California Academy of Sciences

Museums, Science and technology Golden Gate Park
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
California Academy of Sciences (Photograph: Tim Griffith)
Photograph: Tim GriffithCalifornia Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences (Photograph: Tim Griffith)
Photograph: Tim GriffithCalifornia Academy of Sciences San Francisco, California Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
California Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences

True to its name, the Academy is a showcase for all things science. Astronomy? Check! Their Morrison Planetarium is state-of-the-art. Marine biology? Check! The Steinhart Aquarium takes up the museum’s entire lower floor with exhibits like the world’s deepest living coral reef display. Ecology? Yup, they’ve got that too, in the form of a four-story living rainforest which is home to butterflies, birds and a variety of tropical plants. In fact, right down to the design of its building, which is insulated with salvaged Levi’s jeans and has a “living roof” that is home to 1.7 million native plant species, the California Academy of Sciences embraces the latest in scientific research and education. Come with the kids for an afternoon or join the party on Thursday evenings when guests over 21 are invited to visit permanent exhibits and specially themed lectures and events with a cocktail in hand.

By: Shoshi Parks


Venue name: California Academy of Sciences
Address: Golden Gate Park
55 Concourse Dr
San Francisco
Cross street: at Golden Gate Park
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 9:30am–5pm; Sun 11am–5pm
Transport: Bus 5, 16X, 44, 71
Price: $$
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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During my first-ever trip to San Francisco, I visited the California Academy of Sciences. A friend and host kicked off the trip by bringing us on a Thursday night when the museum opens its doors not just for perusing, but also for happy hour. The mixture of cocktails, millennials, and a natural history museum sounded like recipe for disaster, but was instead an amazingly fun time. The relaxed nature of the evening made the museum experience feel more intimate and engaging than I’ve had at other institutions – this is indicative of SF’s city vibe on the whole. I had a great time exploring the Osher Rainforest exhibit and, of course, meeting Claude, the albino alligator. A peak at the Naturalist Center’s specimens is also worthwhile.