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California Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences

star-4.5
3,424 Reviews
Daily 9:30am–5pm (Sunday from 11am)
55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, 94118

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.

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Recent reviews from experiences in San Francisco

star-5
Great day at science academy.
margo_t, Jun 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Great experience. Not crowded due to covid limits. Restaurant was open fortunately with limited menu. Food was good. Shark exhibit was enjoyable.
star-5
Great time spent
Linda_B, Jun 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
I have to say the planetarium was very boring compared to past experiences there. Nice time all in all with my son.
star-4
Great time!
Gabriel_A, Jun 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
It was great to see all of the interesting things. I loved penguins so being able to see the African penguins was a really great time. My girlfriend went with me as well and she loved the rainforest dome. She was taking photos of everything and staring down every single butterfly trying to figure what it was. It was a really great time for the both of us. I just wish we had known about reserving the places so we could have seen more.
star-5
10/10 VIP Tour
all0vertraveller, Jan 2020
California Academy of Sciences NightLife Admission Ticket and VIP Tour
It was a fantastic tour - great value for what is included! Only complaint is that we didn't get to see as much as the academy afterwards since it closes at 10pm. Suggest taking the 6pm tour and don't miss the earthquake simulator!
star-5
Awesome experience
Jonathan_J, May 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
It was a great experience! I think I may have enjoyed it more than my kids and they loved it! I will definitely be going back soon.
star-5
Grandson had a great time!
Yolanda_T, Mar 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
My 3 year old grandson had a blast! It was a little hard for him having to wait in different lines but he is the most patient 3 year old I know.
star-4
These tickets are amazing!
Jessica_S, May 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
These tickets allow you to walk right in! No reservation time needed to get into the Academy of Sciences. Even though tickets were sold out on the Academy of Sciences website these tickets got us in! I’m a little disappointed it’s so hard to get reservations for the rainforest, snake house and planetarium. I got there at 10am and all the reservation times had been filled. Overall it was a good experience. They have a great aquarium and the museum is interesting. I would not suggest taking a baby or someone under the age of 2. There isn’t a ton for little ones to do.
star-5
Perfect Monday
Shawn_F, Nov 2020
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Great time to visit Steinhart Aquarium. Not crowded and plenty of parking when we went on a Monday. Go early, it’s a whole day event!
star-5
Great for kids
sarahdines, Jan 2020
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Amazing visit. Great aquarium. The jellyfish!!! Also loved the rainforest and butterflies, wonderful!
star-5
Had fun at The Academy
Escape00093210344, Aug 2019
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Wondeful day at C A of S. My 15 year old lkved it and we are 55 and 59 and we thought it was great. We are all well travelled and I was worried that we have seen it all and we were nicely surprised .
star-5
Fun day with the family
Erica, Nov 2020
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
My family and I had a great time at the California Academy of Sciences on October 30. Due to covid the academy is only allowed open to 25% capacity for safety reasons. Masks are required at all times and hand sensitization stations are everywhere. I have to say it was the first time we were able to actually see everything since their is always a ton of people. Also with the rules in affect and everyone following them it was a very safe feeling to bring the family. From learning about redwoods, to earthquakes to rain forest to the aquarium it was all a big hit. We loved and were extremely grateful this day of learning tangible science safely. Thank you California Academy of Science for your wonderful staff who all were nice, your healthy food choices to eat lunch and your continued dedication to teach everyone about Science.
star-5
Skip the line and save time!
ValerieV1441, Aug 2019
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
I was hesitant to buy these tickets after reading other reviews about how it doesn't truly let you "skip the line." I'm happy to report that these tickets DO allow you to skip the line. I pulled up the voucher on my phone and I was able to scan it directly from my phone for entry at the "Ticketed Entry" door. The line to "Purchase Tickets" was nearby and was decently full for a Wednesday morning - we didn't have to stand in that line, yay! The only thing that could've been better is the ability to purchase student tickets. You can do this through the California Academy of Sciences website, but not on Viator.

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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