1. United States
  2. California
  3. San Francisco
  4. Golden Gate Park

San Francisco: VIP Tour of California Academy of Sciences

Product ID: 23920
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Spend an hour behind the scenes at the California Academy of Sciences and learn about its scientists, visit the laboratories, and view the geology specimens in the vault. Then enjoy full access to the aquarium, rainforest, planetarium, and living roof.
About this activity
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Mobile ticketing
Vouchers must be exchanged for tickets.
Duration: 1 hour
Check availability to see starting times.
Ticket confirmation within 48 hours
Once purchased, you’ll receive booking confirmation from the tour operator.
Live tour guide

Select participants and date:



  • Vist the geology vault and see what happens behind the scenes and in the labs
  • Learn what the scientists are studying about and how they are working to help preserve life here on earth
  • Experience the world's largest all-digital planetarium as you journey into space
  • See thousands of exotic and colorful fish in the aquarium
  • Visit the African Penguin exhibit during feeding time
  • See Claude the albino alligator, with his white skin
  • Journey through the 4-story rainforest dome and learn about the animals and plants found there
  • Enjoy the wildflowers on the 2.5 acre, solar-powered living roof
Full description
Visit the California Academy of Sciences, the world's only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum, on this special VIP tour. Come closer than ever to the behind-the-scenes research that occurs in the museum’s collection rooms. In addition to admission and full access to the Academy, take advantage of the skip-the-line entrance so you can spend more time exploring all the exhibits and shows.

With your museum guide, explore the Academy from an insider's perspective and spend an hour behind the scenes learning more about the institution's 160-year history and how its scientists are tackling critical questions about life on earth. Visit the research collections and a working laboratory, get close to the living roof and see breathtaking geology specimens in the vault.

Then prepare to see amazing species from all over the world that make their homes in everything from cold saltwater to warm freshwater. You will learn about the aquarium’s history, some of the adaptations animals use to survive in the water, and what the Academy is doing to learn more about them, both here and in the field. Along with the 38,000 live animals, you won't want to miss the African penguins, who put on a spectacular display at feeding time.

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.

Check out the latest amazing digital planetarium show, taking you on a spectacular journey to the far reaches of the universe.

Finally, make your way up to the top to stand outside and view the living roof. Take in the many beautiful flowers and plants and marvel at the ingenuity of the roof and building, which run off of solar power.
  • 1-hour guided VIP tour
  • Skip-the-line admission
  • Exhibits and shows
  • Behind-the-scenes access to world-class collection rooms with rare specimens
  • VIP entry into the Osher Rainforest and the earthquake simulator
  • Pre-reserved planetarium pass
  • 10% discount at Academy stores and restaurants
What’s Not Included
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Food and drinks

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

The California Academy of Sciences is located at 55 Music Concourse Dr. inside Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

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Important information
Know before you go
• Your entrance ticket to the Academy includes all exhibits and shows (please note some shows are capacity controlled and subject to availability)
• You must be at least 8 years old to participate on this tour
• Please note that the aquarium tour is a Custom Tour that has to be reserved in advance.

From US$ 61.90 per person

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California Academy of Sciences

Product ID: 23920