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“average museum, poor value”

California Academy of Sciences
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$35.95*
and up
California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket
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$60.90*
and up
California Academy of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes Tour
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$89.00*
and up
Viator Exclusive: San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Plus Bike & Bay Cruise
Ranked #13 of 546 things to do in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
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
Plymouth, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“average museum, poor value”
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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Thank sposka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Shaftesbury, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Interesting for all”
Reviewed September 5, 2013

Really great here, set in the lovely Golden Gate Park, the Academy had something for all, botanical gardens, the origin of man, study of earthquakes, history of animals, interesting for all ages a good place to visit and well worth the money.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Bubbles1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great museum, but expensive”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

This is a beautiful centre, focussed on the exploration of the natural world. The building itself is worth seeing, and the setting in the Park is fab if you're looking for a full day out. Get there early, as this is the only way to justify the ticket price. Having just been in Washington DC, visiting the free Smithsonian Museums, we found the entry charge to the Cal Academy eye-watering. However, the talks are interesting and educational, the staff are excellent, and you can get right inside many of the exhibits, making it a real sensory experience. If you like Natural History Museums, you'll love this place, but if you like your Science, don't miss out the Exploratorium.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank traveljules10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, California
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Love this place, must visit if you have small kids”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Kids will love this place. There is soooo much to see. Fishes (so many types), crocodile, butterflies, macaws, various plants, whale skeleton, real animal mummies, turtles, planetarium, glass tunnel and fish below the aquarium and you can walk in that, coral reef 3d show , restaurant etc etc... You can spend a whole day here without getting bored and also buy some souvenirs :)

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Amit G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“What sets it apart...the museum STAFF!”
Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

We loved the earthquake simulator, the walk through rainforest with all the layers and the planetarium. What we LOVED the most was that the staff was all around the museum. Everyone we encountered was ready to share their knowledge and get the kids critically thinking! Fabulous learning is taking place here!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Rochelle V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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