When you’re thinking about moving to a new city or looking for ways to help you explore your new neighborhood, it can feel a bit overwhelming. A big part of South Beach, San Francisco living is taking advantage of the arts and culture, so why not dive in and see all it has to offer? Here are a few of our top picks for exploring the arts and culture of the city.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Founded in 1993, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is one of those all-encompassing venues where visitors can experience a variety of arts offerings. The center has focuses on visual arts, performing arts, film and video, and civic engagement. While contemporary art is a large part of the mission at YBCA, culture is even more crucial to the organization’s values. Visitors can also enjoy large installations of public art in the areas surrounding the YBCA campus.
For visual arts fans, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts typically rotates their exhibits seven to 10 times per year, and displays artwork from both local artists and those outside of the Bay Area. Art exhibitions include both international traveling displays as well as original themes generated by the center. Local and national artists also grace the stage at YBCA, featuring acts such as the San Francisco Ballet School.
On the first Tuesday of each month, visitors can get free admission into the various exhibitions that YBCA hosts.
California Historical Society
If you’re more of a history buff, check out the California Historical Society in the Financial District. This museum was founded in 1871 and is run by a nonprofit organization aiming to teach people about California’s rich history.
The museum is small, but don’t let that fool you—it’s packed with information and artifacts to keep you busy for quite a while. Exhibitions change regularly, so there is always something new to discover. Some upcoming collections focus on native tribes that once inhabited parts of California and a collection of information on how Chicano murals in LA have been perceived over time.
Admission into the museum costs $5 but kids and members can enter for free. The gallery is open every day of the week except Mondays, and has extended visiting hours on the third Thursday of each month.
Children’s Creativity Museum
If you’re looking to entertain little ones for the day and would rather expand their minds than anything else, check out the Children’s Creativity Museum. This museum has a major emphasis on imaginative play and multimedia. Visitors can work on media projects of all kinds that let children explore creativity and imagination. Kids can spend the afternoon in the animation studio, learning about stop motion animation by creating clay figures, or learn about robots and coding in the tech lab. The music studio allows kids to perform with their friends, kids can play a lot of brain-teasing games in the community lab and work on their critical thinking.
It’s clear that there is no shortage of museums in South Beach, San Francisco, and that culture is abundant in this neighborhood. And while these institutions are highlights, there’s plenty more culture to discover.