California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA

55 Music Concourse DriveSan Francisco, CA 94118
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Starting at
$35.95
per person
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Overview

Located in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences offers a museum experience unlike any other in the world. Where else can you find an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum all in the same building? When inside, guests can explore a 4-story rainforest, waddle with penguins, learn about space, engage with interactive exhibits, and so much more.

Description

from California Academy of Sciences
Based in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is a destination like no other and a must-see San Francisco museum. It’s the only place on Earth to house an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.

From the splashing penguins in African Hall to the wildflowers on the roof, the building is bursting with life. A four-story living rainforest and awe-inspiring coral reef ecosystem showcase Earth’s biodiversity, while immersive planetarium shows offer a new perspective on the planet we call home.

Morrison Planetarium
Our 75-foot, all-digital dome displays one of the most accurate and immersive Universes ever created.

Kimball Natural History Museum
The Kimball Natural History Museum explores the evolution—and future—of life on Earth.

Osher Rainforest
Step inside a living four-story rainforest, home to free-flying tropical butterflies and birds.

Steinhart Aquarium
Dive into one of the most biodiverse and interactive aquariums in the world, home to nearly 40,000 live animals.

A new adventure unfolds every Thursday night from 6:00 pm –10:00 pm with NightLife.
Enjoy music, creatures, and cocktails as you set out with friends on a journey to the stars and the depths of the sea. Last entry is 9:00 pm.
Separate admission required.

Open Year Round
*Vouchers Not Accepted June 4, 2017

Reserve San Francisco Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Arlyn B
"Unexpectedly Fantastic!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 23, 2017 NEW
I am a high school science teacher and recently found myself in San Francisco for a friends wedding. While the family was preoccupied getting things ready, I took an Uber to Golden Gate Park to explore for the day. What a fantastic time I had! The Academy of Sciences is FULL of interesting exhibits. It is essentially a planetarium, aquarium, museum of natural history and rainforest all in one. I was there for more than 3 hours. It IS very kid-centric and local schools schedule field trips during the week -so be prepared for crowds of kids. The planetarium shows are first come first served, BUT you can see more than one show in a visit if you visit the kiosk again. The staff were friendly and accommodating. If you find yourself with more time to spare, the park itself has many other wonderful gems - the botanical garden, the DeWolf Museum and the Japanese Tea Garden.
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Andrea K
"A solid okay"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed November 22, 2017 NEW
Being in our early 30's with no kids we found this place a bit kid-centric. The displays and attractions were more aimed at younger kids. Go to the Exploritorium for a more hands on adventure!
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DrTM8
"It is really a Museum Like No Other"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 22, 2017 NEW
This is a the only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-natural history museum on Earth, adventure is around every corner. If you are driving, parking place is far away. If you come by bus, it is preferable. Or take a taxi. You can marvel at the deepest living coral reef tank on Earth. Zoom across the Universe in our 75-foot planetarium. Trek through a butterfly-filled four-story tropical rainforest. In the middle of the tour, we had to stop for a lunch break, go to the cafeteria. Everything is healthy and organic! The aquarium has nearly 40,000 live animals representing over 900 separate species. The Morrison Planetarium is one of the largest and most advanced all-digital domes in the world. Tip: as soon as you arrive, go get the planetarium show first to guarantee your session! The four-story rainforest is a slice of tropical paradise. The Kimball Natural History Museum is loaded with diorama displays and high-tech interactives at the Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs. Could not go to the Shake House, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake simulator because the line up was too long... You will have complete fun for an entire day!
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toptan
El Segundo, California
"Great time at the museum!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 21, 2017 NEW
My two boys, ages 6 and 9, really enjoyed this museum. We spent over 4 hours there and still didn't get to see everything. It started to get really crowded (around 2pm) so we left. As others recommended, we got our Planetarium passes right when we arrived. Then went to the aquarium and rainforest areas. Both these areas were not big but had enough wildlife and educational signs that it did take some time to go through. We also browsed the gem room, the flying reptile room and the room with the different skulls. We didn't have time to do the earthquake simulation and missed the penguins. If I were to do it over again, I would have brought more snacks as the line for concession was very long, and get in line for the earthquake exhibit as soon as it opened as that line was long and slow by mid-day. Nonetheless, it was a great way to spend our morning.
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TengKiat
Singapore, Singapore
"Plenty to see"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed November 20, 2017 NEW
There's a lot going on here with many different sections, so make sure you allocate plenty of time to visit. The various planetarium shows are cool and free - the narrator for the earthquake one was very good - as is the rainforest exhibit. The informational signs are comprehensive as well. The albino alligator is quite a sight, though it didn't move much at all.
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California Academy of Sciences is located at 55 Music Concourse DriveSan Francisco, CA 94118
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Frequently Asked Questions about California Academy of Sciences

Is the museum accessible?
Yes. California Academy of Sciences is fully wheelchair accessible.  Manual wheelchairs are available to borrow free of charge at Coat Check on a first-come, first-served basis in exchange for a photo ID.

In addition, all exhibits have built-in detection points for the blind, and our public elevators are equipped with auditory signals. Wherever possible, exhibits have been made tactile for an enhanced experience. For the deaf and hard of hearing, transcripts are available for all regularly scheduled Planetarium shows and other multimedia in the Academy and assistive listening transmitters are positioned in the Planetarium, Earthquake Mini-Dome Theater, and Earthquake Shake House exhibit. Interpreters accompanying a deaf or hearing-impaired individual are admitted free of charge.

Does the museum offer dining options?
Yes. Guests can dine at The Terrace and the Academy Cafe.

What are the hours of operation?
California Academy of Sciences is open every day of the year with the following hours:

  • Monday–Saturday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm