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California Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences

star-4.5
3,460 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
Wonderful museum
Silvia_P, Jul 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
We were so lucky to get our tickets in advance. This was a wonderful museum and sold out! My 12 year old son loved it as much as I did.
star-5
Interesting-educational and fun for all
Leta_W, Jul 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
My first visit. I found it to be very interesting, educational and fun. I was amazed at the life size skeletons of the T Rex and Blue whale. Highly recommended.
star-5
Marvelous
Sonja_E, Jul 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Everything! My grandson loves the planetarium. The shark display and the animal. We enjoyed everything that we saw and did. And the staff was very helpful In assessing you to where to go.
star-5
Weekday trip to CAS.
George_J, Jul 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
The Aquarium, Africa Hall and the friendly Staff. Go during the week, ideally later in the day to avoid crowds.
star-5
Really enjoyed
EndelisaBaldovinos, Jul 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Seeing my kids smile and that they really enjoyed the museum and aquarium I would definitely go again
star-5
Best Grandson and GrandMother Day Out Ever
Nana-IHorton, Jun 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
This trip was a surprise for my 11 year old grandson, and my first time visiting too. It was the “Best Grandson & Nana day out EVER”!! My daughter said my grandson talked about our trip all night long. I’m so proud and happy, it was “Awesome and Memorable for both of us “. Thank you,
star-4
Terrific, educational, really cool place to visit.
Kim_B, Jun 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
The rainforest and aquarium were so cool. I love the color strings. The guy near the penguins was very nice and helpful. Everyone was so nice and helpful.
star-5
Enjoy your day with no worries
Debby_D, Jun 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
Everything worked out perfectly. It made it so easy to schedule and pay for tickets prior to going to the museum.
star-5
Fascinating, educational and a great way to spend the day!
PamTR, Jun 2021
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
We spent more than half a day exploring and enjoying the exhibits. The rainforest was incredible As was the rooftop garden. We were disappointed that we couldn’t get into the planetarium. It can only be booked onsite but apparently people can reserve it for more than just that day so when we arrived at 10:15 am the whole day was already reserved.
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.

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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