Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, CA

Embarcadero at Beach Street San Francisco, CA 94133
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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

86 Reviews
Nichole swenson
Lodi, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family trip to the aquarium!"
July, 2018 NEW
We drove from lodi to visit the aquarium of the bay on pier 39 and it was so amazing! We have a 4 year old and a 1 year old and they both enjoyed it, as well as me and my husband. We will definitely be going back and the price is definitely afforadable. The gift shops inside are cute and well stocked!
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Tip: You get to touch aquarium pets and it is 3 levels!

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Reserve San Francisco Customer
San Jacinto, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Lil Gem"
July, 2018 NEW
We had a fantastic time at the Aquarium of the Bay. It is on the smaller side, however there is tons to see. My kids enjoyed it. We were there on a Saturday, so be warned it gets crowded.
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Tip: The gift shops we're fun! The aquarium is very Crowded on weekends.

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Noreen Montano
Belen, NM
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Fun experience must hit up"
July, 2018 NEW
Aquarium of the Bay was a great attraction to hit up during our vacation in SF. It wasn't packed so we could navigate though with ease and take our time checking out all the colorful marine life. We liked how they had activities for the kids to interact with different stations. The jellyfish and river otters were by far the best part.
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Tip: The River Otters were so active and could watch them play all day.

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Reserve San Francisco Customer
North Highlands , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family day out"
July, 2018 NEW
The aquarium was much smaller than expected, but the kids had fun.
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Martha Cisneros
Salida, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Awesome experience"
July, 2018 NEW
We bought our tickets here and we couldn’t pass up the discount. My husband and I took our kids here ages 6,3 & 11 month old. They all had a blast and were intrigued with the fishes. It was definitely a good experience checking in at the front desk was easy just give your reservation number and that’s all you need and they stamp your hand and your ready to go on an adventure with your little ones.
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Melissa Moore
Buda, TX
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Eh, not so impressed"
July, 2018 NEW
I love aquariums and expected quite a bit since this one is on the bay! I did love touching the stingrays and fish, however the rest was disappointing. Unfortunately, there are very few things to explore and they didn't even have the "shows" that day due to low staffing. It was a quick 45 minutes that I spent $40 on for both my husband and myself. Would not do this again.
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Meshelle Jordan
Redding , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"??"
July, 2018 NEW
I really liked the aquarium it was smaller than I thought but still enjoyable. The sea otter was so cute and not. Shy at all. I say you will spend 2 hours there
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Tip: Bring a sweater

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Sirisha G.
Union City, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Amazing Place"
July, 2018 NEW
This aquarium has variety of fishes, the tunnel is a hightlight, totally loved it and the crew over there are very friendly!!
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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Robert K
Orland Hills, Illinois
"River Otters at Play"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 14, 2018 NEW
This was a nice stop in our visit to Pier 39. This aquarium was nice and had some great exhibits. The real attraction here are the river otters who you can watch me fed. They are not handled the way they do at Sea World. The otters are handled just enough so the trainers don't lose fingers while feeding them.
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tonimcallen
"We loved it!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 11, 2018 NEW
We managed to arrive in San Francisco in the middle of a rainy period and were unable to do the sightseeing we had planned because it was cold and wet. We decided, instead, to tour the Aquarium of the Bay and we really loved it. The staff were informative and passionate and there was a good selection of local water life to check out. Our 9yo and 7yo girls were entertained for a couple of hours. Our highlights were the bat rays in the touch pool and the snake named "Martin". We were able to spend as long as we liked at each part of the Aquarium because it was the middle of winter and not too busy.
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CAmom56
Los Altos, California
"Expensive, but this San Francisco!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 10, 2018 NEW
Our 4 year old grandson really enjoyed it. It is small but full of fish, lizards and snakes. There are explanations to read or use the audio app. There are plenty of employees to answer questions.
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JanesMom13
Charlotte, North Carolina
"Love the otters"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 10, 2018 NEW
This aquarium is handicapped accessible, and Offere wheelchairs for no charge. One is able to navigate in a wheel chair fairly well. The exhibits were nice but my favorite was, as was 90% of the others, the river otters. My friend refers to otters as aquatic sloths on caffine😄. Do not miss feeding time.
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Lozotchi
Melbourne, Australia
"Lovely aquarium, worth a visit if you're in the area"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed July 10, 2018 NEW
Not too different to other aquariums I've visited, but the highlight was the otters. I was lucky to see them being active and playing.
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Aquarium of the Bay is located at Embarcadero at Beach Street San Francisco, CA 94133
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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.