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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Rainier, Oregon
"Get the VIP Pass and Tour! "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 26, 2020 NEW
My 14 year old daughter and I visited. Great experience. We took the VIP Tour- well worth the extra cost! Our tour guide, Chad, did a great job stuffing a whole lot of very interesting information into an hour long tour. We got to go up on the roof and learn about the history of the Academy and of the construction of the building. He did a great job of setting up a kind of running dialogue that started in the roof with the description of whale bones, then went into the building with us as we looked at the skeletons of Orca and whales. He answered all of our questions and was a fantastic ambassador for the Academy. When our tour was over we went to two shows at the planetarium - Expédition Reef and Galaxy Passport. Both were quite good and we got the pick of the seats with the VIP pass- very cool perk! The exhibits are all well curated and presented in a welcoming atmosphere by staff and volunteers who are knowledgeable and engaging. The rain forest and Golden Silk Spiders we’re very cool. Even the food in the dining areas was good! Great day trip destination.
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Shinjuku, Japan
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 25, 2020 NEW
Love bio-dome and aquarium. Roof top is cool too. Often have interesting exhibits. Great place to relax. Ticket is very expensive.
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Melbourne, Australia
"Planetarium was the big bonus"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 21, 2020 NEW
Wow! Just wow. My 17 year old daughter loved visiting the Academy. She loves plants and adored the butterfly-filled forest. The acquarium was terrific. Sitting underneath the forest pond was truly amazing with giant fish gliding overhead. The roof top is worth a visit. We wanted more contemporary exhibits and commentary about climate change, biodiversity and sustainability - a big missed opportunity to educate and influence. But the big wow was the planetarium - oh my goodness. Sensational commentary and we discovered so much about the solar system. Super relaxing too.
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Wellington, New Zealand
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 09, 2020 NEW
This is like the Exploratorium + aquarium + more! Spent over 5h in here but still didnt manage to get through everything. Very well organised and managed museum with all sorts of cool exhibits covering everything from the deepest oceans to outer space. Whether you're travelling solo or as a group, it's enjoyable for everyone. Added bonus of being in the Golden Gate Park so opportunity for a stroll in the gardens if you want to catch a breather from all the science. Will visit again if i have the chance.
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Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
"It’s simple - Go!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 09, 2020 NEW
Hard to fault it. Plenty to do, see, touch, smell... A great site to spend several hours. The planetarium was closed the day we visited, which were gutted about but the rest of it really is great fun.
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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