Museum Hack: A Day at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences.

Do you need a break from the chaotic life of San Francisco? Then you should surely visit the greenery of Golden Gate Park where you may discover city’s finest museums, which also include the California Academy of Sciences. Here you may get an opportunity to unravel the marvels of land, space and water – all under one living roof. The California Academy of Sciences is a home to living instances of charismatic plants and animals that make this place one of the most popular destinations among the locals.

Getting there:

You have to either board a train or bus or can take a private car to get there. You can board N-Judah Muni Metro Streetcar to reach the academy, which is available every 10 minutes. Get down at 9th Avenue and walk north and enter Golden Gate Park. Keep walking until you reach Music Concourse Drive and then take a right, and you will see the Academy’s entrance. You may take 10 minutes to reach the Academy.

You can also board the 5-Fulton bus and get down at 8th Avenue and Fulton Street. If you are travelling by car, then it’s a 5-mile drive.

Major Highlights of the California Academy of Sciences:

The museum has stored a lot of things that are interesting to see and fun to perform. You may spend an entire day and still will be unable to see everything at the museum. However, there are certain major highlights that you should see during your visit. They are as follows:

1. The Aquarium:

The Steinhart Aquarium covers the ground floor of the California Academy of Sciences. It houses around 40,000 different animals, which include butterflies, fish, penguins and also some strange animals such as jellyfish and leafy sea dragons. You may also find a rare albino American alligator between snapping turtles and colourful fish. His name is Claude and is one of the famous residents of the Academy. There are routinely scheduled shows to depict and discover his swamp life.

2. The Morrison Planetarium:

The Planetarium show is the coolest way to explore faraway galaxies, the fragile ecosystem of planet Earth, and other marvels that are floating up in space. Each and everything that you come across in the planetarium will share a close resemblance to the real universe. Many viewers have experienced flying sensations during a wide range of shows. This show is a big hit and has limited passes. Thus, the show passes are sold out very quickly and so book your seats as soon as you enter the museum.

3. The Rainforest:

A remarkable 90-foot-diameter glass dome encircles the rainforest.  Inside the dome, you will encounter a four-story rainforest, which houses free-flying butterflies and birds, exotic reptiles and enormous Amazonian fish that float above your head. The temperature is so different that it gives you an essence of biodiverse places on earth. During the tour, you may also come through a spiral pathway, which comprises three distinct ecosystems: Costa Rica, Borneo, and Madagascar.

4. The African Hall:

This section of the museum will provide you with tons of information on human evolution and about African wildlife. You may also come across a splashing colony of penguins that are seen diving in a 25,000-gallon tank. The best part is the penguin show in which you can watch Academy biologist feed them, and you can also ask questions. The African Hall is a part of a larger section, which is called the Natural History Museum. Here you will come across animal skeletons, fossils of our ancestor, and the most momentous discoveries and issues of this era.

5. The Living Roof:

The living roof is the soul of the Academy. You have to visit the top of the building to get a new and fresh experience of the natural world. Lush greenery covers the entire rooftop, and it seems similar to the rippling hills of San Francisco. It serves an incredible refuge to insects, birds and other creatures. Apart from this, the Living Roof arranges various shows that include stargazing, eclipse watching and investigating the smaller world of bees.

6. Dining:                                                     

During the tiring tour, you should take some time to taste the delicious food of the Academy. There are two destinations that are well-known for their exquisite cuisine. The Academy Café's wide-range options of multicultural dishes, novel pastries, gourmet coffee tea, and refreshing natural juices will surely charm you. The Terrace is perfect for a light afternoon meal and well-known for its classy and novel cuisine and fresh-casual service.

Make a full day of it: 

You can visit the California Academy of Sciences for particular shows that are just for a few hours and still have a great time. In fact, you can check the calendar that will help you to plan your day in the museum. You can visit the Academy for special nightlife events that usually takes place on Thursday nights for people 21 and above.

However, to get the real experience at the museum, you should spend a full day at the museum. So, start your day at the museum early, get your tickets for the planetarium show and see all the exhibits in the museum. Have lunch at the Academy Café or visit the Terrace for a mind-blowing and casual service.


  1. The California Academy of Sciences

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