San Francisco’s Exploratorium and the Palace of Fine Arts

San Francisco Exploratorium and Palace of Fine ArtsThe Exploratorium isn’t just a museum: it’s an ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception.  A vast collection of online interactives, web features, activities, programs, and events that will surely feed your curiosity.

Sole survivor of the grandiose monuments built as part of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, the neo-Classical Palace of Fine Arts was an Expo centerpiece. The Exploratorium is inside the Palace.

This most engaging science museum in the world was created in 1969 by Frank Oppenheimer.  You’ll be dazzled by the hundreds of interactive exhibits, a webcast studio, and a microscope imaging station.  There are plenty of hands-on experiments and interactive devices to amaze kids and adults for hours and hours.

The exhibits are divided into five broad thematic areas located on the main floor and the mezzanine level.  The Tactile Dome is pitch-black inside.  Visitors must crawl, climb, and slide through it. Go to the motion area.  In this area visitors can choose the winning wheel in a downhill race or the hyper momentum machine.

Seeing?  Learn about optical illusions and investigate how your eyes work.  Colored Shadows?  Stand in front of a screen.  Whenever your shadow blocks one color, the two other primary colors combine to make a new color.

The floor plan of the Exploratorium includes: Seeing, Motion, Electricity and Magnetism, Heat and Temperature, Patterns, Life Sciences, Sound and Hearing, Complexity, and Pendulums.

The Exploratorium is beyond cool.

Writer: Meredith Blevins, featured travel writer for the Authentic Travel Group.  Join her at for wine country mysteries, writing classes, and the mystic west.

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