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“One of the world's best museums”

California Academy of Sciences
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Viator Exclusive: California Academy of Sciences Early-Access Admission
Ranked #13 of 542 things to do in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
136 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“One of the world's best museums”
Reviewed 29 November 2013

I absolutely loved this place. There are so many different things going on under one roof that you could easily make it a multi day experience if you're on a rare visit to this marvelous city.

Visited March 2013
Thank braumeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,751 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
65 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2013

Everyone should be allowed visit such an amazing and fascinating Academy, at least once, yearly.
This was the best value $25 I spent on my fortnight's visit to San Francisco.The wildlife,the plants the colourful birds,the roof garden,the enormous aquarium.The tropical dome world.All kept in a spotlessly maintained, vast and spacious building. Allow as many hours as possible,in your schedule, to enjoy this spectacular edifice.You will want to re visit many of it's fine displays.
Go for the Planetarium Shows alone, and you will not be disappointed;or feel short changed.The best show of it's kind, I have ever seen.
Enjoy the delight in the kids voices, as they quiz the staff on the many interactive display units , and exhibits all round the Academy.Go, bring the kids-no matter what age they are.

Visited November 2013
Thank Liam G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
152 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Discoveries at every corner”
Reviewed 27 November 2013 via mobile

We spent several hours here and still did not see all the exhibits. Enjoyed the Earthquakes planetarium show. Great facility, with many Eco-features, including water bottle refilling station, recycling and green roof. Excellent cafe.

Visited November 2013
Thank vkbrennan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Hours flyby here!”
Reviewed 26 November 2013

This was such a highlight on my trip! There's a lot things to occupy yourself with. The Legion of Honor is also just across the park so you can visit it after. It's very accessible from town, we got a bus right from Fisherman's Wharf which took us here. The fish here are amazing! There is a huge fish wall and heaps of different types of of sea animals. Very mesmerising. The planetarium was awesome as well. The rainforest was very well designed and you're able to get great close up shots. It's cool that butterflies and birds actually fly around you in the open. This is a great place to take kids although I think anyone would enjoy the trip.

Visited January 2013
Thank Jana P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nightlife is highly recommended”
Reviewed 26 November 2013

If you are 21+ age and looking for a place to hung out after work or at night, Thursday night "Nightlife" is a great place to visit. I took my parents (70+) and they enjoyed. You can see the stars, interesting creatures, and the depths of the sea with music and a cocktail in your hand and wonder in your eyes. When we visited, they had a Halloween Party. It was interesting to see people dressed as panda and lion watching fishes and creatures. Reasonable price (reduced compare to daytime entrance) yet very worth place.


Visited November 2013
Thank traveldog2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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