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CA Academy of Sciences page

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San Francisco, California
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California Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park
- Aquarium / Amazon Forest
- African Hall / Penguins
- Living Roof / Observation Terrace
- Planetarium
- Rainforest / Birds & Butterflies
- Restaurants - Piazza, Cafe, Moss Room
- The Swamp / White Alligator
- Nightlife at the Academy
  (Thursday Nights)

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 and circular skylights gave us the feeling of being 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.

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General Admission
Admission includes access to all Museum and Aquarium Exhibits, the Rainforest, the Living Roof, Planetarium Shows* and daily regularly scheduled events.

Morrison Planetarium
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.

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Rainforests of the World
— Magical Setting
The magnificent Rainforest is one of the Academy's highlights — it's our favorite area of the musuem.

Get 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.

More 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 remember it?

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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, anacondas, giant catfish, piranhas, electric eels, spotted stingrays ... and more!

More Info and Pictures of the Aquarium, Coral Reef, Amazon-Flooded Forest and "Tunnel of Fish"

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The Living Roof and
Open-Air Observation Terrace
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.

More Info and Pictures of the Living Roof and Open-Air Observation Terrace

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The Swamp
— 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.


Natural History Museum
— 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 Reef.

Tusher African Center
(African Hall)

African Hall, a favorite venue from the original museum, features recreations of animals in their natural settings — 21 African dioramas showcase zebras, gorillas, lions, and leopards.

South African Penguin Colony
— Penguin Feedings Daily
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

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Academy Piazza
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!

Academy Restaurants
Over 1.7 million plants on the Academy's new Living Roof provide ingredients for its two restaurants — The Moss Room and Academy Café.


Foucault Pendulum
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 ball swinging back and forth. As the Earth rotates the pins come into contact with the constant arc of the bob and are knocked over.

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Host Special Events
415-379-5497
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.


Academy Hours
Mon-Sat 9:30am-5pm
Sun 11am-5pm

Extended Summer Hours
Mon & Tues thru' Sept. 8, doors remain open until 8pm

Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

Nightlife at the Academy
"Nightlife at the Academy" — Don't miss this FUN evening event on Thursday nights 6-10pm. Adults 21 and over.


More Info
California Academy of Sciences
415-379-8000

55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
Google Map of California Academy
of Sciences

Tour Group Info
415-379-5210


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CA Academy of Sciences page

Aquarium / Amazon Forest

African Hall

Penguins @ African Hall

Living Roof /Observation Deck

Planetarium

Rainforest

Restaurants

The Swamp / White Alligator


Back to SF Museums page

Back to main Golden Gate Park pg

 

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Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket

Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences "Behind the Scenes Platinum Tour"

Early Access Admission: California Academy of Sciences



Aeria View of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Living Roof at the Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park

Glass Domed Skylights at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Nightlife at the Academy

Rainforest at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Green Gecko of Madagascar in the Rainforest at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Butterfly of Costa Rica in the Rainforest at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Tunnel of Fish in the Amazon Flooded Forest and Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Coral Reef in the Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Living Roof at the Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park

Rare White Alligator in The Swamp at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Morrison Planetarium - The Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park

Foucault Pendulum - Academy of Science - Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

Mingle and explore the musuem at night - Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

Little girl looking at the African Dioramas in Africa Hall at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Penguin Feeding at the Penguin Colony in African Hall at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

The Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park - Islands of Evolution

California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Aerial View of California Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

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