Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, CA

Embarcadero at Beach Street San Francisco, CA 94133
View on Map

Overview

From adorable river otters to green moray eels, you’ll discover the natural wonders of marine life at Aquarium of the Bay. With over 1000 aquatic animal species to see and learn about, this aquarium is ideal for all ages. Dive deep into the bay (without the diving, of course) to see the octopus, jellyfish, and more. A touch exhibit is available but remember to respect the marine life!

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our San Francisco Travel Experts
  • The aquarium is closed on Christmas Day.
  • Aquarium of the Bay does not validate parking.
  • Exhibits feature thousands of aquatic animals and plants.
  • Interactive exhibits provide visitors with hands-on learning opportunities.

Description

from Aquarium of the Bay
Explore the magic, beauty, and wonder of San Francisco Bay at Aquarium of the Bay. Your visit will take you through three main habitat areas that display the amazing riches that lie beneath the surface of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding waters.

DISCOVER THE BAY
Your exploration begins in Discover the Bay, which features eight exhibits holding over 1,000 aquatic animals. Exhibit highlights include the bright orange Garibaldi (the California State Marine Fish), green moray eels, rockfish, swirling schools of anchovies and newly hatched skates, baby perch, and other fish.

UNDER THE BAY
Continue your journey and see mesmerizing jellies before entering our two tunnels with leopard shark, giant sea bass, bat rays, giant Pacific octopuses, eight-foot seven-gill sharks San Francisco's Bay’s largest predators, and five other locals species of sharks.

TOUCH THE BAY
Get ready for an unforgettable experience with the change to touch bay rays, sharks, sea stars, sea cucumbers and more.

At the interactive PG&E Bay Lab, learn from our naturalist how climate change is affecting the Bay’s animals on land in the water.

NORTH AMERICAN RIVER OTTERS: WATERSHED AMBASSADORS
These active and engaging wildlife ambassadors help to teach us how important it is to have a healthy environment to live and swim in. Watch their antics as they romp, wrestle and tumble around in cascading waterfalls, two pools, and naturalistic climbing logs.

NO CANCELATION POLICY ON TICKETS.
Closed on Christmas Day.

Reserve San Francisco Customer Reviews

105 Reviews
Fatima K V.
Pleasanton , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Good family time"
September, 2018 NEW
Taking my son to this aquarium was an exciting time, its a great way to spend a day with family there
Read More

Was this review helpful? Yes

Mercedes Rood
Sacramento , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great place"
September, 2018 NEW
We love this place! Such a cute little aquarium to go to on a budget and it's really kid friendly.
Read More
Tip: If you dont like elevators this isn't the place to go. You have to use an elevator to get to each floor

Was this review helpful? Yes

Zachary Grande
Las Vegas, NV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great service"
September, 2018 NEW
We decided at breakfast to go to the aquarium an hour later. I looked up tickets and was recommended to reserve San Francisco. Upon arriving at the aquarium they asked for our reservation and we we're done in a matter of minutes. Very convenient.
Read More
Tip: It's not huge so take your time at each exhibit

Was this review helpful? Yes

Ghulam hazrat najafi
Sacramento, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Very nice place and fun"
September, 2018 NEW
Fun
Read More
Tip: Fun

Was this review helpful? Yes

Rayshon Love
Berthold, ND
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Down by the bay"
September, 2018 NEW
If you don't have kids that are into fish and the underwater world. Save your money. Even with the discount it was still not worth the money.
Read More
Tip: The staff is very well educated and so nice but the attrction is small and it takes you 20 min to walk thru if you force yourself to slow down, but really this is like walking thru the fish section of petco. Save your money.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Reserve San Francisco Customer
Campbell, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Not a bad deal if you purchase tickets in advance"
September, 2018 NEW
Pros: affordable tickets, centrally located, and tide touch pools available! (unlike Monterey Bay Aquarium).

Cons: Exhibits are limited by availability and may not match offerings on the website (e.g. don’t advertise an Octopus on the main page if there’s not a single one currently at the aquarium). Also, there were no stairs available between floors and the one working elevator took forever. We waited in line for over 15min for this elevator to take us down one floor...

Helpful hints: purchase discount tickets in advance and print/download to your phone to skip the lines when you arrive! Also, avoid parking at the pier if possible. The lot is overpriced and overcrowded...it took us 20+ minutes just to get in and find a spot!
Read More
Tip: Purchase and print tickets in advance to save time and money!

Was this review helpful? Yes

Reserve San Francisco Customer
Antioch, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great"
September, 2018 NEW
I had a, great time
Read More
Tip: You're going to love it

Was this review helpful? Yes

Jen Montoya
NEWARK, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Very convenient"
September, 2018 NEW
Easy to buy tickets to the aquarium of the bay and avoid most of the lines.
Read More
Tip: Easy to use

Was this review helpful? Yes

TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
RVIDI
Ames, Iowa
"Small"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed September 19, 2018 NEW
I wanted to like this aquarium. The problem is, I grew up going to the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. I am spoiled. Aqurium of the Bay is small. It has a lot of local sea creatures, which is nice, but not much more. The lower level is pretty cool. You get to walk under and around a lot of sea life, including some smaller sharks. Other than that, the displays (aquariums) are small, many are unimpressive. There are only two otters and one was sleeping. Not a lot of action there. The price is not bad for what you see, only $23, if I remember correctly. We were through the entire aquarium in about an hour. If you have little ones, this might be a good stop. If you don't, I would recommend skipping it.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
MeganG2048
"Expected more"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed September 18, 2018 NEW
Managed to do the whole aquarium in under 45 minutes. Was very underwhelmed with the experience. Having visited aquariums in the UK in much smaller towns, I really expected to see a lot more with it being a larger city. A lot of areas ‘under construction’. The tunnels were very dark and there wasn’t a lot tank material for the fish. Very plain. The best part was the river otters. Wouldn’t recommend and wouldn’t go back. Very disappointed.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
BenHarris
Harwich, UK
"Nice Aquarium!"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 14, 2018 NEW
Enjoyed my visit to the Aquarium of the Bay. The underwater tunnels are huge and have a large variety of fish to see, some are huge! The schooling fish in their thousands are amazing to watch too. Definitely worth a visit if you have some time to fill in San Francisco.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
Brian L
Atlanta, Georgia
"Cool little aquarium"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 12, 2018 NEW
I live in Atlanta, and the aquarium here is like the 6th largest in the world. And nearby Chattanooga aquarium is pretty large as well. So I didn’t expect to be blown away by this little aquarium when my wife and I visited SF the first week of September. And while it’s true that I wasn’t ‘wowed’, my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit. The underwater tunnels are great, and it was awesome seeing local species instead of the majority being from other parts of the world like many aquariums. My wife was taking so many pictures of the schools of anchovies and sardines that I thought she would fill up her phone memory. The otters were the most lively exhibit - we probably watched them swim for 10 minutes. If you research the aquarium a bit and have your expectations set correctly I think it could be an enjoyable activity for most folks.
Read More
TripAdvisor user image
Afag A
"One more ..."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 09, 2018 NEW
Small but interesting place for everyone.. does not take much time to visit so kids dont get tired and bored. But memories will be unforgettiable
Read More
Star Map Pin Icon
Aquarium of the Bay is located at Embarcadero at Beach Street San Francisco, CA 94133
Attraction Map Pin IconAttractions Hotel Map Pin IconHotels & Lodging

Frequently Asked Questions about Aquarium of the Bay

Is parking available?
Parking facilities are available at Pier 35 or across from the main entrance at the PIER 39 garage. The garage is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Aquarium of the Bay does not validate parking, but many PIER 39 restaurants do.

What is the best way to get to Aquarium of the Bay?
Utilizing public transportation is highly recommended. Present a valid Bay Area public transportation pass and receive $2 off adult admission, and $1 off child/senior admission (cannot be combined with any other offer).

What programs are available to ticket holders?
Aquarium of the Bay hosts several daily programs for guests, including Shark Station, Sharks of Alcatraz, Meet Our Otters, California touch pools, and many “up close and personal” opportunities with several animals.

Can I bring my service dog?
Yes. Guests may bring service dogs into the aquarium.