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Cartoon Art Museum
Cartoon Art Museum

Cartoon Art Museum

781 Beach Street, San Francisco, California

The Basics

Through the display and study of this accessible art form, the Cartoon Art Museum seeks to preserve the unique social, cultural, and historical statements cartoons make. Cartoons range from humorous to political and from profoundly simple to exquisitely complex, and the museum celebrates an array of these works, from Spiderman to The Economist. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum shows traveling exhibitions, has a research library and bookstore, and puts on educational events for both children and adults.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Cartoon Art Museum is a family-friendly sight that’s suited for all ages; children 5 years old and younger receive free admission.

  • Art lovers and pop culture enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to this museum.

  • On the first Tuesday of the month, admission is pay what you wish.

  • Residents of certain California counties receive reduced admission prices during designated months; these are listed on the website.

  • No flash photography is allowed.

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How to Get There

The Cartoon Art Museum is located at 781 Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf, just one block from Aquatic Park, the Maritime Museum, Ghirardelli Square, and the Hyde Street cable car turnaround. The E- and F-line historic streetcars stop at Jones and Beach streets, about two blocks east of the museum.

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When to Get There

The Cartoon Art Museum is usually less crowded than the more famous attractions in San Francisco, but its location near many major sights makes it easily accessible during a day of sightseeing. In general, expect the biggest crowds from mid-May through early September, which is the city’s high season. Also, check the museum’s website for a list of current exhibitions and an up-to-date art class schedule.

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Nearby Aquarium of the Bay

Another family-friendly attraction, Aquarium of the Bay is about a 15-minute walk or 5-minute drive from the Cartoon Art Museum at Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf. Its immersive exhibits include touch pools as well as walk-through tunnels where visitors can get up close and personal with local marine life, such as the sharks and anchovies that call the bay waters home.

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