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Best museums in San Francisco

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javarman // Shutterstock

Best museums in San Francisco

The United States is home to more than 35,000 museums, according to data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. These cultural strongholds run the gamut of natural history, world wars, art, and even children's books.

While some fancy a trip to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. or the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, others like to cozy up in a corner and read the Very Hungry Caterpillar at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Mass. How does one define a museum?

Early museums housed private collections curated by individuals, while today's museums—many of them major tourist attractions—are filled with art, history, science, artifacts, fossils, historical documents, and some curious collections. Along with exhibitions of art, history, and science, Stacker unearthed museums filled with bananas, popcorn, and some very odd stuff.

All across the U.S., visitors can find museums to explore any subject that piques the imagination. A trip to Washington D.C. provides an opportunity to visit a number of iconic museums for free. A visit to Boston means getting to enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts or learn about the Boston Tea Party ships. In California, travelers can tour the International Museum of Bananas before popping by the Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Ohio or The Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts.

Have you ever checked out the museums in your area? To determine the best museums in San Francisco, Stacker turned to data from Foursquare (data current as of April 19, 2019). All museums were ranked by Foursquare’s algorithm, which predicts the “best” museums based on combined factors of the number of check-ins, rating signals, category matches, tips, and photo trends. Click through this gallery to find out which are the best museums San Francisco has to offer.

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Foursquare

#10. Morrison Planetarium

- Address: 55 Music Concourse Dr. (at California Academy of Sciences), San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 8.9
- See more on Morrison Planetarium
 

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FASTILY // Wikimedia Commons

#9. California Academy of Sciences

- Address: 55 Music Concourse Dr. (at Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.), San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 9.5
- See more on California Academy of Sciences
 

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Jllm06 // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Museum of the African Diaspora

- Address: 685 Mission St. (at 3rd St.), San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 9.0
- See more on Museum of the African Diaspora
 

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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

#7. San Francisco Cable Car Museum

- Address: 1201 Mason St. (at Washington St.), San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 9.1
- See more on San Francisco Cable Car Museum
 

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Foursquare

#6. The Walt Disney Family Museum

- Address: 104 Montgomery St. (Presidio of San Francisco), San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 9.1
- See more on The Walt Disney Family Museum
 

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Amadscientist // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Legion of Honor

- Address: 100 34th Ave., San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 9.3
- See more on Legion of Honor
 

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Fabrice Florin // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Exploratorium

- Address: Pier 15 (at The Embarcadero), San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 9.3
- See more on Exploratorium
 

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Foursquare

#3. SFMOMA Rooftop Sculpture Garden

- Address: 151 3rd St., SFMOMA, San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 9.3
- See more on SFMOMA Rooftop Sculpture Garden

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J. Ash Bowie // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Asian Art Museum

- Address: 200 Larkin St. (at McAllister St.), San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 9.5
- See more on Asian Art Museum
 

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Minette Lontsie // Wikimedia Commons

#1. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

- Address: 151 3rd St. (btwn Mission & Howard St.), San Francisco
- Foursquare rating: 9.5
- See more on San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
 

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