55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94143
NileGuide Expert tip:
Yes, the lines can be long; we suggest arriving early or booking tickets online on the museum's web site, linked on the left side of this page. You can book tickets from 24 hours up to 90 days in advance.
Renovated and reopened in late 2008, the California Academy of Sciences has a lot to boast about. With a four-story tropical rainforest, an aquarium housing over 38,000 species of fish, the deepest coral reef exhibit in the world, an impressive all-digital planetarium, and a host of other exhibits that take visitors on a tour of the natural world, it's no wonder tourists and locals alike are lining up every weekend. The building is an attraction in and of itself. A gem of sustainable architecture, it features a living roof made of solar panels and 1.7 million species of native plants, uses recycled denim for insulation, and has floor-to-ceiling windows that give visitors a seamless view of surrounding Golden Gate Park greenery. Underscoring its hip, green image, the California Academy of Science's café serves up decidedly healthy, yummy dishes that even kids could like (and that's no small feat).