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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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San Francisco National Maritime Museum
San Francisco National Maritime Museum Review
You'll feel as if you're out to sea when you step aboard, er, inside this sturdy, round, ship-shape structure dubbed the Bathhouse Building. The museum, part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, is in the midst of a multiyear renovation. The first floor is finished and sparkling, and you can visit the lobby with its stunningly restored undersea dreamscape mural and some of the museum's intricate ship models. When restoration is complete, you'll be able to view the museum's three floors of ship models, beautifully restored figureheads, photographs of life at sea, and other artifacts chronicling the maritime history of San Francisco and the West Coast. The first-floor balcony overlooks the beach and has lovely WPA-era tile designs. If you've got young kids in tow, the museum makes a great quick, free stop. Then pick up ice cream at Ghirardelli Square across the street and enjoy it on the beach or next door in Victoria Park, where you can watch the cable cars turn around.
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