The most beautiful museum in San Francisco sits perched high on the headlands with a stellar view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Built in 1924, in the Beaux Arts style, the Legion of Honor is a 3/4 replica of the Palais de la Legion d’Honneur in Paris, and serves as a memorial to the 3,600 California soldiers who lost their lives fighting on the battlefields of France in World War I. Though the setting alone makes this beaut a must-visit, the collections and ever-changing exhibits of classical art and artifacts are sure to please fine arts connoisseur. Movie buffs might also recognize it as the setting for pivotal scenes in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.” Filled with 4,000 years’ worth of treasures, the focus is on ancient, and European, art and paintings, plus you’ll find one of the largest collections of prints and drawings in the United States. Auguste Rodin’s 1904 cast bronze sculpture “The Thinker” can be admired in the Court of Honor. Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm, visitors can hear Ernest Skinner’s 1924 pipe organ reproducing the sounds of a full orchestra; it is considered one of the finest pipe organs in the world. As an added bonus, if you would like to see more fine arts treasures, your ticket is valid for same-day entrance to the de Young museum in Golden Gate Park.
- Erika Lennert