The California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94118- Map It
Phone: (415) 379-8000

AAA Editor Notes

The California Academy of Sciences is in Golden Gate Park at 55 Music Concourse Dr. Parking is available but limited; use public transportation. Muni's 44 bus line (O'Shaughnessy) stops at the Music Concourse on Tea Garden Drive (southbound) and in front of the academy on Music Concourse Drive (northbound). The 5 (Fulton) and 21 (Hayes) buses stop at 8th Avenue and Fulton Street just outside the park; from there it's a short walk to the museum.</br>Leading the way in sustainable architectural concepts, the building makes use of such recycled material as blue jeans for wall insulation. And the &#8220;living roof&#8221; is just that: a 2.5-acre carpet of native plants that include four species of perennials and five species of wildflowers. Seven green hillocks provide a distinctive undulating profile, which visitors can view up close from the rooftop observation deck.</br>Visitors ages 21+ can enjoy music, cocktails and special presentations at NightLife on Thursday evenings.</br>Dioramas in the Kimball Natural History Museum's African Hall showcase mounted lions, zebras, baboons and other animals; African penguins and Old World chameleons are among the living residents. The Foucault Pendulum, suspended from the ceiling next to the planetarium, proves irrefutable proof of planet Earth's rotation.</br>The Steinhart Aquarium's twin highlights are the Philippine Coral Reef, a 212,000-gallon tank populated with a spectacular assemblage of tropical fish that gleam like multicolored jewels, and the 100,000-gallon Northern California Coast tank, inhabited by such indigenous marine life as sea anemones, sardines, rockfish and grouper.</br>The all-digital Morrison Planetarium's state-of-the-art projector and software technologies present programs onto a 75-foot screen tilted at a 30-degree angle, seemingly immersing the viewer in space. Traditional star shows are augmented by special programming such as live NASA feeds.</br>In the Osher Rainforest, a four-story domed enclosure, visitors follow a spiraling path upward through an exhibit lush with orchids, bromeliads and mahogany trees and filled with free-flying birds and butterflies, reptiles and amphibians.</br>Guided tours are available. Food is available. </br>
$35.95; $30.95 (ages 12-17, ages 65+ and students with ID); $25.95 (ages 4-11). Admission is discounted $3 for those arriving on foot, by bicycle or by public transportation. Admission is free to all on four select Sundays a year on a first-come, first-served basis and on two weekends a year for San Francisco residents; early arrival is recommended on these days.
Station: Judah & 9th Ave
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9:30-5 (also Thurs. 6-10 for ages 21+), Sun. 11-5. Last admission 1 hour before closing. The schedule for the planetarium varies; phone ahead. The planetarium show is not recommended for children under 7. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Phone ahead to confirm schedule. Allow 4 hours minimum.