Best Museum - 2011
Compared to such old stalwarts as the trumpet and the flute, the saxophone is, relatively speaking, the new kid on the block. Invented by Adolphe Sax in 1846, the curvy woodwind has come to be a defining voice in jazz music as well as a boisterous addition to many fine rock & roll bands (rest in peace, Clarence Clemons, towering tenor saxman of the E Street Band). Saxquest has long been an online haven for hornblowers the world over, but its Cherokee Street location is a double blessing. Not only can you lust over a gleaming baritone sax that probably costs more than your car, but you can take a self-guided tour of the shop's second-floor museum, a shrine to all things sax. You'll find the mighty six-foot tall contrabass sax alongside the pocket-side sopranino — and all types in between. Admission is free, but don't be shocked if your nascent dreams of becoming the next Coltrane lead you back downstairs to the well-stocked storefront.