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.


San Francisco Customer Reviews

157 Reviews
Ty Ferguson
Twain Harte, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Not Worth the Price"
June 2019 NEW
I was expecting a lot more than was delivered. If you have visited any other major aquarium in the past do not waste your money on this one. Very small (took less than 30 minutes to see 'everything') and very little interaction or activity. The Sea Otter "encounter" amounted to two sea otters asleep in the rocks.
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Tip: High price for the experience

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Ana Rivera
1 Review
"We love this Aquarium"
June 2019 NEW
Its very good place . Clean, safe and they have a friendly staff.
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Luis Becerril
Winter Park, FL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"visit to San Francisco"
May 2019
it was simple to get access to get my tickets
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Tip: The visit to pier 39

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Mohinder Kumar
Fremont , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Fabulous Trip to SF Pier 39"
April 2019
Aquarium of the Bay is a beautiful place to take kids . It was a learning experience for my 7 and 9 years old. They loved visiting sea animals especially Sharks at theBay. I recommend parents to take kids to this place and explore sea life to them.
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Tip: Sharks and Sea lions.

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Wasif Saddique
Sacramento , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Honeymoon"
April 2019
It was a great experience
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Kristynn Aquino
Pittsburg, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"A bite size aquarium"
April 2019
Good, little experience
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Alyssa Valdes
Reno, NV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Mother and daughter vacay"
April 2019
This was the perfect place to explore and enjoy each other's company. There were so many different things to look at. It's a fun experience for both children and adults of all ages. Already planning our next trip!
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Tip: Parking is limited. If you park in the garage across from the aquarium, (Pier 39 garage), it makes your life much easier!

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ELMAY G.
Mililani, HI
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great exhibits"
March 2019
My family enjoyed visiting Aquarium of the Bay! My son (3) enjoyed petting the manta rays and was so intrigued entering the tunnel (like walking through the ocean) and watching sea life swim all around him). My daughter (12) loved watching the otter and shopping at the gift shop. I would recommend anyone to visit as well!
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TripAdvisor Reviews
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JimandDonnaJ
templeton,ca
"Amazing! Well worth a visit"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 15, 2019 NEW
Wasn’t too sure if this would be a tourist trap as it is at the entrance to Pier 39. We were astonished at how good this non profit aquarium was. The exhibits were great; lots to see and fabulous staff providing information and demonstrations. Great learning experience for both kids and adults.
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Linda S
Saskatoon, Canada
"Interesting hour but needed more time"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 13, 2019 NEW
Went late in the day unfortunately missing the scheduled talks. Ran into a guide in the walk through tunnel who was very informative. The small displays of different varieties of jellyfish were just beautiful and the antics of the sea otters could be watched for a longtime. Since they close at 6 PM, I would suggest you plan to go for at least 2-3 hours. All very fascinating especially for those of us who do not live near an ocean.
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Kaboozie
Liverpool, United Kingdom
"OTTER TIME "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 08, 2019 NEW
As part of my SF City Pass my friend and I visited this Aquarium, which is located by Fisherman’s Wharf, really interesting with lots of information about the local marine life. During the visit a small party of local school children joined us, which added some fun to our visit. There is a fab tank tunnel which allows you to get close and personal with some of the larger fish, like sharks 😱. However, my favourite were the river otters which are so cute and make you laugh with their antics. All in all a really enjoyable visit.
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Stubemis
Marion, Kansas
"Part of CityPass"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed June 04, 2019 NEW
We went to the Aquarium of the Bay after our ferry tour since it was part of our CityPass. We've been to other aquariums that are much better. This one is very small and if we didn't have a CityPass, we would have skipped it. Not sure it would be worth the price of regular admission.
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YotaPwr
Maine
"Small but worthy!"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 29, 2019 NEW
We love aquariums and this one didn’t disappoint. The river otters were fun to watch and the exhibits were all well done. Typically priced. The location was handy to other fun things to do. We recommend going!
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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.