It may not be New York or Los Angeles, but San Francisco may stand out when it comes to the best performing arts centers and theaters in the United States. Whether you're looking for a Broadway hit, a groundbreaking opera, or the sophistication of ballet, this city has everything you need in terms of cultural institutions and arts activities. After the show, visit San Francisco's best art galleries and museums to complete your cultural experience.

1. War Memorial Performing Arts Center

Some of the) San Francisco War Memorial Turns 90 | San Francisco Classical  Voice

This complex is home to three iconic San Francisco venues that are mainstays of the city's arts scene: Davies Symphony Hall, the Opera House and the Herbst Theatre. The War Memorial Opera House, completed in 1932, is one of the last remaining examples of Beaux Arts architecture in the United States. The São Francisco Opera and the São Francisco Ballet perform in this space every other season. Next door, Davies Symphony Hall is home to the famed San Francisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

2. SHN Orpheum Theater

The Orpheum and Golden Gate, Both Historic SF Theaters, Sold to UK Company  | KQED

The Orpheum Theater is San Francisco's premier venue for Broadway productions, and what a home it is. From the outside, architect B. Marcus Priteca designed the building's facade to resemble a 12th-century French cathedral. Inside, the elaborate details of the exterior facade are juxtaposed with details such as an elaborate Art Deco ceiling, revealing the building's origins in the 1920s. The complex was declared a city landmark in 1977. Look no further: discover the most talked about place in the country. shows, including performances of Hamilton and the Book of Mormon.

3. Curran Theatre

See the new art gracing the walls of the Curran Theatre - Curbed SF

A jewel of San Francisco's robust theater scene since 1922, the Curran has just completed a major restoration and renovation. The space, with a capacity of 1,600 people, reopened in January 2017 with the innovative musical Fun Home.

4. American Conservatory Theatre

American Conservatory Theater  Encore Spotlight

Since 1967, the nationally renowned American Conservatory Theater has been a leader in San Francisco's arts scene. In its historic home, the Geary Theatre, whose stage has hosted artists such as Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich, the A.C.T. Presents classic and innovative works in a spectacular elliptical tent. Its new theater, The Strand, a renovated space for theater, film and pornography, opened in 2015 and hosts small theater and cabaret productions in an intimate red-walled space with 283 seats.

5. SF Jazz

SFJAZZ Center | Meyer Sound

San Francisco has a decades-long love affair with jazz, and in 2013 the musical form finally received its own state-of-the-art performance center. The three-story, 35,000-square-foot transparent structure contains an adjustable auditorium, an intimate multipurpose room and a digital learning lab, as well as several rehearsal rooms. With over 100 shows a year, SF Jazz will delight your senses with something extraordinary.

6. Yerba Buena Center Arts Theater

The Blue Shield of California Theater at YBCA - ennead

The Yerba Buena Center Theater, with more than 700 seats, represents half of this contemporary cultural space. The YBCA Theater fills its calendar with dance, music and theater programs. SMUIN, San Francisco's contemporary ballet company, also frequently performs at the YBCA, and the theater presents the SMUIN Christmas Ballet each December.

7. SF Playhouse

Theatre reopens its doors: San Francisco Playhouse announces in-person  performances of Hold These Truths - San Francisco Playhouse

This small theater maintains intimacy in both its productions and performances. San Francisco Playhouse plays are selected for their emotional components aimed at deepening self-awareness and human experience. The 199-seat theatre, spread across just 9 rows on the second floor of the Kensington Park Hotel, emphasizes community life.