoenix, AZ166,281 contributions
    A Nice Visit in October

    It had been several years, since I had visited the Museum of African Diaspora, located just off of the lobby of the St Regis Hotel - even when we had stayed at the St Regis. In October, I walked down to Mission St, just for another visit.

    The MoAD is small, but well laid out, with great signage and lighting, and though its space is limited, it manages to fit a lot of material, within its walls.

    The artwork, and art objects are beautifully displayed, and maintain a continuing theme. On this visit, there were no special exhibits, as I had encountered before, and no performances, though notices of several were displayed.

    In all, I spent about an hour, which is what I would budget, time-wise, for a visit - unless there is a program, at that time.
    Written July 2, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
    Los Angeles, CA7,354 contributions
    I'd visited this excellent museum earlier in the summer. When I returned to SF in November, I made sure to book this tour. It's offered only on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. It's geared for adults only.

    The tour starts at the museum and is led by a local resident. Our guide worked as a housing rights advocate and lived in the neighborhood.

    We visited a local SRO (single room occupancy) hotel and learned how these important low income housing options are under threat. A stop was made at nearby Fr. Alfred E. Boeddeker neighborhood park to admire the colorful artwork and learn about the good services it provides. We had a drink at Aunt Charlie's Lounge, one of the first modern drag bars in the area, and learned about the Compton's Cafeteria Riot, which began the fight for LGTBQ equality, even before Stonewall. The colorful mix of cultures was touched on, as well as the fact many families live in the vibrant if sometimes grimy community. The tour ended with a stop at the Phoenix Hotel, a splendidly restored mid-century property, and a quick peek at nearby Little Saigon.

    I work in treatment, so found the tour extremely interesting. Others might not. It depends on the person. The area's issues are on full display, though our group was never in any danger. There are no easy answers, nor simple solutions. But this tour gave me a new appreciation for one of the city's most storied neighborhoods.
    Written December 18, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Robert S
    Lawrence, KS2,663 contributions
    CHS is a great organization with wonderful programing, but not enough space to exhibit all its interesting historical items. You should definitely drop by - they always have one good exhibit up.
    Check their website calendar for author and artist presentations.
    Their library is a great source if you want to do some in-depth research.
    Written July 23, 2016
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Phil
    La Coruna, Spain2,346 contributions
    Small exhibitions of photographs of the local area in the gilded age. Free entry. 5 $ donation suggested. Next to the the Walt Disney Family museum. Bus 43 stop right outside (5$ day ticket on the MUNI app.)
    Written March 7, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kiki
    Carmichael, CA1 contribution
    This is a reincarnated museum at the American Academy of Ophthalmology. I came here several years ago when the displays were scattered throughout the office's hallways. I saw on Instagram that they now have their own space on the ground floor of the building, so I visited about 2 weeks ago. They've added lots of interactive displays, including VR. I lucked out -- the director, Jenny, was there and she was extremely knowledgeable and answered all my quirky questions. I love medical museums and would definitely recommend this one if you go to SF. Plus, it's free!
    Written December 30, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • An0nyMs
    Tucson, Arizona1,257 contributions
    I'd usually avoid an exhibition this small unless I'm really interested in what it covers. But this one, on the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus type design, was packed with examples, most from the early decades. It was fascinating. (It also helped that I could get in free through my membership with NARM, North American Reciprocal Museums.)

    The entrance isn't marked. I've included a photo of it. The sign listing building tenants shows two different street addresses in (it seems) the same building. We were lucky that we met someone coming out of the building to tell us what to do. You might call ahead for directions.
    Written March 7, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • David L. Klein
    San Francisco, CA1 contribution
    I met a friend of Blandina's at an event and he invited me to take the tour. I was BLOWN AWAY! I love photography and art and I some amazing framed prints of musicians. I've been living in SF since 1975 so it was so great to see photos of musicians, some of whom I had seen perform live in years past.

    Blandina gives an awesome tour of the neighborhood and of the gallery/hotel. She knows so much abut the area and is a delightful person to boot! It's wonderful to the construction of the "Hall of Fame" area now in full swing and I can't wait to see the finished product!
    Written September 3, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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