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

San Francisco ATTRACTIONS See all

California Academy of Sciences Tours

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.

Tours & Tickets

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California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket, San Francisco, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 2

California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket

4.5 star rating: Recommended 458 Reviews

Skip the line as you visit the California Academy of Sciences - the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and a ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $35.95
California Academy of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes Tour, San Francisco, Attraction Tickets
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 4

California Academy of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 48 Reviews

Skip the line and go behind-the-scenes at San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences – the only place on Earth with an aquarium, planetarium, natural ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Varies

From USD $60.90
San Francisco CityPASS, San Francisco, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 1

San Francisco CityPASS

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 361 Reviews

For the best deal in San Francisco, go for the CityPASS! Your pass to the City by the Bay includes tickets to world-renowned attractions, discounts and ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $89.00
California Academy of Sciences NightLife, San Francisco, Sightseeing & City Passes
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 2

California Academy of Sciences NightLife

4.5 star rating: Recommended 52 Reviews

Come find out why Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences is the hottest event on everyone's social calendar! As the sun goes down, this famous San ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $15.00
San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Ticket and Alcatraz Tour, San Francisco, Nightlife
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

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

4.5 star rating: Recommended 399 Reviews

Everything you'll need to see in San Francisco and at your own pace! From Alcatraz to modern San Francisco architecture, this tour covers the beauty and ...  Read more

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From USD $111.50
City Sightseeing San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Tour, San Francisco, Hop-on Hop-off Tours
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City Sightseeing San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 82 Reviews

See San Francisco's most exciting attractions aboard a double-decker bus with one ticket! Choose a 24-hour or 48-hour City Sightseeing pass and discover ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 1 to 2 days

From USD $32.99
Golden Gate Park Segway Tour, San Francisco, Hop-on Hop-off Tours
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Golden Gate Park Segway Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 193 Reviews

Hop on an eco-friendly Segway for a convenient tour of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park! You'll see all 1,000-plus acres of the park as you learn the rich ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $75.00
San Francisco Explorer Pass, San Francisco, Segway Tours
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San Francisco Explorer Pass

4 star rating: Recommended 17 Reviews

Save money on some of San Francisco's best-known attractions with the San Francisco Explorer Pass. Choose four sights out of a list of 20 museums, boat tours, ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $69.00
The Original City Loop Electric Bicycle Tour, San Francisco, Sightseeing & City Passes
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The Original City Loop Electric Bicycle Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Explore areas off limits to tour buses on this truly authentic electric bicycle experience. Our guided bike ride takes you through the best neighborhoods.  ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.00
Go San Francisco Card, San Francisco, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Go San Francisco Card

4 star rating: Recommended 30 Reviews

See San Francisco your own way with the flexible Go San Francisco Card. Do as much or as little sightseeing as you like, at your own pace while saving precious ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Varies

From USD $79.00

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