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!

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.

Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity:
What's a rhino's horn made of? What does shark skin feel like? How do frogs drink through their skin? Find the answers in the Academy's new exhibit, and discover the incredible abilities of skin to camouflage, protect, and regenerate across the animal kingdom. Get up close to scientific specimens like a rhinoceros, armadillo, colorful birds and insects, and touch fur, scales, and more. Plus, explore the layers of meaning humans have associated with skin color throughout history and how this shapes human identity and culture.

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.

Tripster Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Eastbourne, United Kingdom
"Awesome day out "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 13, 2019 NEW
We were visiting San Fran from the UK and didn’t see this place advertised too much, we found it on Trip but not really on other recommendation sites or flyers. I’ve been to a few science centres in other states and countries, this is my favourite. The Planetarium was awesome (make sure you get a ticket for it as you enter the centre) and it’s free, usually you pay an extra fee for planetariums. The entrance price is quite high, but it’s worth it, better than spending your cash on some of the other tacky attractions aimed directly at tourists. The penguin feeding was also good fun. Coffee was a bit grim though!
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 13, 2019 NEW
Do not miss this adventure. The free roaming butterflies are a sight to behold. They even check you when you walk out of this area to make certain none of them are piggybacking. So much to see and done in such a tasteful manner. Don't miss it.
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Karen R
Honolulu, Hawaii
"Fun day"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 12, 2019 NEW
Located in the Golden Gate Park, Excellent Place for exploring. Fantastic Planetarium, Great Aquarium. Fun educational Museum. Especially Loved the Earthquake simulator and the African Hall with the Human exhibits. Spacious museum. Not only for children. Recommend
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Michele H
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 06, 2019 NEW
What an amazing day we had here. So much to see and do, the Rain forest is beautiful. A great place for young and old.
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Las Vegas, Nevada
"So well Done....Financially sustained and so edcuational"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 05, 2019 NEW
We have been attending the museum since our children were in strollers. Each year, we go, the kiddos say they don't remember. Then as soon as we walk in, BAM, all the memories come flooding back. They especially love the Rainforest and the Planetarium. And the food, especially the vegetarian options and the outdoor seating, are such a treat!
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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