Book a VIP Tour
Public guests, please note that you'll need to purchase a timed-entry Daytime Admission ticket as well as a VIP Tour ticket. Visit our Buy Tickets page to purchase your admission ticket, then add VIP Tour tickets to your order after selecting a visit date and time. (If you already have a Daytime Admission ticket, you can purchase a standalone VIP Tour ticket here.)
Members and donors, please reserve your free timed-entry admission tickets before returning to this page to book your VIP Tour tickets in a separate order. Please note that you will need to log in for each transaction.
About the tour
Explore the secrets of the Academy as you spend 45-minutes behind the scenes learning more about how the museum works—and what it takes to house nearly 46 million specimens.
On your tour, you'll visit the research collections and private gem vault—not on view to the public—and develop an appreciation for our vast library of life, which includes rare specimens from our ichthyology (fish), entomology (insects), ornithology (birds), and mammalogy (mammals) departments. (Please note: Tour includes stairs and unpaved paths.) For ages 8 and up. For your safety, tours are limited to 6 total guests. Members, your discount will be applied after login.
- 45-minute guided tour
- Behind-the-scenes access
- VIP express entrance to Osher Rainforest and Shake House earthquake simulator
- Reserved space in the planetarium
- 10% off shopping and dining
- $24.95/guest ($19.95 members)
Please note: A Daytime Admission ticket is required for public entry into the museum and to attend a tour. Guests must be age 8 or older to participate, and guests between the ages of 8 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Masks and physical distancing are required at all times.
Tours run on schedule, so please arrive early to check in and meet your guide at the tour cart. Refunds will not be given to no-shows or guests who arrive after the tour has departed.
Please email us at email@example.com or call us at 415-379-5854 to inquire about accessible tour options.
Service dogs are welcome at the Academy if providing assistance to individuals with disabilities, but a small number of areas, including the rainforest, research collections, and back-of-house, do remain off-limits. If you plan on bringing your service dog to the Academy or would like additional information, please call our Contact Center at 415-379-8000 and press 0 to speak with a representative.
Comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for indoor and outdoor environments are strongly recommended. Please note that open food and beverages, including gum and candy, are prohibited on the tour, as is flash photography and video.
For your safety, tours are limited to 6 total guests at this time.