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Skip the line and go behind-the-scenes at San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences – the only place on Earth with an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and 4-story rainforest all under one (living) roof! On this small-group insider tour, enjoy an intimate look at either the academy’s research focus or animal life. Choose the Academy Tour to explore a lab, see the collection of rare gems and learn about the museum's history and scientists. Choose the Aquarium Tour to see and learn how the animals are cared for that live in the building. Both options include a reserved ticket to Morrison Planetarium and express entry to Rainforests of the World.
- Skip the line
- Small group ensures personal service
- Ideal choice for families
No matter which behind-the-scenes tour you choose, you’ll dive deep into the California Academy of Sciences, learning about its commitment to science, research, education and conservation, both inside the exhibits and around the world.
On this insider-access tour, explore the ‘world’s greenest museum’ from a science and research perspective. With your museum guide, learn about the institution's 159-year history and how its scientists are tackling critical questions about life on Earth. Visit the research collections and a working laboratory, get closer to the living roof, and see breathtaking geology specimens in the vault.
With this option, learn about the history of Steinhart Aquarium and how biologists care for the 38,000 animals – including butterflies, fish, penguins and even an albino alligator – that live in the building. Visit the food-prep kitchen and see the complex water filtration system.
Both options include general admission to the museum, so you can visit all of the exhibits at your leisure before or after your tour. You’ll also receive a reserved seat at Morrison Planetarium and express entrance to Rainforests of the World, a 4-story rainforest exhibit that takes you through many of the planet’s eco-systems.
Please note the following attractions closure dates:
Museum Early Closures
- April 24, 2014 - Closes at 3pm
- September 22-24, 2014
- February 23-25, 2015
- May 6-7, 2014
- September 16-17, 2014
- January 13-15, 2015
- May 5-6, 2015
Special Offer! - Book now and receive 10% off at Moss Room restaurant and the Academy gift shop! - Book Now!
Coral Reef at the California Academy of Sciences
Select a month to view a calendar of availability and departure details.
Departure Point:California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park
- Academy Hours of Operation:
9:30am-5pm Monday to Saturday
Academy Tour starts at 11am and 2pm
Aquarium Tour starts at 1pm and 3pm
Click the link below to check pricing & availability on your preferred travel date. Our pricing is constantly updated to ensure you always receive the lowest price possible.
Behind-the-Scenes Academy Tour at 11am
Behind-the-Scenes Academy Tour at 2pm
Behind-the-Scenes Aquarium Tour at 1pm
Behind-the-Scenes Aquarium Tour at 3pm
Guide on the Living Roof
- General admission
- 1-hour behind-the-scenes guided tour
- Express entry to the Rainforests of the World exhibit
- Reserved Morrison Planetarium seat
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Gratuities (optional)
- Guests 8 years and older
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Passes to special exhibits are handed out daily on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability
- Maximum of 14 people per tour
- Morrison Planetarium shows take place throughout the day; you will receive a reserved ticket to the show of your choice
- Wheelchair accessible; wheelchairs are available at Coat Check on a first-come, first-served basis
- Adult pricing applies to all travelers
You must present a paper voucher for this tour. We will email a link to access and print your voucher at the Lead Travelers email address. What's this?
Local Operator Information:
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.