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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georgeb895
Sao Paulo, SP
"A fantastic place"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 14, 2019 NEW
It is a very cool place, with a lot of things to see. The price is not cheap, mainly considering a whole family but definitely worth it. The planetarium and the forest dome are the biggest attraction but kids with enjoy looking around. The food in the restaurant is good and not so that expensive. For sure we will return in future.
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Deb O
Mack, Colorado, United States
"Beer Tasting"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 14, 2019 NEW
Really great special event that included visiting the exhibits in the museum. Bars and food were readily available. We had a wonderful time!
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iamgioiag
California
"Super fun and educational"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 13, 2019 NEW
Visited with an 8 year old and college student and we all enjoyed. At the time there was an ice skating rink and snowman installation. Get your ticket to see the “galaxy” early to reserve your spot. Earthquake simulation felt really real and the butterflies were pretty. Something to do for everyone. Cafe isn’t bad at all when you want to take a break.
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414JoM
Sydney, Australia
"Great experience for young & old"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 12, 2019 NEW
What a wonderful experience for people of all ages. We spent a day there & really enjoyed the interactive exhibits, planetarium and butterflies. Highly recommend this if you're in San Fran.
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marinl893
Paso Robles, United States
"Busy and Interesting"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 12, 2019 NEW
Having never been here before, I wasn't sure what to expect. We came with our 3 small kids (oldest was 8) and we all found something to enjoy in here. I recommend getting tickets ahead of time or arriving before it opens if you can but the line does move pretty quickly. Parking was a cinch and navigating around the facility was simple enough. Food court offered some good choices, pricey but healthy with plenty of options for people who have allergies. We spent about 2.5 hours here and still didn't see everything only because our youngest kids were starting to get cranky. Wear comfortable shoes and it helps to have a plan sort of where you want to go. Docents are everywhere to help out and answer questions. If we come back I would dedicate the whole day to this excursion, especially if you have small children. There is an outside eating area which is helpful to let the little ones stretch their legs and to get some fresh air. Going on the top of the building is a must to check out the roof garden and on a good day, the views from up there. Basically all around good but bring snacks, comfortable shoes and a plan and you should be good to go.
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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