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“So expensive for a science museum!”

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 550 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
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
202 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“So expensive for a science museum!”
Reviewed September 9, 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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2 Thank new_horizon1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
380 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Love this place!”
Reviewed September 9, 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
Helpful?
Thank jonsha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herrin, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great place”
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
Helpful?
Thank rexr483
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geraldton, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Something for everyone”
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
Helpful?
Thank Diana730
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Helpful?
Thank sposka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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