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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Tauranga, New Zealand
"Wish i could give it 15/10!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 13, 2019 NEW
Wowza! What a cool place!!! We were advised to allocate at least 2hrs to this place - we were there for 4hrs & would've spent longer except it was closing time! We didn't see everything!!! Our kids are 9 & 14 & they both found lots to do - games & hands on activities being their favourites, as well as all of the wonderful live animals in the aquarium, biosphere, etc. Amazing!
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Kelowna, Canada
"Excellent family attraction"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 07, 2019 NEW
I recommend giving yourself at least 4 hours to check everything out and take in a movie or two. Our family of four loved this place and it was worth every penny. Aquarium exhibit was exceptional with all the different points of view and various aquatic species. My only regret is not going earlier in the day....somfor those reading get there early enough to enjoy it all.
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"Worth the visit "
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed September 03, 2019 NEW
First this place is expensive. Loved the butterfly Exhibit. I was disappointed in the Auditorium presentations. I miss the days when they talked less and just showed us a great mind blowing virtual video. It’s still a beautiful place to visit.
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Jackie C
"CA Academy of Sciences"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 03, 2019 NEW
Great place to spend the day with the family. My entire family, great grandparents, grandparents, kids and grandchildren all went. Everyone had a great time. Be prepared though to pay aprox $30. for parking. The food in the cafeteria was pretty good good. There's also a restaurant if you don't want to go to the cafeteria.
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Giovanni G
Jackson Heights, United States
"Best Place for a kid in SF"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 03, 2019 NEW
A child will have a great time, interactive, mix of museum, zoo, and aquarium. Definitely a must for a child if in San Francisco worth the admission.
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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