Based in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is a destination like no other and a must-see San Francisco museum. It’s the only place on Earth to house an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.
From the splashing penguins in African Hall to the wildflowers on the roof, the building is bursting with life. A four-story living rainforest and awe-inspiring coral reef ecosystem showcase Earth’s biodiversity, while immersive planetarium shows offer a new perspective on the planet we call home.
Please note: Morrison Planetarium will be closed for upgrades from September 6–October 20, 2016. It will re-open on October 21 with an all-new projection system, providing a richer, more immersive experience.
Stay tuned for the opportunity to vote on your favorite planetarium productions. We’ll play the top two shows when the planetarium reopens.
The Steinhart Aquarium is one of the most advanced and biologically diverse aquariums in the world, home to the world's deepest indoor living coral reef, an albino alligator, a colony of African penguins, a shark lagoon and more than 38,000 live animals representing over 900 species. Through partnerships with Academy scientists, who travel the world in search of new and little-known species, Steinhart’s biologists often display animals you won’t find in any other public aquarium.
Our planetarium is home to one of the largest and most advanced all-digital domes in the world. The Academy’s Visualization Studio produces award-winning original planetarium shows that tell stories about faraway galaxies—and our home planet Earth—using scientific data to depict the most current discoveries.
Kimball Natural History Museum
The Kimball Natural History Museum explores some of the most significant discoveries and issues of our time. Explore majestic dioramas of African landscapes and animals and immerse yourself in exhibits that examine the evolution—and future—of life on Earth. And don’t miss our earthquake simulator, the Shake House, while learning about the natural forces that have shaped the Bay Area.
Explore our lush, four-story rainforest, housed in a 90-foot glass dome and teeming with life from some of the most biodiverse places on Earth—from an ant colony and free-flying birds and butterflies to enormous Amazonian fish.
Want even more out of your Academy experience? Along with dozens of daily programs on the museum floor, there are plenty of ways to see and learn more during your visit and after hours.
Book a special guided tour to get a closer look at our live animals, discover our scientific collections, or learn what makes our museum the greenest in the world.
On Thursday nights, adults 21 and over can enjoy live music, cocktails, and special activities and entertainment in addition to exploring the entire Academy after dark.
Lectures & Workshops
The Academy partners with scientists from institutions around the world to host lectures on a wide range of topics. Astronomy buffs can learn more about discoveries within the final frontier at our Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lecture series.
Spend a night under the starfish! Explore all our exhibits after-hours, enjoy evening snacks and a wild story time, and choose where to roll out your sleeping bag—next to colorful fish or playful penguins?—at this family event.
What to See and Do
Only have an hour or two? Make the most of your visit with this guide to the Academy's can't-miss visitor favorites.
Take a moment to relax and refuel during your visit and enjoy a meal or refreshments at one of two restaurants offering sustainable, locally sourced dishes.
Our online store and four on-site retail locations feature gift items that are sustainable, distinctive, educational, and fun for all ages. From limited-edition items inspired by our exhibits to seasonal specials, there's always something new.
The Academy is a family-friendly museum with plenty of exhibits, programs, and activities designed with kids of all ages in mind.
The Academy provides a wide variety of services to welcome individuals with disabilities, including wheelchair access, accessible parking, and accommodations for service animals.
Bay Area Lodging
Visiting from out of town? You'll find a number of hotel recommendations on our lodging page.
Monday–Saturday: 9:30 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 11 am–5 pm
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Tuesday: 8:30–9:30 am
Sunday: 10–11 am
Make the most of your Academy experience with our mobile apps.
Save 49% on admission to the Academy and three other must-see San Francisco attractions—plus unlimited rides on Muni buses, streetcars, and cable cars.
Save up to 55% on admission to the Academy and 25 other San Francisco attractions.