California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA

55 Music Concourse DriveSan Francisco, CA 94118
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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
The California Academy of Sciences, based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.

Inside one of the greenest museums in the world, visitors find exhibits and experiences that can only be seen at the Academy including 40,000 animals living in the aquarium, the four-story rainforest with its free-flying birds and butterflies, one of the most accurate digital planetariums in the world, a variety of interactive programs and activities, and more!

Newest Exhibit: Giants of Land and Sea.
Explore Northern California's natural wonders through a variety of experiences: feel your way through an immersive fog room, keep your balance in an earthquake simulator, virtually ascend to the top of a towering redwood, and see a variety of specimens and fossils.

Steinhart Aquarium:
Highlights include the Philippine Coral Reef, the California Coast tank, and Twilight Zone: Deep Reefs Revealed.

Osher Rainforest:
A glass dome houses the four-story living rainforest, where birds and butterflies fly freely among lush tropical trees, plants, and other animals from around the world.

Living Roof:
Visit our rolling green roof for views of Golden Gate Park and beyond. California wildflowers bloom in spring while dozens of native plants provide habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies year-round.

African Penguins:
Visit our colony of charismatic South African birds. Join a biologist for penguin feedings at 10:30 am and 3:00 pm daily.

The Swamp:
Meet its most famous resident, Claude, an albino American alligator, who shares his home with a trio of prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtles.

Morrison Planetarium:
Reserve a ticket (free with admission) at the Planetarium kiosk to see our newest show, Expedition Reef.

Hours:
The Academy is open 365 days a year.
General Admission
Monday – Saturday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

NightLife (21+ with ID):
Thursday: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Last entry one hour before closing. Holiday hours subject to change.


Reserve San Francisco Customer Reviews

Have you been to California Academy of Sciences? Share your knowledge and be the first to review this.
TripAdvisor Reviews
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leonemoff
Batemans Bay, Australia
"Exhausting but very interesting. A must see"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed December 12, 2018 NEW
A bit of everything here, and a great experience. Our first day in San Francisco and we spent all of it at this museum. The aquarium beats the other one down at the bay, by far. The exhibits give you a taste of a whole lot of interesting aspects of science and life. The kids around us seemed to love it. A must see while in San Francisco.
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freemaee
Los Angeles, California
"Awesome day at the museum"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed December 11, 2018 NEW
We spent about 6+ hrs with a 10 yr old recently. There are plenty of things to see ( and touch), great photo opportunities and time to rest, while watching the beautiful and educational movies. We didn’t get a chance to use the ice skating ring, but it looked like fun. For lunch we went to the cafeteria and felt there were enough options for both kids and adults. Since it was the weekend, there were more people, but not crowds. It was manageable. I would recommend to plan and spend at least half a day.
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PhillipO56
San Francisco, California
"Amazing "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed December 11, 2018 NEW
This is s must do for anyone with children. It is the best museum of its type I have seen anywhere in the world. If you are traveling with children or have an interest in science, you should visit.
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Servando L
"A bit disappointing! :("
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed December 10, 2018 NEW
Although it is a fun an a very interesting place for science! Philosophy and acts do not match! It teaches you the importance of nature and natural and animal resources, and at the same time it tells you you reduce meat consumption to preserve nature, but I did not find vegan options in cafeteria, just organic, vegetarian, and of course, boring fruit. If you really want to teach, half of your menu should be vegan and show why eating vegan is a huge help against climate change and wild preservation. Don't take me wrong the people there are amazing and a great place for kids and adults, just the Philosophy and acts don't match.
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g3schultz
Heathfield, United Kingdom
"Amazing day out"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed December 07, 2018 NEW
We visited on a whim to see what it was like - definitely a good choice! So much to see and do. The rain forest is breath taking to walk around, everywhere you turn your head there’s something new to see. We were on a tight time limit so missed a couple of bits but will definitely return, could easily spend a whole day here!
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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