Best Museums in the Bay Area



These museums were voted the Bay Area’s 2017 Best of the Best by Bay Area Parent readers. Read the full list of winners here.

East Bay

Gold: Chabot Space & Science Center. Explore outer space while keeping your feet firmly on the ground. Gaze through telescopes at distant planets, tour the galaxy projected inside the planetarium and maneuver through exhibits. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. 510-336-7373. www.chabotspace.org.

Silver: Lawrence Hall of Science. 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley. 510-642-5132. www.lawrencehallofscience.org.

Bronze: Oakland Museum of California. 1000 Oak St. 510-318-8400. www.museumca.org.

Peninsula

Gold: CuriOdyssey. Kids can check out more than 100 animals and experience science first hand in exhibits like “Forces,” “Patterns in Nature” and “Backyard Science.” 1651 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo. 650-342-7755. www.curiodyssey.org.

Silver: Hiller Aviation Museum. 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos. 650-654-0200. www.hiller.org.

Bronze: San Mateo County History Museum. 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. 650-299-0104. historysmc.org.

Silicon Valley

Gold: Children’s Discovery Museum. Now in its 27th year, Children’s Discovery Museum offers dozens of interactive exhibits as well story times, cultural celebrations, crafts, infant activities and more. 180 Woz Way, San Jose. 408-298-5437. www.cdm.org.

Silver: The Tech Museum of Innovation. 201 S. Market St., San Jose. 408-294-8324. www.thetech.org.

Bronze: Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. 1660 Park Ave., San Jose. 408-947-3635. www.egyptianmuseum.org

Marin/San Francisco

Gold: Bay Area Discovery Museum. The museum’s mission is to transform research into early learning experiences that inspire creative problem solving. 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. 415-339-3900. www.bayareadiscoverymuseum.org.

Silver: California Academy of Sciences. 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco. 415-379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

Bronze: Exploratorium. Pier 15, The Embarcadero, San Francisco. 415-528-4444. www.exploratorium.edu.

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