California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, CA

55 Music Concourse DriveSan Francisco, CA 94118
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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.


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.

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

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Camarillo, California
"Need 5+ hours for this Amazing Place!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed April 21, 2019 NEW
Wow! I wish I had more time for this location because there is so much to see and so much to learn. The Dino Days were taking place and, I have to admit, was a little bit of a bummer. It definitely was NOT what I was expecting - had a few animatronic dinosaurs and a "digging" place to uncover bones. Not much else. My 5 year old dinosaur loving kid was bored after a few minutes. The rain forest room was great. It was very hot but it was really awesome for the kids to experience the temperature of a rainforest and to learn what grows and lives there! It was a really great immersive exhibit. Birds and butterflies flying overhead is such a good learning experience. We didn't have the chance to see the planetarium so we were bummed by that. The aquarium was really awesome for the kids to experience. There were so many fish that we had never seen. The restrooms were clean but crowded because there were so many people there! The cafe had a decent selection of food although it was definitely expensive. If you can pack your lunch, I'd recommend doing that and then eating on the lawn near the terrace cafe. There is military pricing available but it's only $3 off per ticket at the gate. You can't purchase this online. Sometimes they have a sale on tickets online but again, you only get $3 off. It's good to order tickets online because you avoid the long lines. There are sometimes tickets on Groupon which may save another $1.
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Wasilla, Alaska
"Rainforest and planetarium!"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed April 20, 2019 NEW
It was interesting to walk the curving ramp up and around the rainforest. There were butterflies everywhere. My favorite part, though, was the planetarium. I recommend pre-purchasing tickets to guarantee a seat for a showing while you're there. It only cost an additional $3 and it was fantastic show!
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Martin B
"Great Science Museum in the Heart of golden Gate Park"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed April 20, 2019 NEW
The California Academy of Sciences is one of the best Science Museums I know. It is located in the heart of Golden Gate Park and it is a great place for young and old alike. Families or couples, solo or groups of geeks. Come visit.
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Christine R
Logan, Utah
"A lot to see!"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed April 18, 2019 NEW
With the price of admission I was expecting more (thankfully we had citypasses so it was cheaper, $40 is a bit steep). That being said it was a fun place. When you go, get a ticket to one of the Planetarium shows (included with admission) because they fill up fast and that is the only thing to do in the planetarium area. Then head to the Rainforest. There will be a line but it moves quickly. The aquarium area was great-better than the aquarium at Pier 39. The Natural History areas were small and not that interesting. There is an area inside that you can eat a picnic lunch as well as a cafeteria with several options. Be prepared for lines at all the food areas. We spent 4.5 hours here and felt it was a good amount of time.
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Newport-on-Tay, United Kingdom
"Brilliant day out with lots to do and see"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed April 16, 2019 NEW
So much to see here. We stayed for 5 and a half hours and still didn't quite see everything. Planetarium shoes were great. Be sure to get the free tickets for these shows as soon as you arrive as there are limited numbers and they sell out quickly. Queues for the good were a bit crazy so I advise bringing a picnic as there are loads of places to sit and eat it. Rain forest and aquarium had so much to see and were really well laid out. Great fun had by all ages
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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