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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Northampton, United Kingdom
"First time visit and very interesting"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 31, 2020
Don't rush through this site. Take your time and enjoy the science and wonders around you. People tend to rush through and just look at objects and pictures but there is so much more available than that. There are pop up demonstrations and exclusive exhibitions and although this was a single visit I am sure these change throughout the year so people continue to return. I loved the time clock and the aquarium section was a nice touch didn't know that was there until a bit later! What really did it for me were the different planetarium shows. These are state of the art presentations and compared with the UK ones this blows the out of the water! I had heard how amazing they were but didn't know how good they actually are until we visited. The restaurant food range is very good, so much so that it took us a while to choose a meal. It was expensive for what it is but that is normal for locations like these as they cash in quite a few $$ to keep the place going. There is a free water dispenser located by the cutlery area.
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"Great museum!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 07, 2020
Our tour guide convinced us to go here. So glad we did! Coming back in a few months to bring more of our family!
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
"The Science Museum in San Francisco"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 25, 2020
In most big cities on the west coast, you can find a variety of museums that include art museums, ethnic museums, science museums, kids museums, hopefully something with oddities and curiosities. This museum has an aquarium in the basement, as well as rotating exhibits. You can see the penguins, animals, and evolution of monkeys. I saw gems here and dinosaur fossils that you have never seen. I enjoy the planetarium as well. The planetarium has fascinating shows. This museum is a great place for families, kids, and young adults. I have had company several times, and it was worth it. They have free days for the public.
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San Francisco, California
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 23, 2020
I love this place for its rooftop garden and attention to environmental concerns. A very happy place to be!
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Apex, North Carolina
"Fantastic - could spend 8 hours there"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 23, 2020
We went here in the middle of the week. Our party was made up of 4 adults and 4 kids, aged 6-12. Everyone had great time. The rain forest exhibit (with beautiful butterflies) was a favorite for some of us, and the aquarium was a favorite for the others. We spent about 3 hours there (before the kids got tuckered out), but if they had had the stamina, I think we could have spent the entire day. There was so much we didn't get to see.
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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