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

143 Reviews
Markus Wesselmann
DE
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Dont do it!"
January, 2019 NEW
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 NEW
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 NEW
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 NEW
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 NEW
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 NEW
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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Karen P.
Carson City, NV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Fun and fast experience"
December, 2018
Every time we visited San Francisco, my family and I alway wanted to go to the aquarium. Now either tickets were sold out for the day or there was a long line and finally ordering through here made it super fast and easy to purchase. And definitely had an amazing deal for a family of 5. We had lots of fun going through the aquarium and having my family experience it for their first time; made it worth it! Beautiful creatures to look at up close and learning about them was amazing!
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Tip: It does get a little over crowding. Just depends on the time of day one goes. Purchase tickets online so it's a quicker process

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
jimmyjoe88
Brisbane, Australia
"Educational Fun For Children and Adults"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 09, 2019 NEW
Otter feeding and Touch the Bay experience kept our 5 year old grand daughter enthralled. She was able to touch the Bat Rays and tide pool creatures. This kept us entertained for many hours. Along with the aquatic attractions, Aquarium of the Bay delivers a strong conservation message for all generations.
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SeekerofTruth2014
Sacramento, California
"Great Place to Take Kids and/or Adults"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 06, 2019 NEW
This is a small but lovely aquarium. The surrounding area is great for an outdoor meal or other touristy experience in the warm weather.
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Jesse R
Point Fortin, Trinidad
"Enjoyed the walk throughout this place especially the glass tunnels."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 04, 2019 NEW
This is not a guided tour so enjoy the walk throughout the place. Starts on an upper level and then takes you down where you walk in glass tunnels with fishes and sharks swimming above you. It was nice and surely a great deal of excitement for kids.
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dukehuh
Boulder, Colorado
"Very much enjoyed the behind the scenes tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed December 28, 2018 NEW
We did the behind the scenes tour with feeding the sharks. The kids very much enjoyed the feeding, while my wife and I enjoyed seeing the inner workings of the aquarium. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. I would highly recommend this tour.
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Teri D
"Small, overpriced, one bathroom!"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed December 27, 2018 NEW
This aquarium is successful because of location, location, location. This is a small aquarium in a popular location. When you arrive, go to the bathrooms. Those are only bathrooms in the aquarium. The only way to get from one floor to the next is in the elevators. We were fortunate to not have a wheelchair or stroller. I think if you did it would have made the aquarium difficult to manage. The upstairs is about 5 aquariums of fish. Downstairs is two tunnels and jellyfish. The first tunnel is San Francisco Bay and then the second tunnel is sharks. You can stand about 2 or 3 people shoulder to shoulder in these tunnels. Then you go back up the elevator to be able to pet sting rays and anemones. There are sea otters and then you are back in the gift shop. You can probably send an hour at the aquarium. The tunnels were very cool and being able to pet the sting rays and anemones was fun. However I wouldn't recommend the aquarium.
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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.