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California Historical Society

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Address: 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-4014
Phone Number:
+1 415-357-1848
12:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Tue - Sun 12:00 - 17:00

California's history is archived here in a library, art collection and...

California's history is archived here in a library, art collection and bookstore.

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USD 69.00*
and up
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USD 69.00*
and up
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 16 reviews
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  • 5
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    Very good
  • 6
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  • 0

I was under the impression that the California Historical Society had exhibits on the 1906 fire and the Gold Rush, but all they had were three temporary photo exhibits. But it... read more

Reviewed 1 November 2016
Rebekah B
Rew, Pennsylvania
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16 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 16: English reviews
Rew, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
181 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2016

I was under the impression that the California Historical Society had exhibits on the 1906 fire and the Gold Rush, but all they had were three temporary photo exhibits. But it was only $5 so I didn't feel put out.

Thank Rebekah B
Fair Oaks, California
Level Contributor
464 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2016

I am someone who will literally go to a city just for a museum, and this set of exhibits was perfect for me as a history/anthropology teacher. Photographs and artifacts from the Modoc War plus tintypes and interviews with modern Native California peoples, plus plenty of space to sit and ponder. I got to listen to all four interviews, plus... More 

Thank kcdenman
Lawrence, Kansas
Level Contributor
970 reviews
571 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2016

CHS is a great organization with wonderful programing, but not enough space to exhibit all its interesting historical items. You should definitely drop by - they always have one good exhibit up. Check their website calendar for author and artist presentations. Their library is a great source if you want to do some in-depth research.

1 Thank Robert S
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
71 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2015

I enjoyed the comprehensive exhibit about the 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition. There were a lot of displays, and it is amazing how much our culture has changed in 100 years. It's well worth the $5 entrance fee. I see that other reviewers were disappointed, obviously expecting more than there is. Perhaps the CHS should make sure that visitors know what... More 

1 Thank brandenburg456
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
273 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2015

The only exhibit is the one on show. In my case it was City Rising: San Francisco and the 1915 World's Fair. Most of the artifacts are in the research library.

1 Thank Ryewit
Fresno, California
Level Contributor
130 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2015

Current exhibition is the 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition. Lots of memorabilia and a scale model of the Fair. Several video displays give insight to the event. They also have a limited hours historical library that unfortunately was not open when we visited Very pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable staff.

2 Thank EWL05
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
347 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2015

Only the ground floor was open and it was entirely dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the 1815 San Francisco Fair. Whilst mildly interesting, I felt cheated of a more comprehensive overview of the city's history. The tickets are very expensive for what you get - 6 rooms showing souvenirs, postcards, books and photos and a couple of videos. I... More 

1 Thank brancusirocks
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
5,231 reviews
3,377 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,671 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2015

The current exhibit on 1915 Pan American International Fair at the California Historical Society is a superb exhibit. The only remaining building in San Francisco now is the superb Palace of Fine Arts. This historical exhibit honors the 100th birthday of the fair. There are various short video programs one can watch when visiting; these are well done. Its hard... More 

3 Thank mini
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014 via mobile

Wonderful exhibit on Yosemite's history. Great photos, especially Carlton Watkins. It took about an hour to read the information. The building itself is interesting. Great value at $5.00.

2 Thank Chris0999
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
521 reviews
288 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 244 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

A really interesting exhibit on a Mexican lady settler who grew to be prominent in San Francisco's Yerba Buena beginnings, is currently on display in the first floor gallery. One can see documents, even photos of the tiny settlement and learn much about the beginnings and the many hardships of this major city. Juana Briones is in her way a... More 

3 Thank LisandroVoyager

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Staying in SoMa

Neighbourhood Profile
South of Market (SoMa), has an urban and sophisticated vibe, but you're more likely to find big nightclubs and lots of industrial loft residences than you are to find boutique shopping. Although it’s the epicenter for tech startups in the city, visitors will be able to do more than just business - museums, top quality restaurants, and the San Francisco Giants now call this neighbourhood home. Most of its freeway-sized streets may not capture the same character as other neighbourhoods in the city, but pockets of charm, like South Park, can still be found throughout its side streets.
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