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“Okay...not really worth the money”

California Academy of Sciences
Book In Advance
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$34.95*
and up
Viator Exclusive: California Academy of Sciences Early-Access Admission
Ranked #14 of 535 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 older children, Activities for young children
Georgetown, Delaware
Level Contributor
150 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Okay...not really worth the money”
Reviewed April 29, 2014 via mobile

We were very excited to go to this museum, but were slightly disappointed in the end. The overall experience included many versions of an aquarium, rain forest, and natural history Museum. The best part of it was the free included planetarium experience, although it only lasted about 20 minutes. We only spent about two hours in this museum.

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1 Thank Roxygurl761
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
222 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Great way to spend hours and learn too”
Reviewed April 29, 2014

Friendly staff and very knowledgeable - 4 year old was excited to return and asked to come back next day also.
Great displays and animals kept everyone entertained.
Wish the Skull exhibit were open, maybe next time.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank stefhim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great day out”
Reviewed April 27, 2014

We found this last minute whilst looking for things to do in San Fran and so glad we visited! Great day with some really interesting exhibits. The tropical aquarium was awesome. The earthquake simulator was cool as well and interesting to learn about the historic San Fran earthquakes. The cafe there is super expensive so try and avoid eating there, and parking is also really expensive. But other than that it's a great day out and well worth a visit.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ksmithy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Interesting in parts, that's all”
Reviewed April 27, 2014

This was interesting in parts but we found that it didn't justify the hype. The earthquake simulator was good but it lasted 2-3mins. Besides that, we breezed through the rainforest. If it wasn't for the Dark Universe presentation, this was a 1 star. Even with it, we did not want to stay here after 1.5hours.
Parking was too expensive & it was difficult to find a spot (took us 20mins) and the entry fee could be cheaper too for what's on offer. Food is also quite expensive and options for vegetarians are limited.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank nitinma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cave Junction, Oregon
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“an adventure in discovery”
Reviewed April 24, 2014 via mobile

Wonderful exhibits. Rain forest, aquarium, earthquakes, stars and so much more. Lots of interactive fun for children. And check out Claude the albino alligator. Go early. Expect to spend 3 + hours.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank 4donkeys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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