S.F. Bay Area
San Francisco, California
San Francisco Attractions
California Academy of Sciences
/ Amazon Forest
- African Hall / Penguins
- Living Roof / Observation
- Rainforest / Birds &
- Restaurants - Piazza, Cafe,
- The Swamp / White Alligator
- Nightlife at the Academy
California Academy of Sciences
— a "Green" Museum
WOW! What an amazing
museum — the
pictures just don't do it justice. It's by far our favorite museum
in San Francisco. It's also the most open museum we've ever visited.
Looking up at the domed ceiling
skylights gave us the feeling
inside a giant spaceship.
Golden Gate Park's
innovatively designed California Academy of Sciences re-opened
on September 27, 2008 — after a three-year renovation. It
is one of San Francisco's
most spectacular — and "greenest" buildings. The Academy is the only place in the world that houses one
of the world’s largest Planetariums, an Aquarium and Coral Reef, a Natural
History Museum, and a glass-domed Rainforest — all under the same roof.
The long multi-story rectangular
structure features a central open Piazza with two enormous glass
domes on either side (one houses a Rainforest, the other a Planetarium),
and 2.5-acres of "green" space on the Living Roof that
sits atop the structure.
The Academy's open, airy galleries
are filled with light and life — it's quite spectacular! There's a lot to see here, so
pace yourself — plan on spending the whole day if you want
to see everything.
Admission includes access to all Museum and Aquarium Exhibits, the Rainforest,
the Living Roof, Planetarium Shows* and daily regularly scheduled events.
Get a unique wrap-around
visual experience of outer space inside the Morrison
Planetarium — one of the world's
largest planetariums. *Note: Tickets are
required for Planetarium Shows — we suggest that you visit the kiosk
at the Planetarium entrance to select your show times when you first arrive, as tickets are handed out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Rainforests of the World
— Magical Setting
The magnificent Rainforest is one of the Academy's highlights
— it's our favorite area of the musuem.
an up-close view of animals and plants from the rainforests of Borneo,
Costa Rica and Madagascar — the Rainforest is filled
with more than 40 species of free-flying birds and beautiful multi-colored
butterflies. You may want to start your
museum visit here — it's very popular. Expect to
wait in line during peak times.
Info and Pictures of the Rainforest, Animals, Birds and Butterflies
The newly designed Academy is
quite a departure from the original museum. However, The
Swamp returns as one of the Academy's most popular
exhibits. Ditto African
Hall — another favorite venue from the original museum.
One thing that didn't return to this Academy was the famous "two-headed
snake" from years ago — do any of you San Francisco Natives
Aquarium / Coral
Reef / Amazon-Flooded Forest
The Aquarium is located below ground level — one
level down from the Academy's main floor.
Visit the amazing underwater Amazon-flooded
Forest and walk under the "Tunnel of Fish," check out the
beautiful Coral Reef (the biggest in the nation and the deepest in
the world) and Water Planet — see
thousands of exotic fish, small sharks,
a giant octopus, jellyfish,
catfish, piranhas, electric eels, spotted stingrays ... and
Info and Pictures of the Aquarium, Coral Reef, Amazon-Flooded Forest
and "Tunnel of Fish"
The Living Roof
This unique 2.5-acre "green" Living
Roof and Open-Air Observation Terrace is located on the Academy's top level. The rooftop provides
a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including birds
and butterflies — and serves as an exhibit on environmental
sustainability and biodiversity.
and Pictures of the Living Roof and Open-Air Observation Terrace
— Rare White Alligator
See a beautiful rare White Alligator and
a variety of swamp creatures at the Academy's Swamp, located on
the lower level.
— African Hall
— Naturalist Center
— Special Exhibitions
The Natural History Museum includes the African
Hall (don't miss the Penguins),
Special Changing Exhibitions, and the Naturalist
Center on Level 3. Enjoy fantastic
Academy views from the third floor walkway looking down at the
Piazza, Planetarium and Coral
Tusher African Center
African Hall, a favorite
venue from the original museum, features recreations of animals
settings — 21 African dioramas showcase zebras, gorillas,
lions, and leopards.
South African Penguin Colony
Walk to the far end of African Hall to see the
colony of South African Penguins.
More Info and Pics of
South African Penguins
and Penguin Feedings
You can't miss the huge open Piazza — it
dominates the space located just inside the Academy's main entrance.
This is a fun place to stop and rest your weary feet, grab a drink
and a snack — great people-watching too!
Over 1.7 million plants on the Academy's
new Living Roof provide ingredients for its two restaurants — The
Moss Room and Academy
The Foucault Pendulum is named after the French physicist, Léon
Foucault. The swinging
sphere proves that the Earth rotates. The force of gravity keeps the
forth. As the Earth rotates the pins come into contact with the constant
arc of the bob and are knocked over.
Host Special Events
Host a VIP Reception, Corporate Event or Private Party at the California
Academy of Sciences — a unique venue
sure to make any event a memorable one.
Extended Summer Hours
Mon & Tues thru' Sept. 8, doors remain open until
and Christmas Day
Nightlife at the Academy
at the Academy" — Don't miss this FUN evening event on Thursday
nights 6-10pm. Adults 21 and over.
Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
Google Map of California Academy
Tour Group Info
& Passes in San Francisco
& Passes in SF
CA Academy of Sciences page
/ Amazon Forest
Penguins @ African Hall
Roof /Observation Deck
Swamp / White Alligator
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