San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Top choice museum in Downtown, Civic Center & SoMa

The expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a mind-boggling feat, nearly tripling in size to accommodate a sprawling collection of modern and contemporary masterworks over seven floors of galleries – but then, SFMOMA has defied limits ever since its 1935 founding. The museum was a visionary early investor in then-emerging art forms including photography, installations, video, performance art, digital art and industrial design. Even during the Depression, SFMOMA envisioned a world of vivid possibilities, starting in San Francisco.

The collection has outgrown its home twice since, and the 2016 expansion offers access to its art-filled ground-floor galleries. Start on the 3rd floor with SFMOMA’s standout photography collection and special exhibitions. Meditate amid serene paintings in the Agnes Martin room surrounded by 4th-floor abstract art, then get an eyeful of Warhol's Pop Art on the 5th.

Head to the 6th floor for an exhibition of German art after 1960, and then hit the 7th floor for a showcase of cutting-edge contemporary works and intriguing media arts installations. Head downstairs via the atrium to see how SFMOMA began, with colorful local characters admiring equally colorful characters by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Henri Matisse on the 2nd floor. Start your own collection of original designs and art catalogs at the SFMOMA shop and make a meal of contemporary culinary masterpieces re-created by In Situ chef Corey Lee.