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California Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences

star-4.5
3,541 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
Skip-the-Line 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
MARTHA_R, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
I had a great time! I did get motion sickness in the planetarium exhibit but I still enjoyed it. My favorite experience was seeing Claude the albino alligator!!
star-5
Great time At the academy
Sue_W, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Rain forest and the open manta ray pool. Watching all the live butterflies and birds and seeing some of the rain forest species was super interesting!
star-5
Great experience
Andrea_M, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
absolutely loved it! great spot for me and my boyfriend they had a little cafe and the food was actually good! i would love to come back
star-5
Thumbs up for Academy of Sciences
Isaac_M, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
The Aquarium section- was enjoyable to see all the fish up close. Very nice to see the various types of marine life. We also enjoyed the atrium with the free flying birds, and butterflies. It made you aware of their habitat and to honor it.
star-5
Amazing
Rudy_R, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
The planetarium was out of this world. Beautiful presentation. Loved the butterflies in the rain forest. And being able to walk under the fish in the aquarium was really cool!
star-5
Awesome
Heather_C, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
The fairest will. And all of the nice people at Academy of science It was an awesome trip the albino alligator is something for everybody to see
star-5
Fun, educational day for all ages
Nana, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Our grandson loved every moment. Searching for animals in the rainforest, learning about sharks, even eating our lunch with an aquarium right next to us. The planetarium had a wonderful show which kept his attention. We will be back.
star-5
No wait!
Davealyn_S, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Skip the line was awesome! We observed a long line of people waiting to get in, but we were able to just walk right in.
star-5
WONDERFUL
Tina_H, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Enjoyed everything, but my favorite was the planetarium. Was pleasantly surprised with the penguin exhibit.
star-5
Great place with kids!
Shannon_T, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Great place to take your kids!!! Food is pricey - but you can bring your own. Make sure to visit the Rainforest and get in line early.
star-5
Yuriy
yuriy_a, Aug 2021
Skip-the-Line California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Everything it’s was nice accept food, too expensive? Service and employees very gently, friendly keep going like this all the time! 🙏 for everyone ! Respect from me and my grandson David!

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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