California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

4.4
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. By using our San Francisco day trip planning site , you can arrange your visit to California Academy of Sciences and other attractions in San Francisco.
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California Academy of Sciences Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
5,190 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This is a fantastic museum to visit, particularly with children. It can certainly get a bit busy, but if you arrive when the museum opens, you typically get a hour or so where things are reasonably qu...  more »
  • We made the Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit right before they left. This exhibit was fantastically done with interpretive interactive displays, actual bone specimens, and life-sized constructed...  more »
  • A great place to visit, I visited with my children 9 & 12. We spent the whole day exploring and learning. This is a hidden gem in San Francisco. I though this was an great interactive fun learning exp...  more »
Google
  • I would say that this is one of the best science museums of all time. I remember back in the days schools would take entire grades to visit this spectacular museums. There are so many different sections and specimens do this large museum, that it'll take at least 6 hours to explore everything. 6/5 you should definitely visit this place. It also has a beautiful park next to the museum which is great for a stroll.
  • This is a great place to stop if you are in San Francisco and you have some time to kill. It isn't quite as vast as the Smithsonian or something of that tier, but there are neat exhibits to check out. The planetarium is definitely worth the wait and the earthquake simulator was interesting (maybe don't wait in line for it though). The food was abysmal, definitely eat before, after, or bring your own food. Super expensive, and probably only worth about 10% of the actual cost.
  • I arrived around noon. I stayed until close. I started in the aquarium section, but I'd suggest grabbing tickets to any planetarium shows you want to see early on. The planetarium shows are great, and vary by topic. The aquarium is awesome, plenty of exhibits to see. I'd recommend, however, doing the rainforest walk first. It spits you out right into the aquarium, so you can fluidly move from one to the other. Food is pricey, but there's a cute outdoor area in which to eat. Definitely worth an afternoon. Check out the top floor, there's a roof area as well!
  • It is hard to overstate how excellent this place is. You can be captivated and engaged from just a few months old right up until you die! There is a gentle and recommended flow (rainforest -- aquarium -- planetarium -- special exhibits) that works well for me, but you are not held to this. Minimum of the hours here, but up to five is easy to fill. My one to is to pack your open food. Especially with a family, the captive eatery prices will hurt. Apart from some exhibits and sleeves your are free to eat / drink around the place and it is lovely to see families and people munching whilst stressing up at the fish, or feeding at the crocodile.
  • To get the most out of your California Academy of Sciences experience (especially since it's not cheap) you need to make a day of it. Plan for a day when it's not too packed with people and take your time touring the exhibits. Check out the calendar on the website before you go to see what events they have planned for the day. It's an awesome place. You'll learn something and be entertained. I particularly recommend the planetarium. Also, know that the staff, scientists and volunteers who are part of it are really dedicated to knowledge and conservation, so by visiting you're supporting something really important.

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