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“So expensive for a science museum!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of California Academy of Sciences

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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$55*
and up
Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences...
Ranked #12 of 317 Attractions in San Francisco
Type: Educational Sites, Natural History Museums, Science Museums, Observatories/ Planetariums, Aquariums, Museums
Activities: Arts and crafts, Leisure education
More attraction details
Attraction details
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 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.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
160 reviews 160 reviews
55 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
“So expensive for a science museum!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

We were told on the tour bus that is was free admission on this particular day- she was wrong! It costs a lot of money to get in here, and it's not that brilliant.
Then they charge you 2 dollars for your bag or coat.....
The big highlight is the Rainforest right there in the middle of the building. We arrived fairly early, and there was already a line. This got a lot bigger after we had lunch. However, it was Saturday.

There is a very good selection of food. My daughter and I had mac and cheese (love this) and fried chicken which was so juicy and tasty. However, my husband opted for a pork taco, something he ordinarily would never go for, and it was horrible, greasy and cold. He also had the Vietnamese pork bun, this was better. Cost about 40 dollars for everything.
The Earthquake experience was good fun. The aquarium is also very good, lots of interesting fish.They have a curved glass ceiling so that you can walk through with the fish directly above you.
We didn't get to the living roof, because we decided to catch the tour bus back. It is very difficult to get to this museum on Public transport. As we still had hop on, hop off tickets that day, we opted for the easy option. Shelly was a unique guide, I have to say, as we headed up to the Park.
Wouldn't recommend this especially, as we all thought the admission price was eye-wateringly expensive. However I will concede it was our last day in San Francisco, after a really tiring road trip, the holiday of a lifetime in fact, and we were a tad jaded.
Children under 12 might fare better with this. And, stupidly, we missed the white Alligator!

Visited August 2013
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Sarasota, Florida
Top Contributor
280 reviews 280 reviews
54 attraction reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
“Love this place!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013 via mobile

We just love this museum. What's great about it is that it has wonderful, well designed and informative exhibits in a really cool atmosphere. The biodome is so well put together. It contains a variety of specimens of insects, birds, reptiles , butterflies and aquatic life in exhibits which are educational as well as awesome. For instance, some butterfly exhibits only have a few butterflies. This one is so full of butterflies that they literally land on you! The aquarium on the lower level has such a wide variety of sea creatures that you could spend hours there. The interactive panels offer up tons of information about what you're observing. The planetarium is also fun and informative. The museum cafe is not to be missed! It really good food. Go figure! The museum is great for families with kids, young or old, or for those of us who just love learning about stuff.

Visited September 2013
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Herrin, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

This was our second trip to the CAOS. The academy covers may areas of science, so there are many things to learn about. The food is a bit expensive and not great, so you might want to eat before going. The staff are all well informed and nice.

Visited September 2013
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Geraldton, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Something for everyone”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

We went on the Thursday night (no children under 18) music, wine,all kinds of exhibits! The Marine biology was fantastic, I did not know how extraordinary creatures live in our oceans.

Visited September 2013
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Plymouth, Minnesota
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“average museum, poor value”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

This museum seemed quite average by my midwestern standards and absolutely not worth $35 per adult admission. At least the on-street parking was free!

Visited August 2013
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