Eadweard Muybridge statue and Palace of Fine Arts from Letterman Digital Arts Center.

Palace of Fine Arts

The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Like a fossilized party favor, this romantic, ersatz Greco-Roman ruin is the city's memento from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The original, designed by celebrated Berkeley architect Bernard Maybeck, was of wood, burlap and plaster, then later reinforced. By the 1960s it was crumbling. The structure was recast in concrete so that future generations could gaze at the rotunda relief to glimpse 'Art under attack by materialists, with idealists leaping to her rescue.' A glorious spot to wander day or night.

Early-21st-century renovations permanently restored the palace to its initial glory. Pose for pictures by the swan lagoon.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers attractions

1. Crissy Field

0.41 MILES

War is for the birds at Crissy Field, a military airstrip turned waterfront nature preserve with knockout Golden Gate views. Where military aircraft once…

2. Walt Disney Family Museum

0.57 MILES

An 1890s military barracks in the Presidio houses 10 galleries that chronologically tell the exhaustively long story of Walt Disney's life. Opened in 2009…

3. Wave Organ

0.61 MILES

A project of the Exploratorium, the Wave Organ is a sound sculpture of PVC tubes and concrete pipes capped with found marble from San Francisco's old…

4. Lyon Street Steps

0.66 MILES

Two blocks of Lyon St, between Broadway and Green St, are flanked by forests and glamorous mansions – including Senator Dianne Feinstein's – and offer jaw…

5. Presidio Officers' Club

0.67 MILES

The Presidio's oldest building dates to the late 1700s, and was fully renovated in 2014, revealing gorgeous Spanish-Moorish adobe architecture. The free…

6. Baker Street Steps

0.68 MILES

A quiet alternative to adjacent Lyon St's social and fitness scene, Baker St's 200 steep, narrow steps between Broadway and Vallejo St are dense with…

7. Church of St Mary the Virgin

0.75 MILES

You'd expect to see this rustic Arts and Crafts–style building on the slopes of Tahoe, not Pacific Heights, but this Episcopal church is full of surprises…

8. Vedanta Society

0.85 MILES

Meandering the Marina, you'll pass Mexican-inspired art deco buildings, Victorian mansions, generic bay-windowed boxes – and, hello, what's this? A…