Discover the creatures that call the waters of Northern California home with a trip to San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay. Marvel at the wonders of jellyfish or tunnel under sharks to view the true underbelly of marine life in the immersive exhibits.
Revel in nature’s wonders at the immersive, hands-on Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf. Three different tunnels allow visitors to come face to face with the sharks of Alcatraz, view the diverse wildlife of San Francisco Bay’s shallow mudflats, and explore schools of anchovies that call the bay waters home. Touch pools and interactive lab stations bring nature right to the tips of your fingers.
Several passes, such as San Francisco CityPASS, Go San Francisco card, Pier 39 Attractions Pass, Fisherman’s Wharf Pass, and Alcatraz Attraction Pass, include admission to the Aquarium of the Bay. Hop-on-hop-off bus tours also stop at Pier 39. You can also prepurchase general admission to the aquarium online.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Book a skip-the-line tour to avoid waiting in line at this busy Fisherman’s Wharf attraction.
- The aquarium is quite small and is easily combined with other sights around Fisherman’s Wharf.
- A must-do for families with young children or anyone interested in learning more about the ecology of the San Francisco Bay region.
- Present a current Bay Area public transport pass for $2 off the admission price.
How to Get There
Located two piers east of Fisherman’s Wharf, the Aquarium of the Bay is most accessible by public transportation. San Francisco Muni’s E and F street car lines stop within a block of the Aquarium of the Bay. SF Muni 8, 39, and 47 bus lines also stop nearby. There is wheelchair-accessible parking across from the main entrance at Pier 39 and additional parking at Pier 35.
When to Get There
Fisherman’s Wharf and the Aquarium of the Bay are busiest during the summer months. A visit during winter or early spring means quieter galleries. The aquarium is open every day from 10am to 8pm; late afternoons, between 4 and 8pm, are quietest. Hours for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are posted in late fall. The aquarium is closed on Christmas Day.
Feed the Sharks
The Aquarium of the Bay’s tours (not included with general admission tickets) are a deeper dive into the inner workings of an aquarium. One tour takes visitors across catwalks above the tanks to learn above dive operations and caring for marine life. Another tour allows visitors to access a bucket of seafood and feed sharks, rays, and skates.