Approx. 2 hoursStart time
Start time: 1:00pm & 3:00pm (Please arrive 15 minutes early to check in)
Monday – Saturday: 09:30am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Duration: Approx. 2 hours
You should make your way to, The Academy, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Park, San Francisco, CA, 94118 (located in Golden Gate Park).Ending Point
The excursion ends at the California Academy of Sciences
This insider tour tells the story of this celebrated Aquarium and how biologists care for the 38,000 animals that live there. Visit the food prep kitchen, see the complex water filtration system, and much more.
The tour does not visit all the public exhibits so you are encouraged to explore the Aquarium on your own before or afterwards.
During your visit you can marvel at the myriad colors found under the sea and view a thrilling range of aquatic life at one of the deepest exhibits of live corals in the world.
Discover all kinds of things you never knew about the courtship and mating strategies of the animal kingdom!
You can also meet Claude, the albino alligator and reigning king of the Swamp Gallery!
At the Discovery Tidepool, you can touch and examine a wide variety of ocean creatures!
Your enthralling Behind-the-Scenes Steinhart Aquarium Tour – San Francisco begins at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Park, located in Golden Gate Park. You can exchange your booking voucher for your ticket at the Academy itself.
This exclusive tour gives you the chance to go behind the scenes with an expert guide to learn about the history of Steinhart Aquarium and how staff look after the 38,000 animals – butterflies, fish, penguins, even an albino alligator – that live on the premises. Find out how food is prepared, how the cleaning is done, how the tanks are supplied with water, and much more on this exclusive aquarium tour.
The Behind-the-Scenes tour does not visit all of the public exhibits at the Aquarium so you are strongly advised to explore the venue before or after the tour. Among the highlights of the Aquarium are the following:
Animal Attraction:, showcasing some of the wildest courtship and mating strategies in the animal kingdom. In 18 beautiful tanks, the exhibit illuminates the concept that nothing in life is more important than reproductive success.
Philippine Coral Reef Gallery: This is one of the deepest exhibits of live corals in the world and shows you a broad range of aquatic life from the coral reefs and mangroves of the Philippines, one of the most diverse reef systems on Earth. These animals include delicate soft and hard corals, blacktip reef sharks, stingrays, and more than 2,000 colorful reef fish.
Northern California Coast Gallery: This focuses on the habitats of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. You’ll smell the seawater as you make your way across a walkway along the surface and witness the filling and draining of tide-pools as waves spill onto a small beach. A large underwater window reveals the eels, anemones, sea stars, rockfish, herring, sardines, and urchins that live beneath the water's surface. Nearby tanks feature a giant sea bass and a giant Pacific octopus.
The Swamp Gallery: Here you’ll meet Claude, an albino American alligator, and several alligator snapping turtles. You can view the animals from the surface as well as from an underwater window. A tank of fearsome alligator gars, which look like alligators but are actually fish, faces the Swamp. Look out for venomous animals, like the black widow spider or the eastern diamondback snake!
Your tour ticket also includes VIP entrance to the Rainforests of the World Exhibit, reserved seats in the Planetarium and 10% Discount in The Moss Room restaurant and Academy Gift Shops.
The tour ends at the Academy and afterwards you are free to make your own way back to your accommodation.
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.
Please exchange your voucher with tickets up to an hour before closing.
Guests must be 8 or older to participate in this tour.
Please arrive 15 minutes early at the meeting point to check in.
Parking in Golden Gate Park can be challenging, especially on weekends and holidays. Taking public transportation or getting dropped-off is highly encouraged.