Tactile Dome

The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Slide, climb and feel your way – in total darkness – through the labyrinth of the Tactile Dome at the Exploratorium, the city's standout science museum. The dome was originally created in 1971 by, no joke, Dr August Coppola (as in, actor Nicolas Cage's dad and filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola's brother) but was revamped and opened to the public in 2013.

Advance reservations and a separate ticket are required for the dome.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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

1. Exploratorium

Is there a science to skateboarding? Do toilets really flush counterclockwise in Australia? At San Francisco's hands-on science museum, you'll find out…

2. Jackson Square

0.31 MILES

Today upscale Jackson Sq is framed by Washington, Columbus, Pacific and Sansome Sts – but before the gold rush filled in the area with abandoned ships,…

3. Filbert Street Steps

0.33 MILES

Halfway through the steep climb up the Filbert St Steps to Coit Tower, you might wonder if it’s all worth the trouble. Take a breather and notice the…

4. AP Hotaling Warehouse


'If, as they say, God spanked the town/For being over-frisky/Why did He burn His churches down/And spare Hotaling's whiskey?' This saloon-goers' retort…

5. Embarcadero Plaza

0.43 MILES

The plaza across from the Ferry Building isn't much to look at – the Vaillancourt Fountain has run dry, the walkways sag and the pavers are cracked. But…

6. Coit Tower

0.43 MILES

If you want to really see San Francisco, head to Coit Tower, a 1933 art deco beaut designed by Arthur Brown, Jr. and Henry Howard that sits high up on…

7. Ferry Building

0.45 MILES

Hedonism is alive and well at this transit hub turned gourmet emporium, where foodies happily miss their ferries over Sonoma oysters and bubbly, SF craft…

8. Transamerica Pyramid & Redwood Park

0.48 MILES

The defining feature of San Francisco's skyline is this 1972 pyramid, built atop a whaling ship abandoned in the gold rush. A half-acre redwood grove…