Going out for a concert or a show is one of the best things to do in San Francisco, and visitors can enjoy every type of live music or performance in venues throughout the city.

The landmark Fillmore hosts intimate concerts and also houses an historic collection of 1960s artwork. The Great American Music Hall is San Francisco's oldest and grandest nightclub, taking guests back to an earlier, more elegant era. The Palace of Fine Arts was built in 1915 and features a classical Roman rotunda with curved colonnades in an idyllic park setting. The Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium is the concert hall of choice for many performing artists. Across the bay, the Fox Theater re-opened in 2009 after a $75 million renovation.

Yoshi’s Jazz Club & Japanese Restaurant continues the Bay Area’s long history of jazz culture with its two locations, in the Fillmore District and the East Bay. With over 100 performances a year, SFJAZZ is one of the largest performing arts organizations in San Francisco, presenting events and festivals year round.

Opened in 1988 by legendary R&B artist Boz Scaggs, Slim's is a live music nightclub that features the best American Roots Music, including Blues, R&B, Cajun/Zydeco, Jazz and more. For blues and award-winning Southern cuisine, head to Biscuits & Blues in Union Square.

Visitors looking for an evening of culture should head to the Civic Center. Davies Symphony Hall is the home of the San Francisco Symphony, one of the most artistically adventurous orchestras in the country. The San Francisco Conservatory of Music has been educating many of the world’s most gifted music students since 1917 and is one of the best places in the Bay Area to listen to classical music. For ballet aficionados, one of the best things to do is attend a performance by the San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in America.

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Ongoing Features

  • Skulls

    Through November 30

    Skulls, a new, 4,000-square-foot exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences, features 640 different dead heads. Skulls on display range from an enormous African bull elephant to a tiny shrew, from frogs, fish, and birds to giraffes, warthogs, and walruses. Academy scientists use dermestid beetle larvae to quickly (and safely) clean delicate bones and visitors will be able to see these larvae scour dried flesh from animal bones.

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  • Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
    Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

    Through October 26

    The 2014 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival (YBGF) will present more than 90 free events including music, theater, circus, dance, poetry and children’s programs through Oct. 26. This year’s festival expands programming at Jessie Square in front of the Contemporary Jewish Museum to include poetry, dance workshops and salsa dancing. Yerba Buena Gardens is located between Mission, Howard, Third and Fourth streets in downtown San Francisco.

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