• Visit Us
  • African Penguins
  • Rocky Reef in Steinhart Aquarium; Photo: Kathryn Whitney
  • Color of Life exhibit
  • Osher Rainforest
  • Morrison Planetarium
  • Water Planet

The California Academy of Sciences is a must-see San Francisco museum. Based in beautiful Golden Gate Park, it’s the only place on Earth to house an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, 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: the African penguin habitat will be closed for updates from January 6-24, 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience! During this time, the Academy’s colony of African penguins will reside behind the scenes where our dedicated team of animal care biologists can keep them safe and comfortable. Biologists and engineers will be busy making important habitat updates to accommodate the evolving needs of a number of elderly birds in our colony. The penguins will return on January 25.

    Featured Exhibits

    View into the entry of the Skin exhibit

    Closing soon! Skin: Living Armor, Evolving Identity
    Explore the shape-shifting, color-changing, ever-evolving nature of skin in our newest exhibit, closing Monday, January 20.

    Steinhart Aquarium
    One of the most advanced and biodiverse aquariums in the world, the aquarium is home to the world's deepest living indoor coral reef, a colony of African penguins, and more than 38,000 live animals representing over 900 species—including some you won’t find in any other aquarium.

    Morrison Planetarium
    Our planetarium is home to one of the largest all-digital domes in the world. Dive the world's most dazzling tropical coral reefs in our newest original show, Expedition Reef, or zoom through the Solar System in Passport to the Universe.

    Kimball Natural History Museum
    Explore majestic dioramas of African landscapes and animals and immerse yourself in exhibits that examine the evolution—and future—of life on Earth.

    Osher Rainforest
    Trek through a lush, four-story rainforest, housed in a spectacular glass dome while free-flying tropical birds and butterflies soar above and enormous Amazonian fish swim below.


    Events & Programs


    VIP Tours
    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.

    Penguins+Pajamas Sleepovers
    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.

    Where to Eat

    Relax and refuel during your visit and enjoy a meal or snack at one of two restaurants offering sustainable, local cuisine.

    Just for Kids

    Academy exhibits and programs are designed with kids in mind. Check out our top tips for parents traveling with tots.  

    Contact Us
    Have questions about the Academy? We're here to help.  
    (415) 379-8000