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California Academy of Sciences Tours

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47 Reviews
California Academy of Sciences
One of the United States' premier science and natural history museums, the California Academy of Sciences holds a fascinating collection of 38,000 natural wonders. With its Morrison Planetarium, Steinhart Aquarium, four-story rain forest dome, and open-air, green "living roof," the academy is a highlight for many visitors to San Francisco.

The Basics
There's much to see and do at the academy, so a full-day visit is recommended. Check out the largest spherical rain forest exhibit in the world, where the air is humid and tropical birds and butterflies fly overhead. Or, enter the all-digital planetarium for special exhibits and an astronaut's view of Earth. Other highlights include the aquarium's California Coast, Philippine Coral Reef, and Water-World tanks; the penguins in the African Hall, and the museum's most popular resident Claude, an albino American alligator. Travelers can visit with a general admission ticket, take a behind-the-scenes tour, or stop by as part of a hop-on hop-off bus tour.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Cal Academy is great for kids and makes for a prime family outing in San Francisco.
  • The museum's two restaurants serve food throughout the day.
  • Hop-on hop-off bus tours stop near the museum, providing an easy way to get out to the site's location in Golden Gate Park, which is about five miles (8 km) from downtown.
  • Entry is included with the San Francisco CITYPass.
  • While you're in Golden Gate Park, take some time to visit other top attractions such as Stow Lake or the Japanese Tea Garden.

How to Get There
The California Academy of Sciences is located on the west side of the Golden Gate Park, about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from Union Square. While set away from central San Francisco, the park is easily accessible via public transportation on the #44 or #5 bus or the N-Judah Muni Metro streetcar. From the Embarcadero, expect about a 30-minute drive by road to the museum or a 40-minute public transit ride.

When to Get There
The Cal Academy of Science is open daily from 9:30am to 5pm, with an 11am opening on Sunday. Daily programs such as planetarium shows and penguin feedings take place between 10:30am and 4:30pm (check the day's schedule upon arrival).

NightLife at the Cal Academy of Sciences
Every Thursday night, the academy hosts NightLife, an adults-only even that combines museum entry with themed activities and drinks, often with expert speakers, workshops, and live music or a DJ. The even is suited for adults aged 21 and over only.


Address: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California 94118, USA
Hours: Daily 9:30am–5pm (Sunday from 11am)
Admission: Varies
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Recent Reviews from Experiences in San Francisco

star-5
Great night, very interesting and much...
AMANDA CLAIR G
, May 2018
Great night, very interesting and much better to have the VIP experience
star-5
This was a fun experience. They...
Cheri J
, Mar 2018
This was a fun experience. They offered some fun presentations and great drinks at the bars. It was nice to be surrounded by fellow “adults” for more “adult” time to explore the museum. They also played fun music in the background. Buy planetarium tickets early because they sell out quickly.
star-4
Really fun way to get to know the...
setrab
, Nov 2017
Really fun way to get to know the place as a visitor, and blend in the local night life. Ejoyed the place the music and learned couple new things. Also great way to get the most from, San Francisco. You can experience the typical places during the daylight, and hit the CAS enjoying it with lights and drinks.

17 Tours and Activities to Experience California Academy of Sciences

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Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences NightLife Admission TicketAttraction Tickets

Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences NightLife Admission Ticket

star-4.5
Pair science with San Francisco nightlife and you have NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences. This is the perfect, child-free way to explore the museum after hours. Make your way inside after skipping the long entrance lines, enjoy a lively venue of music, provocative science, and exhibits.
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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$22.00 
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket: Skip the LineAttraction Tickets

California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket: Skip the Line

star-4
Enjoy easy access to the California Academy of Sciences with this skip-the-line pass. Walk right in with this pre-paid ticket to enjoy the museum's 4-story rain forest, planetarium, and aquarium. Avoid wasting your precious vacation waiting in the long lines to purchase tickets for this exhibit-packed museum. Your admission includes all shows and exhibits, and is a perfect activity for families.
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  • 3 to 5 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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$36.95 
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  • 3 to 5 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco CityPASSAttraction Tickets

San Francisco CityPASS

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Save time and money with the San Francisco CityPASS, which gives you admission to top area attractions, a cruise on San Francisco Bay, and discounts for shopping and activities. You can choose to visit science and art museums like the Exploratorium or the Walt Disney Family Museum. You’ll have important details like hours of operation right in your pocket with the provided mobile ticket.
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  • 1 hour to 1 day
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  • 1 hour to 1 day
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Enhance your visit to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on this special behind-the-scenes tour to learn about the facility's animal life or its research focus. Plus, your tour grants you general admission, so you can also explore the attraction’s 4-story rain forest and planetarium at your own pace. Express entry to the Rain Forest exhibit and a reserved ticket to a show at Morrison Planetarium are also included.
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California Academy of Sciences NightLife VIP TourLuxury Tours

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Peek behind the scenes at the California Academy of Sciences with VIP tickets to the Thursday NightLife—an adults-only event that proves museums aren’t just for kids. Sip cocktails and nibble hors d'oeuvres at a private reception, then go inside “The Vault” to see glittering gemstones and prehistoric treasures not on view to the general public. You’ll also take a walk on the wild side with express entry to the Osher Rainforest dome and get starry-eyed during a planetarium show.
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Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are California Academy of Sciences hours of operation?
A:
California Academy of Sciences hours of operation: Daily 9:30am–5pm (Sunday from 11am). Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
Should I book California Academy of Sciences tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since California Academy of Sciences can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 17 California Academy of Sciences tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit California Academy of Sciences 2020?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to California Academy of Sciences costs USD 22.00. Guided California Academy of Sciences tours start around USD 22.00 per person. See all 17 California Academy of Sciences tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
What's the best way to experience California Academy of Sciences?

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