The Tenderloin Museum celebrates the rich history of a San Francisco neighborhood you thought you knew. The 31 blocks of the Tenderloin District are the last bastion of a San Francisco that once was, peopled by immigrants and iconoclasts, artists and activists, sinners and saints. Visit the Tenderloin Museum today and discover the city they don’t show you in postcards. This is the heart of San Francisco, uncovered.


Art happens here. Get a taste of a vibrant community based arts and cultural programming built on the cultural verve of this historic neighborhood.

The Tenderloin Museum’s permanent installation tells the story of the neighborhood from its rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake through the present. Once known for “girls, gambling and graft,” the Tenderloin was also fertile ground for the Grateful Dead, Miles Davis, Dashiell Hammett and other cultural icons. The exhibits show you a neighborhood whose outsider groups of independent working women, gay men, “screaming queens” and activist SRO hotel tenants created a district unlike any other. These iconoclasts consistently battled the establishments efforts to transform their neighborhood, and were often able to win. The Museum tells the story of a Tenderloin community that has persisted against all odds. It will leave visitors inspired and hopeful for the future.


The Tenderloin’s raucous history has been routinely overlooked in historical accounts of San Francisco.

Visit us and learn more about:

  • Legendary venue Blackhawk Jazz Club where greats like Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk and others played and recorded.
  • Recording studio Wally Heider Studios where the Grateful Dead, Santana and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young crafted albums that changed music forever.
  • How the Tenderloin served as the geographic center for San Francisco’s emerging LGBT rights movement.
  • Stories from a neighborhood that immigrants, office workers, retailers, bartenders, musicians, actors, dancers and prostitutes have all chosen to call home.


  • Permanent Collection
  • Neighborhood Walking Tours
  • Museum Retail Store

Plan Your Visit

Museum / Retail / Tours

Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm

We’re open to the public every day except Monday and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Adults $10

Students & Seniors $6

Youth (ages 13 to 21) $6

Children (ages 12 & under) FREE

Historical Walking Tour $10

Admission & Walking Tour $15


Getting Here