San Francisco Bay Area Attractions

The Bay Area is a hotbed for all manner of cultural activities.
Call or visit the website for hours, admission fees, exhibition information, etc.

On this page:

  • Book Related Attractions
    • Bookstores
    • San Francisco
    • East Bay
  • Noteworthy Places
    • San Francisco
    • East Bay

Some good sources for general information are:

Emeryville Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information

Oakland Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information


The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information

Only in San Francisco Travel Guide

San Francisco Chronicle

More restaurant information will be provided later, but a good place to start is the “Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants” published by the San Francisco Chronicle.


San Francisco

Arion Press / M & H Type
1802 Hays Street, The Presidio
San Francisco

Book Club of California
312 Sutter Street, Suite 500
San Francisco
800.968.7656; 415.781.7532

Bookbinder’s Museum
1962 Harrison Street (near 16th Street), San Francisco
415.671.2233; 415.824.9754

San Francisco Center for the Book
300 De Haro Street, San Francisco

San Francisco Public Library
Book Arts and Special Collections
100 Larkin Street (at Grove), 6th floor
San Francisco

A Handful of Bookstores in San Francisco:

Adobe Book Shop
3166 – 16th Street (Mission District)

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

261 Columbus Avenue (North Beach)

Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Bookstore
At Fort Mason Center

Green Apple Bookstore

New and used books and music
506 Clement Street (at 6th Avenue)

49 Geary
Home to about 20 art galleries and 2 rare book dealers:
John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller
The Brick Row Bookshop

East Bay

African American Museum and Library
659 – 14th Street, Oakland

The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
510.642.6481 (Reference Desk)

F.W Olin Library, Mills College

Special Collections
5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland

Kala Art Institute
Studio: 1060 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley, 510.549.2977
Gallery: 2990 San Pablo, Berkeley, 510.841.7000

A Handful of Bookstores in the East Bay:

Black Oak Books
Used books
2618 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley

Diesel, A Book Store
New & used books
5433 College Avenue, Oakland (Rockridge)

Moe’s Books
New, used, and rare books
2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley (near UC Berkeley)

Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary & Garden Arts
Books, art, and garden inspired miscellanea
2904 College Avenue, Berkeley (Elmwood)

Pegasus Books
New & used books
3 locations:
1855 Solano Avenue, Berkeley, 510.525.6888
2349 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley (downtown), 510.649.1320
5560 College Avenue, Oakland (Rockridge), 510.652.6259


San Francisco

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
200 Larkin Street
Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts

California Academy of Sciences
Natural History Museum – Aquarium - Planetarium
55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park

California Historical Society
Of special interest is the Kemble Collection, an extensive collection pertaining to the history
of printing and publishing.

678 Mission Street

California Palace of the Legion of Honor
Of special interest is the Reva and David Logan Gallery of Illustrated Books, which is devoted to
the exhibition of books.

Lincoln Park (near 34th Avenue and Clement Street)

Cartoon Art Museum of San Francisco
655 Mission Street

The Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street (between 3rd and 4th Streets)
California Dreaming: From the Gold Rush to the Present (through June 2012)
Houdini: Art and Magic (through January 16, 2012)

de Young Museum
Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive

Exploratorium (the museum of science, art, and human perception)
Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street (at Baker)
Check out the Tactile Dome, “an interactive experience through total darkness” (separate admission)
designed by Dr. August F. Coppola and which opened in 1971.

Fort Mason Center
Near the intersection of Laguna and Beach in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Resident organizations include:
The Mexican Museum
Museo Italo Americano
Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Bookstore
Greens Restaurant (Chef Annie Somerville’s vegetarian dining)

Musée Mécanique (“The Mechanical Museum of San Francisco”)
One of the world’s largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical
instruments and antique arcade machines.
Pier 45, Shed A at the end of Taylor Street (Fisherman’s Wharf)
free admission (arcade machines are coin operated)

San Francisco Cable Car Museum
1201 Mason Street (at the Washington/Mason cable car barn)
Free admission

San Francisco Fire Department Museum
655 Presidio Avenue (between Pine and Bush Streets)
Free admission

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
151 - 3rd Street

SF Camerawork
Non-profit photography gallery; 3,500+ volume reference library
657 Mission Street, 2nd floor

The Society of California Pioneers

“…a not-for-profit museum, library, and cultural organization dedicated to advancing
the knowledge and appreciation of early California history…” (Mission statement).
300 Fourth Street (at Folsom)

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Film and video, visual arts, performing arts, and public programs
701 Mission Street (at Third Street)
415.978.27700; 415.978.2787 (tickets)

Other Noteworthy Places:

San Francisco:

826 Valencia
San Francisco’s foremost independent pirate supply store. The only store where you can
purchase literary quarterlies alongside spy glasses, pirate flags, and eye patches. All proceeds
go to the 826 Valencia Writing Center. Founded by writer Dave Eggers.

Camera Obscura
lower terrace behind the Cliff House (1096 Point Lobos Avenue)
Giant camera overlooking the ocean (Seal Rock on Point Lobos). Originally built in 1948–1949
as part of the Playland at the Beach; reopened in May 2005 after a restoration. Closed during rain,
fog, and strong winds; it’s best to call before going.

Geary and Webster
3 favorites in Japantown are:
Kinokuniya Stationery and Gift, 1581 Webster Street, #81
Kabuki Springs & Spa, 1750 Geary Blvd.
Paper Tree (origami and other papers, etc.), 1743 Buchanan Mall

East Bay:

Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland
510. 336.7300

Lawrence Hall of Science
UC Berkeley space and science museum
Centennial Drive, Berkeley

Oakland Museum of California
New galleries of California Art and California History
1000 Oak Street, Oakland

UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
2626 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (Museum)
2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (PFA Theater)
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