Palace of Fine Arts

Lonely Planet review

Like a fossilized party favor, this romantic, ersatz Greco-Roman ruin is the memento San Francisco kept from the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition. The original was built of wood, burlap and plaster as a picturesque backdrop, designed by celebrated Berkeley architect Bernard Maybeck, then later reinforced.

By the 1960s it was crumbling. The structure was recast in concrete, so future generations could gaze up at the rotunda relief to glimpse 'Art under attack by materialists, with idealists leaping to her rescue.' Further renovations have restored the palace to its initial glory. Pose for pictures by the swan lagoon.