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.

up to 4 hrs 1 or more people

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our San Francisco Travel Experts
  • Fun for all ages.
  • Most visitors spend about 3 hours exploring the Academy.
  • Please avoid arriving early to minimize crowding at the main entrance.
  • Re-entry allowed same day with hand stamp. Be sure to request a hand-stamp before exiting.
  • Children 2 and under visit for free.
  • Face masks are strongly encouraged indoors.


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 the 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 the colony of charismatic South African birds.

The Swamp:
Meet its most famous resident, Claude, the American alligator with albinism, who shares his home with a trio of prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtles.

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

The last entry is one hour before closing. Holiday hours are subject to change.

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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 the 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. Assistive listening transmitters are positioned in the Planetarium, Earthquake Mini-Dome Theater, and Earthquake Shake House exhibit. Interpreters accompanying a deaf or hard of hearing individual are admitted free of charge.

What are the California Academy of Sciences' hours?

California Academy of Sciences is open every day of the year: - Monday-Saturday: 9:30 AM - 5 PM - Sunday: 11 AM - 5 PM

Where do I park for California Academy of Sciences?

JFK Dr. is closed to cars in Golden Gate Park. You can still access the Music Concourse parking garage via the Fulton St./10th Ave. entrance or the Music Concourse Dr./MLK Dr. entrance. Free street parking is also available on MLK Dr., Nancy Pelosi Dr., and Stow Lake Dr.

How long should I plan to spend at California Academy of Sciences?

There is no time limit, but most visitors spend about 3 hours exploring the Academy.

Can I re-enter after leaving the building?

Yes. If you plan to re-enter the Academy later in the day, please ensure you receive a hand stamp from a door attendant before exiting.

What dining options are available at California Academy of Sciences?

The Academy Café serves a variety of family-friendly food and beverage options, as well as Andytown Coffee drinks. Guests are welcome to dine in the Café or in any of their outdoor spaces. The Terrace Restaurant serves seasonal dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients, plus beer and wine.

Can you bring food into California Academy of Sciences?

Guests are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Please head to the East Garden to consume items brought from home.

Are lockers available?

Yes, lockers are located just off the main lobby and are available for rent for $5 per day for standard-size lockers and $8 per day for family-size lockers. Lockers are checked frequently and cleaned and disinfected daily. Payment for lockers is by credit card only.

Will I be able to rent a wheelchair?

Yes, wheelchairs are available for guests to use during their visit. Please see a Guest Experience staff member in the Lobby for assistance when you arrive. Wheelchairs are cleaned and disinfected after every use.