Welcome to the only place on Earth with an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and living 4-story rainforest all under one roof. The California Academy of Sciences is a stunning architectural achievement with hundreds of unique exhibits and nearly 40,000 live animals.
Download the museum's free iPhone app, which features self-guided tours, museum maps, exhibit info, ticket purchasing and more. Get it here.
The Academy Café is overseen by chef Charles Phan (Slanted Door), which makes the food fantastic. The café offers a wide range of options (from spring rolls to paninis to fresh pastries).
"The microbrewery called Social on 9th and Irving or wine bar at 7th and Irving called Inner Fog are great places to grab a drink before or after."
The Cal Academy is understandably renowned for its incredible exhibits (yes, that's a real, living rain forest full of croaking frogs, chirping birds, chameleons, butterflies and more), but the museum's wealth of daily and weekly programs are what really set it apart. Daily programs include penguin feedings, coral reef dive shows, swamp talks and more.
The Cal Academy's 2.5 acre living roof is also a sight to behold. The roof provides greenspace for native plants and animals, and absorbs 2.6 million gallons of rainwater per year.