55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
94118
415.379.8000
Regular Hours:

Daily

9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday

11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:

Tuesday

8:30 – 9:30 am

Sunday

10:00 – 11:00 am
Closures
Notices

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 4/24. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Academy’s rainforest exhibit will be closed 5/6–5/7 for routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Academy History
 

On an evening in 1853—just three years after California joined the United States—seven men assembled in a candle-lit room in San Francisco and founded the first scientific academy west of the Atlantic seaboard.

The California Academy of Sciences soon became one of the west's most popular destinations, drawing 80,000 visitors annually to gaze at its giant wooly mammoth, lifelike grizzly bears, native plant specimens and rare artifacts.

But when the Great Quake of 1906 struck the city, the Academy's home and all but a handful of specimens were lost. It would not be the last time that nature exacted a price from those who sought to study, protect and preserve it.

In 1916, the Academy found a new home, the North American Hall in Golden Gate Park, where it grew over the decades to include Steinhart Aquarium, Simson African Hall, Science Hall, the Morrison Planetarium and more.

Then, in 1989, nature again took its toll in the form of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Major structural damage left the Academy in need of another beginning.

The Academy took advantage of this rare opportunity to rethink the Academy and the entire museum-going experience. The new vision: To create an institution for the 21st century - a premier destination of grand design, and one that would bring the latest in scientific research to the public in the most engaging, educational and inspiring way imaginable.

For more details on the history of the Academy, scroll through the timeline of images above.