California Academy of Sciences is one of the nations largest natural history museums. It houses over 26 million specimens according to wiki and is located in Golden Gate Park.
The Academy started in 1853 as an educational society and still does a lot of their own research today.
In 1916, the Academy moved to Gold Gate Park to the North American Hall of Birds and Mammals. 1923, the Steinhart Aquarium was added, and in 1934, the Simson African Hall was added. The building you see today was rebuilt and reopened on September 27, 2008 and covers 400,000 square feet. It was designed by Renzo Piano.
The building consists of a green roof that Piano designed by his inspiration of San Francisco hills.
The Academy contributed to WWII by using their workshop to repair navigational and optical equipment for the US Navy ships. SF was a major port for the Pacific theater during the war.
This place is amazing. We were really wowed. This is one of our favorite natural history museums. We only had a limited amount of time in SF and Vic wasn’t sure we should go out of our way to get to Cal Academy. I told him, ” We have to go, it’s a must see.” After seeing the first tank all Vic could say was, “I want to swim in there.”
We spent the whole day here. We enjoyed the strong conservation message they have. Cal Academy and the Monterey Aquarium are our favorites. It’s a fun place for kids of all ages.
Thursday nights from 6-10pm, it’s adult time at the aquarium. There’s music, cocktails and the exhibits. They also have sleepover nights for families.
Imagine a sleepover at an aquarium – it would be AMAZING!