San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco

Since the 1870s, SFAI has been at the vanguard of Bay Area art movements – including 1960s Bay Area abstraction, 1970s conceptual art and 1990s new-media art. See Diego Rivera's 1931 The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City alongside new student work in the Diego Rivera Gallery, see groundbreaking contemporary works showcased in the Walter and McBean Gallery since 1969 and find your own artistic inspiration in panoramic vistas from the terrace cafe.

For a memorable SF aspect, head to the terrace cafe for espresso and panoramic bay views.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby San Francisco attractions

1. Diego Rivera Gallery

0.01 MILES

Diego Rivera's 1931 The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City is a trompe l'oeil fresco within a fresco, showing the artist himself pausing to…

2. Lombard Street

0.14 MILES

You’ve seen the eight switchbacks of Lombard St's 900 block in a thousand photographs. The tourist board has dubbed it ‘the world’s crookedest street,’…

3. Filbert Street Hill

0.25 MILES

With a 31.5% grade, the honor of steepest street in San Francisco is shared by Filbert St and 22nd St in the Castro. Filbert is shorter, but wins top…

4. George Sterling Park

0.25 MILES

'Homeward into the sunset/Still unwearied we go/Till the northern hills are misty/With the amber of afterglow.' Poet George Sterling's poem 'City by the…

5. Macondray Lane

0.31 MILES

The scenic route down from Ina Coolbrith Park – via steep stairs, past gravity-defying wooden cottages – is so charming, it looks like something from a…

6. Fisherman's Wharf

0.32 MILES

Fisherman's Wharf – the Embarcadero and Jefferson St waterfront running from Pier 29 to Van Ness Ave – includes Pier 39, the Musée Mécanique, the Maritime…

7. Cartoon Art Museum

0.32 MILES

Founded on a grant from Bay Area cartoon legend Charles M Schultz of Peanuts fame, this bold museum isn't afraid of the dark, political or racy – cases in…

8. National Park Visitors Center

0.33 MILES

San Francisco grew from its docks, and this 10,000-sq-ft visitors center for the nearby maritime national historical park details how, with a permanent…