Steinhart Aquarium

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Located within the brand new California Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park, the Steinhart Aquarium holds a special role as the “living collection” of a much larger museum. Whether visited on its own or as part of the larger CAS experience, Steinhart Aquarium offers a peek into the undersea world in a unique environment.

About the Aquarium

Founded in 1853, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the oldest and most prestigious cultural institutions in the entire state. With the mission to “explore, explain, and sustain life” the addition of the Steinhart Aquarium to the museum came in 1923. When it opened, Steinhart was seen as a model aquarium because of its interesting and unique exhibits and unusual animals.

Always a favorite stop for tourists and school children, the aquarium was unfortunately heavily damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. For years, Steinhart remained open despite the damage, until official renovations of the entire CAS began in 2005. The new building, which includes more than 400,000 square feet of exhibit space, also houses the museum proper as well as the Morrison Planetarium.

Visitors to Steinhart Aquarium are able to view more than 38,000 animals from every major region on the planet. In total, this constitutes more than 900 species that all live in or near the water. With each tank and display area painstakingly designed to represent the exact natural habitat of the creatures who call it home, Steinhart has been able to create a truly unique atmosphere. Indeed, it is one of the most biodiverse aquariums in the world and known for containing the world’s deepest living reef tank in their Philippine Coral Reef exhibit.

Main Attraction

The Steinhart Aquarium is divided into seven different sections, called halls or galleries. These include Animal Attraction, the Philippine Coral Reef, the Northern California Coast, the Water Planet, Rainforests of the World (a 4-story exhibit), Tusher African Hall, and the Swamp Gallery.

Admission to the Steinhart Aquarium is included with admission to the California Academy of Sciences which also includes tickets to shows at the Morrison Planetarium. Prices are for Children (4-11), Youth (12-17), Adults, and Seniors (65+). The aquarium and CAS are open daily except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Why It’s a Must-See

While it is often included on a trip through the California Academy of Sciences, taking time to view the Steinhart Aquarium on its own is special as well. Offering one of the most diverse and engaging experiences in all of San Francisco, children and adults will love the learning experiences that this cultural institution has to offer.

Where to Buy It

There are a number of ways you can enjoy admission to this attraction.
1. Purchase a ticket from the California Academy of Sciences when you get there.
2.   .
3. Purchase as part of a money saving package. Popular examples to the right.
4. Purchase a Tourist pass. The Steinhart Aquarium is available on the Go SF Card and SF CityPass