Best Museums in the Bay Area

These museums were voted the Bay Area’s 2021 Best of the Best by Bay Area Parent readers. Read the full list of winners here.

San Francisco & Marin

Gold: Bay Area Discovery Museum. Features indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits, events, camps and celebrations. 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. 415-339-3900.

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

Bronze: de Young Museum. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco. 415-750-3600.

Silicon Valley

Gold: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. It features dozens of interactive exhibits, storytimes, cultural celebrations, crafts, infant activities and more. 180 Woz Way, San Jose. 408-298-5437.

Silver: The Tech Interactive 201 S. Market St., San Jose. 408-294-8324.

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

East Bay

Gold: Chabot Space & Science Center. This popular science center is slated to reopen in November with new exhibitions, events and programs in partnership with NASA’s Ames Research Center. 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. 510-336-7300.

Silver: Oakland Museum of California. 1000 Oak St. 510-318-8400.   

Bronze: Lawrence Hall of Science. 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley. 510-642-5132.


Gold: CuriOdyssey. This science museum and zoo allows families to see wild animals up close and enjoy hands-on exhibits. 1651 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo. 650-342-7755.

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

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