San Francisco
Zoos & Aquariums

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Our most recommended San Francisco Zoos & Aquariums

San Francisco Zoo Admission Ticket

1. San Francisco Zoo Admission Ticket

Visit the San Francisco Zoo, home to over 2,000 animals and 250 species of plants. Your full-day admission ticket includes access to the Leanne Roberts African Region and the Valentine Family Savanna. Both zones offer multi-species landscapes with giraffes, zebras, kudu, ostriches, storks, and more. At Hearst Grizzly Gulch, get nose-to-nose with rescued grizzly bear sisters Kachina and Kiona. See how lemurs leap through the Lipman Lemur Forest, the largest outdoor lemur habitat in the country. Marvel at Penguin Island, home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins outside of the wild. Admire the Zoo's gorillas in the Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Feed and pet the farm animals in the Fisher Family Children's Zoo. Find the historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel and 1904 miniature Little Puffer Steam Train. Learn about the fun rides, educational programs, and exciting events for children.

San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences Entry Ticket

2. San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences Entry Ticket

Visit the world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The superb complex incorporates all 4 attractions under one living roof, with exhibits and shows that explain the universe! Don’t miss the African penguins – and 38,000 other live animals – at the California Academy of Sciences in the heart of Golden Gate Park, a must-see attraction in San Francisco. Rocket through the galaxy at the speed of light or journey deep into the oceans of the world as the Academy boldly brings life to life. Come face-to-face with snakes and piranhas, meet Claude the American alligator with albinism, and hang out with Pierre, Howard, Ocio, and the rest of the South African penguin colony. Stroll through the rainforest dome with its free-flying birds and butterflies and become immersed in the rainforests of Borneo, Madagascar, Costa Rica, and the flooded Amazon. Discover Borneo bats, chameleons, poison dart frogs, leaf cutter ants, gliders, snakes, and so much more. Catch the latest amazing digital planetarium show, taking you on a spectacular journey to the far reaches of the universe, held 7-10 times a day. Designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum housed under a living roof will inspire lifelong curiosity for the natural world as you experience the depths of a Philippine coral reef, climb into the canopy of a Costa Rican rainforest, and fly to the outer reaches of the universe. New Exhibit: Sharks, open through to January 23, 2022. Don't miss this traveling exhibition created by Grande Experiences. Learn about one of the most awe-inspiring and misunderstood creatures on the planet and the critical role sharks play in ocean ecosystems around the globe.

Aquarium of the Bay: General Admission Tickets

3. Aquarium of the Bay: General Admission Tickets

Explore the beauty and wonder of San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay with this entrance ticket, giving you access to the 3 main exhibit halls. Discover the amazingly diverse marine life that lives beneath the surface of San Francisco Bay and its surrounding waters. Explore the “Discover the Bay” exhibit, highlighting the unique ecosystem that provides a home to a diverse selection of marine life. The exhibits feature more than 20,000 aquatic animals. Learn all about this delicate underwater habitat and the need for its conservation. Then, experience the magic of the habitat at “Touch the Bay,” complete with tide pools where you can touch the creatures that patrol San Francisco Bay’s waters. No trip to Aquarium of the Bay would be complete without a visit to the North American River Otter Gallery, where frisky river otters romp, swim, sleep and play. Get a scuba diver’s view of San Francisco Bay at the Aquarium of the Bay’s most iconic exhibit, “Under the Bay.” As you walk through the tunnels, you’ll see fascinating jellyfish, watch schools of fish that swim near the shore, see delicate starfish, and view larger fish, such as sharks, rays, and sturgeons, which live in the deeper waters of San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco CityPASS®: Save 45% at 4 Top Attractions

4. San Francisco CityPASS®: Save 45% at 4 Top Attractions

With so much to see and do in San Francisco, it is often difficult to know where to begin with your sightseeing schedule. Avoid the hassle with the San Francisco CityPASS, featuring top attractions priced at 44% less than the same tickets purchased separately. San Francisco CityPASS provides admission into: 1. California Academy of SciencesClimb into the canopy of a butterfly-filled four-story rainforest. Come face-to-face with a colony of penguins, then explore the outer limits of the universe in a 75-foot planetarium. Decompress in front of the deepest indoor coral reef on Earth. At the Academy, you’ll get to experience nearly 40,000 of the world’s most beautiful, unusual creatures — from the heart of Golden Gate Park. 2. Blue & Gold Fleet San Francisco Bay CruiseComplete your visit to San Francisco with Blue & Gold Fleet’s 1-hour bay cruise adventure. Sail underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz, and past Angel Island on this fully-narrated tour offering breathtaking views. Plus, get admission to your choice of 2 more of the following attractions: Aquarium of the BayMeet local inhabitants of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding watersheds at Aquarium of the Bay, located at Pier 39 next to Fisherman’s Wharf. Experience the closest thing to being underwater when you walk through glass tunnels with close-up views of sharks, bat rays, Spiny Lumpsuckers, and Garibaldis. The Walt Disney Family MuseumVisit the Walt Disney Family Museum in the scenic San Francisco Presidio. Find animation, innovation, and inspiration through interactive galleries featuring films, music, artifacts, and a spectacular model of Disneyland. Explore Walt’s remarkable life story, told through his own voice, family photographs, and personal collections. Exploratorium Embrace the wild wonder at the intersection of science and art at the Exploratorium, the most experimental museum in the world. Tinker and play with more than 650 interactive exhibits and immerse yourself in San Francisco’s independent, innovative culture. San Francisco Zoo & GardensSan Francisco Zoo & Gardens is home to more than 2000 exotic, endangered, and rescued animals on 100 acres of majestic and peaceful gardens nestled against the Pacific Ocean. In addition to many animals, the zoo offers entertainment for the whole family to enjoy, including the historic steam train, carousel, and uniquely themed play zone area that will ignite the imagination of children of all ages.

San Francisco: VIP Tour of California Academy of Sciences

5. San Francisco: VIP Tour of California Academy of Sciences

Visit the California Academy of Sciences, the world's only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum, on this special VIP tour. Head off the beaten track to explore the abundance of biodiversity in Golden Gate Park and atop the Academy’s lush Living Roof. On this 45-minute tour, encounter native plants in bloom, unearth the secrets of the Living Roof, and discover impressive feats of sustainable engineering. In addition to admission and full access to the Academy, take advantage of your VIP express entrance into the Osher Rainforest and Shake House earthquake simulator so you can spend more time exploring all the exhibits and shows.

California Academy of Sciences Thursday NightLife Admission

6. California Academy of Sciences Thursday NightLife Admission

Visit the world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-natural history museum at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Enjoy all 4 attractions under one living roof, with exhibits and shows that explain the universe. Explore these exhibits and more during Thursday’s festive 21+ only NightLife event, and sip on a beer, wine, or unique specialty cocktail available for purchase at the bars throughout the museum. Once in the museum, catch the latest spectacular digital planetarium show and rocket through the galaxy at the speed of light to the far reaches of the universe. Journey deep into the oceans of the world in the aquarium. Come face-to-face with snakes and piranhas, meet Claude the albino alligator, and hang out with a South African penguin colony. Stroll through the rainforest dome with its free-flying birds and butterflies. Each week features a unique theme, blending fun with science in an informal social environment. Past highlights have included pop-up art galleries; science-themed comedy; sustainable seafood cooking demonstrations; and talks by notable figures like Buzz Aldrin. Academy scientists are also on-hand to discuss the “science love stories” behind their infatuations with spiders, sea slugs, parasites, and other fascinating topics. During summer months, the Academy presents NightLife LIVE, a music series featuring emerging bands and musicians live on an outdoor garden stage, cutting-edge art installations, and hands-on science demonstrations.

San Francisco: 5-Hour California's Redwoods & Aquarium

7. San Francisco: 5-Hour California's Redwoods & Aquarium

Experience California's coastal redwood forest during your trip to Muir Woods National Monument. Then, take a drive through the quaint seaside village of Sausalito. At your leisure, visit the Aquarium of the Bay and marvel at the marine life larking below the San Francisco Bay waters. This 5-hour tour offers three convenient departure times to best suit your schedule. Venture north over the Golden Gate Bridge to an isolated canyon filled with ancient coastal redwood trees, also known as Muir Woods National Monument. Enjoy solitude and peace, through the cool, moist air, as you stroll through 1000-year-old trees towering 260 feet tall. Experience the awe and wonder as you are treated through Northern California’s signature fog, while you wander in and out of the Mother Nature’s redwood alleyways. The canopy of coastal redwoods soaring above will stimulate all of your senses as you journey through a piece of ancient California history. You will never forget the crisp, fresh redwood fragrance that will surround you on your journey to the majestic Muir Woods National Monument. Entrance fee into Muir Woods is included in the tour. Lastly, enjoy a scenic drive through the quaint seaside town of Sausalito – a Mediterranean-like village harbored across the San Francisco Bay, famous for its sweeping views, timeless sophistication, local boutiques and cafes. (As an option — Extend your time and add on the ferry return.) Following your visit to California's famous coastal redwoods, enjoy a visit to the Aquarium of the Bay to experience the local marine life beneath San Francisco.  The Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39 focuses on restoring the local habitat of San Francisco and her marine life. Experience the awe and wonder of the Aquarium's jellies habitat, featuring Moon Jellies and Pacific Sea Nettles. Continuing on, in the crystal aqua tunnel, you'll see a dynamic near shore habitat that includes swirling schools of Anchovies, giant Sea Bass and colorful Sea Stars. Explore the deeper waters of San Francisco Bay in the second crystal clear tunnel habitat. This trip will surely give you the best experience of San Francisco Bay's wildlife and marine culture. (The visit to the aquarium can be enjoyed at your own leisure throughout the day, open ticket). 

From San Francisco: 2-Day Monterey & Yosemite Tour

8. From San Francisco: 2-Day Monterey & Yosemite Tour

Explore the beauty of Northern California in just 2 days with a trip to the coastal towns of Monterey and Carmel on the first day and Yosemite National Park on the second day. Get the most out of your trip on this small-group guided tour. Day 1 Start your day with a convenient hotel pickup and drive along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. Pass coastal mountains overlooking turquoise waters and sandy beaches, where windsurfers ride the waves.  Watch sea lions enjoying the warm sun on the rocks. Discover Monterey‘s Cannery Row, made famous by Steinbeck‘s novels. Browse the boutique shops or enjoy a famous fish delicacy offered by the many restaurants dotting the shoreline. Next, continue along Pacific Grove and onto the 17-Mile Drive, stopping along the way to photograph famous landmarks like Pebble Beach golf club and the lone cypress tree. Stop in Carmel, considered one of the most beautiful villages along the pacific coast, before heading inland through the San Joaquin valley to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Spend the night in Oakhurst, just outside Yosemite National Park. Day 2 Start the second day by entering Yosemite National Park through the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. Walk through this ancient forest of 3000-year-old trees that can reach 36 feet in diameter. Continue to the famous Yosemite Valley Tunnel View, featuring views of Yosemite's famous granite cliffs, carved out by ancient glaciers. Take a walk, a swim, or a bike ride around the base of Yosemite Falls. Enjoy your free afternoon to discover this spectacular park before heading back to San Francisco, where you will be dropped off around 8 PM.

Frequently asked questions about San Francisco Zoos & Aquariums

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Francisco

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What people are saying about San Francisco

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 245 reviews

California Academy of Sciences were the tickets that I purchased through GET YOUR GUIDE. The experience was pretty awesome. It’s an interactive natural history museum, aquarium, imax theater all wrapped into one location. The cafe had a good menu. I really appreciated that the app was very helpful in answering all my questions in regard of what to expect (health and safety precautions) what is available, helpful tips and suggestions. Made the trip that much more smoother and hassle free (especially if you have little ones)

First of all I appreciated the level of precautionary measures taken against covid-19 they ensured everyone had masks on and only those vaccinated could enter the premises. Other than that we got to explore and they had staff at each exhibition to answer any questions and it was heart warming seeing kids asking staff questions out of curiosity. Great experience

Fabulous location for a great museum so well suited for children and families. My favorite was the Naturalist Museum. So interesting and informative. Thanks for the great experience. Oh my objection was to the need for booster proof upon entering. Never had to do that domestically.

it was great, we arrived early before it got too crowded and were able to see everything and do all the activities.

Went there with our 1 1/2 year old, it was a blast!