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California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118 (Golden Gate Park)
415-379-8000
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As featured in 3 days in San Francisco
Ranked #21 of 375 attractions in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Type: Educational Sites, Science Museums, Aquariums, Observatories/ Planetariums, Natural History Museums
Activities: Arts and crafts, Leisure education
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum. Come nose-to-beak with penguins and parrots, watch sharks and sting rays cruise... more » Owner description: The world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum. Come nose-to-beak with penguins and parrots, watch sharks and sting rays cruise beneath your feet, and feel the spray of the California coast. Fly to Mars (and beyond the Milky Way!) from the safety of your planetarium seat, take a virtual safari in African Hall, or climb into the canopy of a living rainforest. Face your fears—and an albino alligator—inside the Swamp, and meet scientists as they return from research expeditions around the world. From the depths of a Philippine coral reef to the outer reaches of the Universe, it's all inside the California Academy of Sciences. « less
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
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1,568 reviews from our community

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English first
Belgrade, Montana
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014 NEW

The Academy of Science was actually one of our favorite things we did in San Francisco. The rain forest was neat. We arrived shortly after the doors opened for the day and beat the crowd. Well worth the money!

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Adelaide, Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 NEW

This place is like a combination of a museum, science centre and zoo. It is so well organised, beautifully clean from the garden rooftop to the beautiful butterfly house it is just a lovely experience for all ages. There are plenty of interactive activities where you are able to hear from experts on various animals, flora and fauna. You can... More

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Moultrie, GA
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
25 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014 NEW

Went here as a part of the CityPass. There was lots to keep us interested - planetarium show, penguins, aquarium, rain forest, etc. This is a great place for all 4 to 80..

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Ottawa
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 NEW

Come here prepared to spend 4-5 hours exploring this fantastic museum. The aquarium alone is a sight to be seen and was the highlight for me. The enclosed rainforest, with its tropical birds and butterflies, was a very cool experience, as was the planetarium, with a very high-tech and polished presentation narrated by the amazing Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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Anchorage, Alaska
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
23 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

This attraction was better than we expected from some of the reviews. We did attend the planetarium show and it was good. It wasn't too hard to get tickets. We enjoyed walking over the shark and ray tanks on wooden walk ways. Some of us enjoyed the African exhibit - the beginning is about ancient remains and the origins of... More

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Sacramento, California
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
65 attraction reviews
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

Mixed family group from 4 to 50 yrs, and we all enjoyed our time in the academy of sciences. There's a lot to see; allow adequate time. We were there from late morning until closing, and still did not see everything. Check out the planetarium, the rainforest, earthquake and skull exhibits, the aquarium, plus other areas as time permits. There... More

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Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

Went with a friend to the night exhibit and had a great time. Having traveled extensively in tropical countries (and visited Singapore's amazing indoor cloud forest), I was not blown away by the rain forest exhibit (though was still cool). The aquariums, in particular, were impressive though! It did get a little crowded in some places, but for the $12... More

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Warrington, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
20 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

Take the time to visit the Academy currently there is an amazing skulls exhibition. See the planetarium show and also have a look at the tectonic plate exhibition and earthquake demos. This was a great day and if time permits nip into the Japanese Gardens after the Academy for a moment of reflection and introspection.

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Brisbane
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

We experienced a whole day at the Accademy of Sciences. Out children were 8 and 7 at the time and loved the whole place. We saw one a show about the constellations, but due to travelling for 6 weeks we all found the chairs incredibly comfy and slept through the whole show! Nothing to do with the content but the... More

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Atlanta
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

First, it's very expensive. $35/ticket. Neat rain forest with butterflies flying all around. If you're lucky, one might land on you. Fun "interactive" earthquake exhibit. Lots of interesting fish in the aquarium and you can watch a penguin feeding, which was really cute. Planetarium show if you can get a pass. (We didn't.") I think there's another building across the... More

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