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California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

(4,400+ reviews on the web)
Natural History Museum
Explore one of the world’s largest museums of natural history at California Academy of Sciences. Located in Golden Gate Park, the center offers the world’s only combined aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and living museum. Ride past tigers and elephants on a simulated African safari or admire tropical animals and vegetation by climbing through the canopy of a living rainforest. Don’t miss the chance to shake things up in the earthquake simulator. Free parking is available for the first 4 hours. Use our San Francisco tour planner to arrange your visit to California Academy of Sciences and other attractions in San Francisco.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • together with a friend, I explored the museum at night. besides the great and informative expositions, there were many activities. there were even bars and a dancefloor. this was the most engaged muse...  more »
  • If you're in SF for Thursday night, the Academy of Sciences becomes a bar and for less than half the price you would spend during the day, you can enjoy the exhibit with less of a crowd and with a dri...  more »
  • We happened to show up on National Field Trip day! But we just went the other direction and by noon it had cleared out and it was easy to get around and see everything. Initially one thinks 35 dollars...  more »
Google
  • I expected a museum of science and what I got was so much more. This attraction is very well thought out and it shows! The various features they have are enticing and I felt as though I had to go to each and every different thing they offered. The color of life section was really neat as was the African animals section. In every different section I went to there was always a staff member who could answer questions knowledgably and with tact. It sparked my curiosity in many ways. Even though the animals and the color of life features were neat, the rainforest and deep sea features really stood out to me. They had exotic animals that were so close and accessible. I think that the most impressive thing about this place is not what they have really but how they present it. They really attempted to (and succeeded) make it a hands on learning environment. It would be a great place to bring children and allow them to interact with the exhibits. Would highly recommend.
  • One of the coolest experience of recent years was nightlife at Academy of Science. I went there when they had a yoga night and it is really hard to describe the excitement off doing yoga with hundreds of other people in the middle of Academy of Science. In addition nightlife only cost $15 and there are no children allowed as well as drinks and food are available for purchase. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting or living in San Francisco
  • I really enjoyed the day I spent at the museum. Lot's of different exhibitions to explore, good food, beautiful building and a huge aquarium. The only thing that bugged me sososo much was a certain attraction in the aquarium. I don't care how many times anyone tells me that "it's okay" to touch the starfish and sea urchins, when I see the people pressing their fingers into those beautiful animals and lifting them up out of the water, I really want to throw a fit. The first thing you learn as a scuba diver (and trust me, I am one) is not to touch ANYTHING that lives in the water. So seeing this made me feel so bad and it made a big damper in my otherwise nice day. If only the academy got rid of this "attraction" I'd be more than happy to come again and give it five stars.
  • Great place to spend a couple of hours productively - learning something new. The planetarium is great and the Amazon rainforest exhibit is awesome. The cafe is overpriced for the quality of food but a great place to sit and enjoy a meal.
  • This place is cool to visit at any age. Besides going to the top and walking outside and visiting the "living roof," you can easily spend all day and visit the aquarium, walk in a rainforest, experience the planetarium and earthquake simulator, visit the natural history room filled with animal taxidermy and live swimming penguins. I like also seeing Claude, the albino alligator. If you get to see him move and open his mouth, the crowd, especially small kids, around you will get excited and squeal with joy. The Cal Academy of Science is right across the DeYoung Museum. There is a parking garage, street parking (walk several blocks) and, of course, MUNI. Tickets are pricey, but worth the educational experience. Kids under 4 get in free. If you are a SF resident (and can prove it with official ID), 2 times a year (Fall and Spring) you can get in free depending on your SF zip code. If you don't live in SF, the Academy has 4 Sundays / year that are free. Check the Academy site for details.