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.

Your ticket also includes admission to the Sea Lion Center – PIER 39, Eco Center at Heron Park – South end of San Francisco and the Bay Model – in Sausalito. The Sea Lion Center features interactive displays, educational videos, fascinating presentations, and one-on-one interactions with Naturalists. Visitors can touch real sea lion artifacts, including pelts and skulls, or size themselves up next to a life-sized sea lion skeleton.

The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park is an education community center that uses sustainable on-site power, water, and wastewater systems. Nearly every feature of this facility is designed to educating the public about
renewable energy, pollution and greenhouse gas reduction, wastewater treatment, sustainable building materials, rainwater harvesting, and the green economy. Features Solar Photovoltaic Energy System, Living Roof, and Native Only Landscaping.

The Bay Model shows the effect of the water flow of the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This allows scientists, educations, and visitors the chance to view the complete bay-delta system complete with working tides and currents.

Closed on Christmas Day.


Reserve San Francisco Customer Reviews

144 Reviews
Gwendlyn Heinle
Paso Robles, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Cute Aquarium"
January, 2019 NEW
The tunnels were really cool to walk through with the fish, sharks and rays swimming around you, the touch pools were fun too. The whole aquarium is a lot smaller than we thought it would be, compared to the Monterey Aquarium.
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Tip: Walk through aquarium tunnels and touch pools

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Markus Wesselmann
DE
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Dont do it!"
January, 2019
It doesn’t really worth it to visit the aquarium, its super small, have just a few fishes and the sharks are just as big as your right hand. If you have little kids up to 10 years it might be interesting, but not otherwise. To expensive for nothing to see, I should have spend my money somewhere else...
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Maria Kristina Pasion
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Good service"
January, 2019
Kiddoz enjoyed the new 3D attraction
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Tip: You should follow instructions on how you touch the shark and sting ray

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Selma Amani
Carmichael , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Good experience"
January, 2019
It’s a good place to go. My kids enjoyed. We will come back.
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Tip: You should pay parking

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jessica Therrien
Magnolia, TX
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"SF Bay Aquarium"
January, 2019
We were on a trip and our last minute decision was made to visit the Aquarium. The Aquarium was a wonderful place to visit. We got to see the Otters to be fed and played with. The two hands on tanks were so much fun. The tunnel was an amazing experience, sharks and fish swimming above. Would recommend to anyone.
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Elsa Delgado
Ventura, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Expected more"
January, 2019
Unfortunately this place is small and does not have much to offer . finished the entire muesuem within 30 minutes. Its good for people who don't have any of this where they live.
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Tip: Plan at least one more thing to entertain your kids

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Christa B.
Emeryville, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Fantastic Adventure & Experience!"
January, 2019
Making a reservation was simple & we didn’t have to print any tickets. We used our phones with confirmation bar code for entry. The WOW factor of the aquarium exceeded our expectations & it had great wheelchair access to every exhibit!
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Tip: Once you get your hand stamped you can go in & out for the day. There’s so much to do & see on Pier 39, you can take your time & choose from many venues for lunch or dinner!

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Salahuddin Malikzada
West Sacramento , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Satisfied"
December, 2018
Very easy to book and really good price. I bought 9 tickets for Aquarium of the Bay and save a lot the price was +$25 I could get it from here for $19.95
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Tip: You have to have your credit/debit card because you can not pay with Apply pay or Samsung pay

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
lotanp
Haifa, Israel
"An overpriced medium aquarium "
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed February 20, 2019 NEW
I've been to many aquariums around the world and this one is small, over priced and basically not very recommended. If you want to go to a good aquarium in San Francisco you should go to the one in the Academy of Sciences. You'll get a better aquarium + alot of other cool things to see. This aquarium might be interesting only for people who never been to an aquarium before.
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mintysnowflake7
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
"Worth a visit"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 20, 2019 NEW
The Aquarium of the Bay is a must-do while visiting San Francisco. It was one of my favorite things from our visit. The convenient location on Pier 39 makes the aquarium the perfect 1.5-ish hour activity to income into your afternoon exploring the Pier. I was unable to find any discounts, but I think the price tag of $30 all said and done was worth it. I appreciate knowing the cost contributes to protecting marine wildlife in the Bay area. The aquarium has a lot of things to see, but the sea otters and the beautiful aquarium walk-through tunnel are easily the highlights. I have been to other aquariums, and although they may be bigger, the walk through tunnel is unique and beautiful. The staff was very friendly and helpful, and I really enjoyed my visit to the aquarium. The information provided while touring is very cool and educates visitors on species, protection efforts, the history of the Bay Area, and the dangers marine wildlife face. The photos peak for themselves.
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AndrzejBania
London, United Kingdom
"You’ll see everything in 30 minutes"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed February 12, 2019 NEW
It’s small, but still an experience. In any other city, you would say that the experience would be colossally OVER-PRICED...but, in San Francisco, daylight robbery is normal - so you just have to accept it. The ‘tunnels’ mean you get some great photo/video opportunities. The otters, right at the end of the (short) tour, are utterly charming
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jacculler
San Jose, California
"Not a must-see, but still a nice little aquarium"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 10, 2019 NEW
It is a smaller aquarium, but if you have a small child that gets bored easily, then I think it's actually just the right amount of aquarium. We took our wiggly 2 year old and spent about an hour and a half and had a great experience. The highlights were the petting pool and watching the otters. The petting pool had a sleepy shark, and two adorable bat rays that kept popping their little heads out of the water at us. I was happy to see an attendant kept watch to make sure everyone was following the rules at the petting pool. The otter area had two otters, which were easy to see from any side and fun to watch. The aquarium tunnels were actually longer than I thought they would be. Overall it's a smaller aquarium, but provided a really nice experience. As other reviewers mentioned, it is a bit pricey for what it is, but part of your money goes to ocean conservation, research, and an effort to reduce plastic pollution. With that in mind, the cost is worth supporting the aquarium. I probably wouldn't put it on a must-see list, but definitely a nice way to spend a morning or afternoon.
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sarahrose12018
Horsham, United Kingdom
"Do not lose sleep if you miss this."
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed February 10, 2019 NEW
The aquarium was okay, we had a rainy saturday so we popped in. We didn't have to queue and it was not overly busy. Everything about this was fine,okay and average. It was very small and the exhibits were limited. We would have been really annoyed if we paid for this, thankfully we had the MyCityPass and got in for free. The aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences is MUCH better.
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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.