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Time? Picnic or cafe at Legion of Honor?

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Time? Picnic or cafe at Legion of Honor?

Planning for mid-September trip to San Francisco. Thinking of visiting Legion of Honor and de Young Museums on Tuesday afternoon before dinner at Chapeau. How much time should we plan for each museum? Unfortunately, we will be arriving in the middle of the two Impressionist exhibits at deYoung, but can catch the exhibit at Legion of Honor. Picnic or cafe at the Legion of Honor?

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1. Re: Time? Picnic or cafe at Legion of Honor?

Oh, too bad about missing the Impressionist shows! The first has been fabulous.

There are a few picnic tables near the parking lot and overlooking the golf course and ocean at the Legion (its situation is absolutely gorgeous). But packing a picnic means dragging everything with you and, especially given the weather we've had this summer, there's no guarantee for warm enough weather out there for a picnic.

The cafe is nice, a bit pricey like all museum restaurants, and it does have a patio if the weather is nice (although no view). And they have small soup/salads if you just want something light (don't want to fill up if you're going to Chapeau!).

However, I wasn't bowled over by the "Paris: City of Light" exhibit at the Legion. Now, I'm not dissuading you from visiting the Legion because I love it. The location is beautiful, the building is lovely, the Rodin collection is excellent and its permanent collection of European art is small but extremely nice. Oh, and the Porcelian gallery has recently been reinstalled. It's worth a trip, no doubt. But the Paris exhibit ... eh, not so much. (The audio tour at the Legion is very good.)

At the deYoung, the permanent collection of American art (pre-20th century and contemporary) is also good. Be sure to go to the 9th floor observation deck.

As far as how long to spend? Hmmmm, depends upon your level of interest in the collections. I recommend the audio tour at the Legion which will likely mean you'll spend 60-90 minutes. There are also various free docent tours throughout the day which usually take 60+ minutes. (Unfortunately they don't publish the docent tour schedule on the website.)

The deYoung is a much larger building than the Legion. It too offers a variety of docent tours and an audio. I am particularly fond of the 19th century American collection at the deYoung but it has a varied collection including African and Oceanic art. The Textile Gallery usually has something interesting. Right now it's "To Dye For" (…famsf.org/deyoung/…dye-world-saturated-color).

I volunteer at both musuems and love them both -- but for different reasons! Enjoy your trip.

2. Re: Time? Picnic or cafe at Legion of Honor?

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