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California Academy of Sciences (United States)

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California Academy of Sciences, {CATEGORY}

San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences has been entertaining locals and tourists for more than 150 years, and with the grand opening of the all-new Academy on September 27, 2008, it's now going stronger than ever. Four years and $500 million in the making, it's the only institution in the world to combine an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and scientific research program under one roof, and so vastly entertaining that the entire family could easily spend a whole day here. In fact, the spectacular new complex has literally reinvented the role of science museums in the 21st century, where visitors interact with animals, educators, and biologists at hands-on exhibits such as a four-story living rainforest dome and the world's deepest living coral reef display. Even the Academy's 2 1/2-acre undulating garden roof is an exhibit, planted with 1.7 million native California plants, including thousands of flowers (all that's missing are the Teletubbies). More than 38,000 live animals fill the new Academy's aquarium and natural history exhibits, making it one of the most diverse collections of live animals at any museum or aquarium in the world. Highlights include the Morrison Planetarium, the world's largest all-digital planetarium that takes you on a guided tour of the solar system and beyond using current data from NASA to produce the most accurate and interactive digital universe ever created, the Philippine Coral Reef, the world's deepest living coral reef tank where 4,000 sharks, rays, sea turtles, giant clams, and other aquatic creatures live in a Technicolor forest of coral, and the Rainforests of the World, a living rainforest filled with mahogany and palm trees, croaking frogs, chirping birds, leaf cutter ants, bat caves, chameleons, and hundreds of tropical butterflies. You can climb into the treetops of Costa Rica, descend in a glass elevator into the Amazonian flooded forest, and walk along an acrylic tunnel beneath the Amazonian river fish that swim overhead. Pretty cool, eh? Even the dining options here are first-rate, as both the Academy Café and Moss Room restaurant are run by two of the city's top chefs, Charles Phan and Loretta Keller, and feature local, organic, sustainable foods. The only thing you won't enjoy here is the entrance fee - a whopping $25 per adult - but it includes access to all the Academy exhibits and the Planetarium shows, and if you arrive by public transportation they'll knock $3 off the fee (how very green). Combined with a visit to the spectacular de Young museum across the Concourse, it makes for a very entertaining and educational day in Golden Gate Park.

Practical Information

Address: 55 Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA

City: San Francisco

State: California (CA)

Country: United States

Phone 1: +1 415 379 8000

Official site: www.calacademy.org

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9:30am-5pm. Sun 11am-5pm

Exceptionally closed: Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas day

Entrance fee: Admission $25 adults, $20 seniors 65 and over, $20 youths 12-17, $15 children 7-11, free for children 6 and under. Free to all 3rd Wed of each month

Access by bus: Bus 5, 16AX, 16BX, 21, 44, 71

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Customer reviews

More info

California Academy of Sciences, {CATEGORY}

San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences has been entertaining locals and tourists for more than 150 years, and with the grand opening of the all-new Academy on September 27, 2008, it's now going stronger than ever. Four years and $500 million in the making, it's the only institution in the world to combine an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and scientific research program under one roof, and so vastly entertaining that the entire family could easily spend a whole day here. In fact, the spectacular new complex has literally reinvented the role of science museums in the 21st century, where visitors interact with animals, educators, and biologists at hands-on exhibits such as a four-story living rainforest dome and the world's deepest living coral reef display. Even the Academy's 2 1/2-acre undulating garden roof is an exhibit, planted with 1.7 million native California plants, including thousands of flowers (all that's missing are the Teletubbies). More than 38,000 live animals fill the new Academy's aquarium and natural history exhibits, making it one of the most diverse collections of live animals at any museum or aquarium in the world. Highlights include the Morrison Planetarium, the world's largest all-digital planetarium that takes you on a guided tour of the solar system and beyond using current data from NASA to produce the most accurate and interactive digital universe ever created, the Philippine Coral Reef, the world's deepest living coral reef tank where 4,000 sharks, rays, sea turtles, giant clams, and other aquatic creatures live in a Technicolor forest of coral, and the Rainforests of the World, a living rainforest filled with mahogany and palm trees, croaking frogs, chirping birds, leaf cutter ants, bat caves, chameleons, and hundreds of tropical butterflies. You can climb into the treetops of Costa Rica, descend in a glass elevator into the Amazonian flooded forest, and walk along an acrylic tunnel beneath the Amazonian river fish that swim overhead. Pretty cool, eh? Even the dining options here are first-rate, as both the Academy Café and Moss Room restaurant are run by two of the city's top chefs, Charles Phan and Loretta Keller, and feature local, organic, sustainable foods. The only thing you won't enjoy here is the entrance fee - a whopping $25 per adult - but it includes access to all the Academy exhibits and the Planetarium shows, and if you arrive by public transportation they'll knock $3 off the fee (how very green). Combined with a visit to the spectacular de Young museum across the Concourse, it makes for a very entertaining and educational day in Golden Gate Park.

Activities nearby

Monument
Zoo
Museum
Park and square or garden

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