Travel Guide to California

2017 Travel Guide to California

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2 0 1 7 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A 63 sparkling oceanfront La Jolla property. In Balboa Park, the Museum of Photographic Arts is California's only museum dedicated exclusively to photography, film and video. San Francisco's Legion of Honor, set in Lincoln Park, holds an extraordinary per- manent collection as well as changing exhibitions from around the world. In nearby Golden Gate Park, the de Young showcases the arts of Africa, Oceania and the New World. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which reopened its doors in 2016 after a massive expansion project, now spans 10 dazzling floors of galleries and 45,000 square feet of free public art space. The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is dedicated to native arts, his- tory and ecology. Family-friendly OMCA also sponsors many events, hands-on exhibits and activities to engage young artists and budding naturalists. While you're in the East Bay, check out the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), which reopened last year in a roomy, light-filled new building on Center Street. Science The marvelous California Science Center in Los Angeles' Exposition Park presents ongoing exhibits on invention, space travel and life sciences. The most amazing thing of all? It's free! San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park, features the impressive Steinhart Aquarium, a walk- through rainforest with free-ranging birds and butterflies, the world's largest all-dig- ital planetarium and a "Living Roof" with 1.7 million native California plants. The long admission lines can be daunting, but they move fast and it's worth the effort. At Piers 15 and 17 on the Embarcadero, the legendary Exploratorium houses more than 650 interactive exhibits—including an amazing "Tinkerers' Clock" and the crawl- through Tactile Dome (reservations required). Designed for children under eight, the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito is a pint-sized Wonderland dedicated to pro- moting creative thinking. The Monterey Bay Aquarium deserves to be included among the Wonders of the World for its astonishing displays of sea otters and jellies, its mesmerizing three- story kelp forest and a staggering million-gallon "Outer Bay" tank. Culture California is a rare and enduring alloy of more than 50 ethnic groups. Its museums reflect the racial diversity and cultural his- tory of this melting pot in microcosm. What follows is but a sample; there are many, many more to choose from. Sacramento's California Museum fea- tures a Hall of Fame, celebrating local legends from John Muir to Sally Ride. In San Francisco, the Contemporary Jewish Museum and nearby Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) provide fasci- nating insights into two of California's most creative ethnic traditions. Visiting the Asian Art Museum in Civic Center is the next best thing to a trip along the ancient Silk Road. The city's small but beloved Mex- ican Museum has plans to move from Fort Mason to Yerba Buena Gardens—and enjoy a long-overdue expansion. In Long Beach, the Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA) features modern and contemporary work by artists from the New World. LOS ANGELES ART DISTRICT, right; the expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which reopened in 2016, boXom.

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