Interior of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco
Interior of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Drive, 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. California Academy of Sciences tours are limited to behind-the-scenes visits, or hop-on hop-off bus tours that stop nearby.

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California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
$40.75 per adult
Traveler Favorite
California Academy of Science
This is a wonderful learning experience for folks of any age. Its worth the lines. The rainforest and aquarium were really great.
Sally_O, Mar 2024

Things to know before you go

  • The behind-the-scenes tours are great for kids and make for prime family outings 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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Trip ideas

An Art Lover's Guide to San Francisco

An Art Lover's Guide to San Francisco

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 event that combines museum entry with themed activities and drinks, often with expert speakers, workshops, and live music or a DJ. The event is suited for adults aged 21 and over only.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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