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California Academy of Sciences Tours

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California Academy of Sciences
One of the United States' premier science and natural history museums, the California Academy of Sciences holds a fascinating collection of 38,000 natural wonders. With its Morrison Planetarium, Steinhart Aquarium, four-story rain forest dome, and open-air, green "living roof," the academy is a highlight for many visitors to San Francisco.

The Basics
There's much to see and do at the academy, so a full-day visit is recommended. Check out the largest spherical rain forest exhibit in the world, where the air is humid and tropical birds and butterflies fly overhead. Or, enter the all-digital planetarium for special exhibits and an astronaut's view of Earth. Other highlights include the aquarium's California Coast, Philippine Coral Reef, and Water-World tanks; the penguins in the African Hall, and the museum's most popular resident Claude, an albino American alligator. Travelers can visit with a general admission ticket, take a behind-the-scenes tour, or stop by as part of a hop-on hop-off bus tour.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Cal Academy is great for kids and makes for a prime family outing in San Francisco.
  • The museum's two restaurants serve food throughout the day.
  • Hop-on hop-off bus tours stop near the museum, providing an easy way to get out to the site's location in Golden Gate Park, which is about five miles (8 km) from downtown.
  • Entry is included with the San Francisco CITYPass.
  • While you're in Golden Gate Park, take some time to visit other top attractions such as Stow Lake or the Japanese Tea Garden.

How to Get There
The California Academy of Sciences is located on the west side of the Golden Gate Park, about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from Union Square. While set away from central San Francisco, the park is easily accessible via public transportation on the #44 or #5 bus or the N-Judah Muni Metro streetcar. From the Embarcadero, expect about a 30-minute drive by road to the museum or a 40-minute public transit ride.

When to Get There
The Cal Academy of Science is open daily from 9:30am to 5pm, with an 11am opening on Sunday. Daily programs such as planetarium shows and penguin feedings take place between 10:30am and 4:30pm (check the day's schedule upon arrival).

NightLife at the Cal Academy of Sciences
Every Thursday night, the academy hosts NightLife, an adults-only even that combines museum entry with themed activities and drinks, often with expert speakers, workshops, and live music or a DJ. The even is suited for adults aged 21 and over only.


Address: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California 94118, USA
Hours: Daily 9:30am–5pm (Sunday from 11am)
Admission: Varies
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15 Tours and Activities to Experience California Academy of Sciences

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Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences NightLife Admission Ticket

Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences NightLife Admission Ticket

star-4.5
Pair science with San Francisco nightlife and you have NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences. This is the perfect, child-free way to explore the museum after hours. Make your way inside after skipping the long entrance lines, enjoy a lively venue of music, provocative science, and exhibits.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$23.00
From
$23.00
Taking safety measures

California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket: Skip the Line

California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket: Skip the Line

star-4
Enjoy easy access to the California Academy of Sciences with this skip-the-line pass. Walk right in with this pre-paid ticket to enjoy the museum's 4-story rain forest, planetarium, and aquarium. Avoid wasting your precious vacation waiting in the long lines to purchase tickets for this exhibit-packed museum. Your admission includes all shows and exhibits, and is a perfect activity for families.
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  • 3 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$36.95
From
$36.95
Taking safety measures

San Francisco CityPASS

San Francisco CityPASS

star-4.5
Save time and money with the San Francisco CityPASS, which gives you admission to top area attractions, a cruise on San Francisco Bay, and discounts for shopping and activities. You can choose to visit science and art museums like the Exploratorium or the Walt Disney Family Museum. You’ll have important details like hours of operation right in your pocket with the provided mobile ticket.
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  • 30 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$76.00
From
$76.00

Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

star-4
Ride a double-decker sightseeing bus to San Francisco's most famous landmarks with a choice of 3 different passes. Explore the city's 49 square miles, including stops at big-name attractions like Pier 39, the Palace of Fine Arts and Union Square. Go at your own pace, hopping off at any of 24 stops, exploring at your leisure, and then hopping back on when you're done. Your ticket includes a walking tour of Chinatown. Choose the Premium or Deluxe pass for additional upgrades including a night bus tour or a trolley tour in nearby Sausalito.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$36.00
From
$36.00
Taking safety measures

Go San Francisco Explorer Pass

Go San Francisco Explorer Pass

star-4
With the San Francisco Explorer Pass you’ll save money on four San Francisco attractions within a 60-day period. Select four activities among a list of 20 sightseeing cruises, tours, museum admissions, and transportation in and around the city. Take advantage of discount offers at retailers and restaurants, and use your complimentary guidebook to help you independently explore the Bay Area at your own pace. No voucher redemption is required; simply save on your mobile phone and enjoy direct entry to attractions. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes (purchased by December 31) are valid for two year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for 60 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased.
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  • 60 days
From
$61.00
From
$61.00

Golden Gate Park Segway Tour - Easy to learn then 2.5 hours of gliding fun

Golden Gate Park Segway Tour - Easy to learn then 2.5 hours of gliding fun

star-5
Explore San Francisco’s beautiful Golden Gate Park on this 2.5-hour Segway tour. Led by a local guide, you’ll pass top attractions like the Japanese Tea Gardens, the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences. All equipment is included, as well as a safety training. Cover even more ground on a Segway as you soak up Golden Gate Park's rich history and hidden gems from your guide.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$79.00
From
$79.00
Taking safety measures

California Academy of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes VIP Tour

California Academy of Sciences Behind-the-Scenes VIP Tour

star-4.5
Enhance your visit to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on this special behind-the-scenes tour to learn about the facility's animal life or its research focus. Plus, your tour grants you general admission, so you can also explore the attraction’s 4-story rain forest and planetarium at your own pace. Express entry to the Rain Forest exhibit and a reserved ticket to a show at Morrison Planetarium are also included.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$61.90
From
$61.90
Taking safety measures

Science Hop (incl. 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour + California Academy of Sciences)

Science Hop (incl. 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour + California Academy of Sciences)

See San Francisco's top sights and visit the California Academy of Sciences on this one-day combo tour. Cruise through the city on a hop-on hop-off bus, which allows you to disembark at any of the stops to check out attractions at your own pace. Then head to Golden Gate Park for an independent visit of the science museum, one of the city's favorite family-friendly venues with a wealth of entertaining and educational exhibits.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$89.99
From
$89.99

California Academy of Sciences NightLife VIP Tour

California Academy of Sciences NightLife VIP Tour

star-5
Peek behind the scenes at the California Academy of Sciences with VIP tickets to the Thursday NightLife—an adults-only event that proves museums aren’t just for kids. Sip cocktails and nibble hors d'oeuvres at a private reception, then go inside “The Vault” to see glittering gemstones and prehistoric treasures not on view to the general public. You’ll also take a walk on the wild side with express entry to the Osher Rainforest dome and get starry-eyed during a planetarium show.
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  • 1 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.00
From
$60.00
Taking safety measures

Go San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass with 25+ Attractions and Tours

Go San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass with 25+ Attractions and Tours

star-3.5
Tour San Francisco with the Go San Francisco Pass on your mobile device. See all the sites or just a few; it's your choice using this customizable touring option. Enjoy free admission at more than 30 popular San Francisco attractions as well as discounts on dining and shopping. Choose from 1-,2-, 3- or 5-day options to help you save as much money as possible on your vacation. Please note: Enjoy the extra flexibility in case your travel plans need to change: All passes (purchased by December 31) are valid for two year from purchase date and only become activated with your first attraction visit. After activation your pass will be valid for 30 days and/or the remaining number of attraction choices purchased.
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  • 5 days
From
$78.00
From
$78.00

1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

star-3
Make your own travel itinerary for the day while in San Francisco with this full-day hop-on hop-off bus pass. Ride a double-decker bus throughout the city, and hop off and back on at any of the stops along the route. Make stops at Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, Union Square, Chinatown, and more. For even more adventure, upgrade your ticket to include the Sausalito route and cross the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$57.78
From
$57.78

San Francisco Private SUV Tour see all main attraciton in under 3 hours

San Francisco Private SUV Tour see all main attraciton in under 3 hours

star-3
Experience the best San Francisco attractions. Private tour just for your party. Luxury SUV, knowledgeable and courteous driver. We encourage you to customize this tour to make it as unique as possible, making it unforgettable, one in a lifetime experience.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$222.88
per group
From
$222.88
per group

Alcatraz and Golden Gate Park Guided Bike Tour

Alcatraz and Golden Gate Park Guided Bike Tour

star-5
Combine two top activities in San Francisco with one package that includes tickets to Alcatraz Island and a bike tour of Golden Gate Park. When booking, select the date desired for your Alcatraz Island visit, which includes ferry ticket, admission, and self-guided audio tour. Your bike tour takes place the day before your Alcatraz reservation, and you can keep the bike until evening to explore more after the guided tour.
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  • 3 to 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$105.00
From
$105.00
Taking safety measures

Golden Gate Park Guided Bike Tour

Golden Gate Park Guided Bike Tour

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Get a comprehensive tour of Golden Gate Park via bicycle on this guided bike tour. Follow your guide through the enormous park on a comfortable, modern bike; there's no need to worry about navigation, so you can just enjoy the scenery. Highlights include Strawberry Hill, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the bison paddock. Along the way, learn about the park's history through your guide's commentary.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.00
From
$50.00
Taking safety measures

Golden Gate Park All Day Bike Rental

Golden Gate Park All Day Bike Rental

star-4.5
Explore Golden Gate Park on your own with a self-guided bike tour from a convenient location in the nearby Haight-Ashbury district. With suggestions from the provided map, you can make your way to highlights such as the California Academy of Sciences, DeYoung Museum, Japanese Tea Garden and Legion of Honor. Stop at Stow Lake where paddleboats can be rented, or ride all the way through the park to the Great Highway and Pacific Ocean. Your bike rental includes lock, helmet and map.
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  • 1 hour to 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$32.00
From
$32.00
Taking safety measures

Private Segway Tour through Golden Gate Park - 3 hours with your own guide

Private Segway Tour through Golden Gate Park - 3 hours with your own guide

star-5
See beautiful San Francisco by Segway on this 3-hour private tour. Enjoy routes that travel through Golden Gate Park and more. A local guide will lead the way, providing fun and insightful commentary as you discover San Francisco on two wheels.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$160.00
Price varies by group size
From
$160.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

San Francisco Scavenger Hunt: SF Park Tour and Haight-Ashbury Experience

San Francisco Scavenger Hunt: SF Park Tour and Haight-Ashbury Experience

Let’s Roam is the #1 app-led scavenger hunt company. Walk to all the best landmarks and hidden gems, answering trivia questions and solving challenges. Work with your team or compete against them, as you learn new facts and create memorable experiences. Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunts are great as an everyday activity, or for bachelorette parties, birthday parties, corporate team building events and more! Each player chooses an interactive role, with challenges varying by person.
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  • 2 hours
From
$12.31
From
$12.31

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are California Academy of Sciences hours of operation?
A:
California Academy of Sciences hours of operation: Daily 9:30am–5pm (Sunday from 11am). Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
Should I book California Academy of Sciences tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since California Academy of Sciences can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 15 California Academy of Sciences tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit California Academy of Sciences 2020?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to California Academy of Sciences costs USD 23.00. Guided California Academy of Sciences tours start around USD 23.00 per person. See all 15 California Academy of Sciences tickets and tours on Viator.
Q:
What's the best way to experience California Academy of Sciences?