4.5 star rating: Recommended 1267 Reviews

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  • Address: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park
  • Hours: Daily 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sunday from 11 a.m.)
  • Admission: $30

San Francisco ATTRACTIONS See all

California Academy of Sciences

Inside bucolic Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences holds a fascinating collection of 38,000 natural wonders and the occasional freak of nature. Under the wildflower-covered “living roof,” butterflies flutter through a four-story glass rain forest dome, a rare white alligator stalks a swamp, and Pierre the Penguin paddles his massive new tank in the African Hall.

Downstairs, kids are sure to enjoy the basement aquarium, where they can duck inside a glass bubble to enter an eel forest, find Nemos in tropical fish tanks, or pet starfish. Head upward in the elevator to the roof for panoramic views of Golden Gate Park, or glimpse skyward into infinity in the Planetarium. For the ecology-minded, check out the displays throughout the main floor, which show how conservation issues affect California’s ecosystem.

If you stay for lunch, the dining options at the Academy are first-rate, as both the Academy Café and Moss Room restaurant are run by two of the city's top chefs, Charles Phan and Loretta Keller, and feature local, organic, sustainable foods.

Practical Info

The California Academy of Sciences is conveniently located on the west side of Golden Gate Park and is easily accessible via public transportation. This side of Golden Gate Park is also home to the San Francisco Botanical Garden & Strybing Arboretum or the MH de Young Memorial Museum.

Tours & Tickets

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San Francisco CityPass

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 313 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $94.00

San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Ticket and Alcatraz Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 362 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 2 days

From USD $100.99

Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket

4.5 star rating: Recommended 417 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $34.95

City Sightseeing San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 46 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Varies

From USD $33.00

Go San Francisco Card

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 21 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days

From USD $60.00

Viator Exclusive: California Academy of Sciences Early-Access Admission

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $34.95

San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 13 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 2 hours

From USD $45.00

Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 36 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Varies

From USD $59.90

California Academy of Sciences NightLife

4.5 star rating: Recommended 43 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $15.00

San Francisco Explorer Pass

4 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 attractions

From USD $85.00

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