ILLUMINATE SF

Self-Guided Itineraries

Click below each tour description for a complete step-by-step itinerary and discover
stunning light art works in combination with the light art installation map.

North Beach/Embarcadero
Take a Personal Light Art Tour That’s Pure Poetry in Motion.

Discover literary lights and breathtaking sights on a walk through two of San Francisco’s most magical neighborhoods. Whether you’re prowling for light art near City Lights Book Store, sipping house-roasted espressos, or chowing down, you'll find North Beach and the Embarcadero have plenty to offer for a night on the town. This walking tour covers 2 –3 miles, and requires some uphill climbing on the Filbert Steps. You can also use this itinerary to tour by bike, on Muni, in a taxi or hired car.

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Yerba Buena/SoMa
Take a Personal Light Art Tour of Illuminating Works that Glisten and Glow.

San Francisco’s Yerba Buena and SoMa neighborhood is home to the most diverse and highest concentration of art galleries, museums and theaters in the city. This light fantastic tour includes pieces at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a new illumination near Annie Alley and an otherworldly light sculpture in the W SF Hotel that showcases fine art’s relationship with digital technology.

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Central Market/Civic Center
Take a Personal Light Art Tour Where Pianos Fly and Neon Lights the Sky.

The rapidly transforming Central Market neighborhood is a cultural and high tech mashup –Twitter, Spotify, Square and Yammer are here, so are SHN’s Golden Gate and Orpheum theaters, American Conservatory Theater’s new Strand Theater and the Warfield rock concert hall. A few blocks away is San Francisco City Hall, a Beaux Arts architectural wonder in the civic heart of San Francisco, where the city’s opera, symphony and ballet companies also make their home. The light art works on this tour are easily accessed by public transit along Market Street – what better place to have an interactive art adventure!

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Mission Bay/Bayview/Potrero
Take a Personal Light Art Tour of Art, Science and Healing Intertwined.

The idea of art as medicine dates back to antiquity – whether it's experiencing visual art and music or the act of creating art itself. This tour encompasses light art and poetry in Mission Bay created to help heal the loss of fallen officers, stunning new works installed on medical campuses in Mission Bay and Potrero to enhance the therapeutic environment, an epic mural glowing with extraordinary energy that depicts the Bayview community on the rise – and don't miss the nearby Museum of Craft and Design in Dogpatch with hands-on workshops and events to inspire art lovers and makers.

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Presenting Sponsor


5M is a new, vibrant mixed-use destination in the heart of San Francisco located at the intersection of 5th and Mission streets. Developed by Brookfield Properties, named “Developer of the Year” by the San Francisco Business Times in 2021, the four-acre parcel was previously home to parking lots and underutilized buildings. Now, it has been transformed into a lively community for locals and visitors alike.