California Academy Of Sciences

Currently Closed
  • Address: 55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, United States, 94118
  • Timings: 09:30 am - 05:00 pm Details
  • Phone: +1-4153798000
  • Ticket Price: 34 USD
  • Time Required: 04:00 Hrs
  • Tags: Museum, Aquarium, Educational Site, Tour, Planetarium , Entertainment, Family And Kids, Architecture , Natural History Museum, Social, Arts, Museums

California Academy Of Sciences - Review

The California Academy of Sciences is science museum in San Francisco and one of the largest natural history museums in the world. Originally established in 1853, this oldest museum in California has an aquarium, a planetarium, and a rainforest. It is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on a sprawling land of 400,000 square feet. It is also a scientific and educational institution that is working towards exploring, explaining, and sustaining life. You can easily spend more than half a day here.

California academy of sciences exhibits -

Steinhart Aquarium

More than 40,000 animals from 900 species call Steinhart Aquarium home. You will get to see the marine life at the California Coast as well as Philippine Coral Reefs here. It also arranges daily diving shows that take you to their special twilight zone. You will come across living corals and animals that glow in the dark. Take a tour of the Swamp area to see unique white alligator and turtles. The aquarium has a penguin colony and Water Planer that has, pythons, pipefish, jellies, lumpsuckers, and seahorses.

Kimball Natural History Museum -

Learn all about the process of evolution at the Kimball Natural History Museum. The Tusher African Hall tells you about the history that dates back to 7 million years along with fossils of early humans. At the Color of Life, you will understand how colors play an important role in our ecosystem. Giants of Land and Sea has some of the largest marine and land animals. It also explains the natural phenomenon that changes the geography. Gems and Minerals Unearthed has a fascinating display of Academy's geology collection. The Project Lab will give you a glimpse of scientists doing their work.

Osher Rainforest -

From butterflies to amphibians and from spiders to enormous Amazonian fish, Osher Rainforest has it all. This exhibit is inside a glass dome. Go through the Flooded Forest tunnel and be a part of the Amazonian tank that has numerous tropical, freshwater fish. You can also enjoy some hands-on activities at the Naturalist Center. These interactive experiences make Osher Rainforest unique and popular amongst visitors.

Morrison Planetarium - 

The 75-foot tall dome at the Morrison Planetarium has the digital universe that shows the latest findings, discoveries, and theories. The show tickets for the planetarium are included in the admission fee and you can easily reserve these at the planetarium kiosk. If you take the Nightlife VIP Tour, you will get a reserved space in the Planetarium.

Nightlife - 

California Academy of Sciences Nightlife is arranged every Thursday from 6 pm to 10 pm. It is an exciting addition that gives you access to all the exhibits after hours. From food and cocktails to entertainment and exhibits, you will find everything here. Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers that are hosted throughout the year are loved by children.

Dining -

There are several options to choose from when it comes to satiate your hunger at the academy.

  • The Terrace - Enjoy seasonal dishes that are made from local ingredients.
  • The Academy Café - From pizza to sushi, you will easily find your favorite dish here.

Shopping -

The Academy store offers everything from clothes, books, science kits to jewelry. Buy lovely souvenirs here that represent different exhibits.  

Tours -

  • Academy Behind-the-Scenes Tours - Take a one-hour guided tour to see the research collection that is not open to the public.
  • Aquarium Behind-the-Scenes Tours - Understand how biologists are taking care of 40,000 animals and how their breakfast is prepared. It will also give you behind-the-scenes access.
  • NightLife VIP Tours - Opt for this tour and get free cocktails along with a tour of gem and mineral collection. You will also get express entry into the building.
  • Animal Encounter - Get VIP entrance to Osher Rainforest and see the animals that are not on display.

Use our interactive planning tool and make a plan around California Academy of Sciences using San Francisco trip planner.

California Academy Of Sciences Information

  • Strollers are allowed throughout the museum, with the exception of the Shake House section of the Earthquake exhibit.
  • If you need to leave the museum but plan to return the same day, please be sure to get your hand stamped at the exit.
  • Dress in layers as the rainforest area gets quite warm.
  • The entrance is wheelchair-accessible.
  • An interpreter who is with differently-abled visitor gets free entry. 
  • The whole premises is designed in such a way that it visitors who are blind or partially challenged and visitors who are deaf or hearing-impaired can also explore.
  • Service dogs are welcome.
  • Group of 10 and more may get a 15% discount.
  • Sign up for their updates to know California Academy of Sciences free day.
  • California Academy of Sciences Free Day - Neighborhood Free Weekends are arranged a couple of times every year that allow San Francisco residents free entry.
  • Admission for children under 3 is free throughout the year.
  • Senior Admission Package gets a discounted rate for lunch.
  • You can buy tickets online through Labor Day weekend to save 4%.
  • Any active-duty military personnel are eligible for military discount. 
  • Some tours offer a 10-percent discount in academy dining and shopping venues.
  • You will find California Academy of Sciences parking free on the street and paid-parking near the academy.
  • Paid parking and street parking both are available. But, keep in mind that parking spots are limited and fill up fast.

California Academy Of Sciences Ticket Prices

California academy of sciences prices -

  • Adult: USD 39.95
  • Senior (ages 65+ with ID): USD 34.95
  • Youth (ages 12-17): USD 34.95
  • Student (ages 18+ with ID): USD 34.95
  • Child (ages 4-11): USD 29.95
  • Child 3 and under: Free

California academy of sciences tickets for Members: Free

California academy of sciences group prices (10 or more) -

  • Adult: USD 33.96
  • Senior (ages 65+ with ID): USD 29.71
  • Youth (ages 12-17): USD 29.71
  • Student (ages 18+ with ID): USD 29.71
  • Child (ages 4-11): USD 25.46
  • Child 3 and under: Free

California Academy of Sciences Nightlife Tickets -

  • Members: USD 12
  • Non- members: USD 15

Behind-the-Scenes Tours Tickets -

  • General admission: USD 24.95 per person
  • Members: USD 19.95 per member

Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers prices -

  • General admission: USD 119 per person
  • Members: USD 99 per member

School Field Trips Tickets -

  • San Francisco school groups: Free
  • Other California school groups: USD 9.95 per person
  • California-based youth serving organizations: USD 16.95 per person

California Academy Of Sciences Hours

General Hours -

  • Monday – Saturday: 9:30 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm

Members Hours -

  • Tuesday: 8:30 – 9:30 am
  • Sunday: 10 – 11 am

California academy of sciences nightlife hours (21+ with ID):

  • Thursday: 6 – 10 pm

 Aquarium Behind-the-Scenes Tour hours - 

  • Monday–Friday at 1 pm
  • Weekends at 10 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm

Academy Behind-the-Scenes Tour hours -

  • Monday–Friday at 11 am and 2 pm
  • Weekends at 11 am, 2 pm, and 3:30 pm


  • Last entry one hour before closing.


How To reach California Academy Of Sciences by Public Transport

  • Take the #44-O'Shaughnessy bus that stops right across the academy.

  • The #5-Fulton bus is also a good option.

  • You can also take the N-Judah Muni Metro that takes you to 9th Avenue and Irving Street. This stop is hardly 10 minutes away from the academy. 

  • If you are visiting on weekends or holidays, you can opt for the Golden Gate Park Shuttle.

Restaurants Near California Academy Of Sciences

  • Academy Cafe
  • The Terrace
  • Pacific Catch

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TripHobo Highlights for California Academy Of Sciences

  • California Academy Of Sciences Address: 55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, United States, 94118
  • California Academy Of Sciences Contact Number: +1-4153798000
  • California Academy Of Sciences Timing: 09:30 am - 05:00 pm
  • California Academy Of Sciences Price: 34 USD
  • Best time to visit California Academy Of Sciences(preferred time): 11:00 am - 04:00 pm
  • Time required to visit California Academy Of Sciences: 04:00 Hrs
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Things to Know Before Visiting California Academy Of Sciences

  • 31.48% of people who visit San Francisco include California Academy Of Sciences in their plan

  • 78.08% of people start their California Academy Of Sciences visit around 09 AM - 10 AM

  • People usually take around 4 Hrs to see California Academy Of Sciences

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

92.19% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting California Academy Of Sciences

People normally club together Golden Gate Park and Cliff House while planning their visit to California Academy Of Sciences.

* The facts given above are based on traveler data on TripHobo and might vary from the actual figures

California Academy Of Sciences Trips

California Academy Of Sciences, San Francisco Reviews

  • Lots of cool exhibits. The aquarium is definitely the centerpiece of the whole place, it's just awesome. The earthquake simulation was pretty cheesy, but maybe I feel that way because I actually experienced the one in 89. I don't know why they gave so much space to the Redwood Forest when you can go see it in person with a short drive. And why is there a room with simulated fog in San Francisco? Lol! If you can afford it, it's a fun way to spend a few hours.

  • So much more than just a "science museum"! The aquarium exhibits were so cool, with all sorts of interesting fishes (including a lungfish). We saw a planetarium show - it's not your average planetarium experience, so check it out. Go up to the roof, enjoy the sun, and see all the ways the building is made more sustainable. The Cal Academy has a great balance of information and fun, not being too flashy or too boring. Highly recommend a visit!

  • This was my main station in San Fransisco. This is a good academy for children to open their knowledge. And, a good place to spend time with family. They have all the facilities. Their 3-D space tour was amazing. The aquarium is fascinating.

  • We absolutely enjoyed visiting this museum. My son, age 8, had an absolute blast. He especially loved the walk through the rainforest exhibit. There were so many things to explore. Everywhere we looked while exploring there was something interesting. A great place for families with school-aged kids, especially those interested in animals, the environment, or science in general.

  • Loved this place! The planetarium, the aquarium, everything is so enjoyable that I spent at least 5 hours there until they close ☹️ and it wasn't enough! Tip: if you're gonna buy the tickets do it online! They are cheaper there. What I didn't like is seen so animals in small spaces! Like that alligator, it's really sad.

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