The Palace of Fine Arts is a peaceful retreat right in the Marina district of the city. Contrary to its name, it isn't a palace, nor does it have any "fine art" anywhere near it.
It was originally built in 1915 for some exposition that San Francisco hosted, and then the city decided to keep and maintain it. I remember walking around here as a college student. I know the Palace of Fine Arts Theater is here too, but I didn't realize the Exploratorium was also located here!
Since we had the kids with us, our destination for the day was the Exploratorium. It was only when we walked out that I realized that the Palace of Fine Arts was next to it. B looked at me strangely, as if it was something I should've known. Like him, I lived in the Bay Area for a few years too--but I don't seem to remember as many details as he does.
Even if the sun was out, it was a cold and windy day, typical of beautiful San Francisco.
The kids explored and climbed what they could.
And when they came down, G saw a sign that had fallen and was partly hidden in the plants.
"Mommy! Look what it says!" Oops! Too late!
If you visit the Exploratorium, spend some time outdoors here. And if you are coming here for a quiet stroll, go visit the Exploratorium and spend the whole day there. There's so much to see and do. Just make sure your kids don't climb the monuments.
Note: The Exploratorium is moving to Piers 15/17 in the Spring of 2013.
Palace of Fine Arts
3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123