California Academy of Sciences - Road Trip Stop | OK, Which Way?


California Academy of Sciences – Road Trip Stop


When I was planning our road trip and realized we’d be going through San Francisco, there was one place I wanted to take my kids – the California Academy of Sciences. The main reason I wanted to visit this museum was to see the 4 story rainforest built inside. I knew my kids would love it. And yes, they did enjoy it. But, I think I loved it even more than them. I could have stayed and watched the bird & butterfly action all day.


The museum is located in Golden Gate Park.

California Academy of Sciences - Road Trip Stop | OK, Which Way?



California Academy of Sciences Rainforest Dome


The main attractions are the many butterflies and birds flying freely around.

California Academy of Science rainforest dome San Francisco


As you spiral towards the canopy of the rainforest there are caged creatures from various rainforests throughout the world. The kids loved this. There were all sorts of unusual frogs, snakes and lizards.


Beneath the birds and butterflies are fish from the Amazon Flooded Forest.


Two birds we saw were Violaceous euphonia and a Blue Necked Tanager.


We were told the butterflies live only about a month. The museum orders butterfly pupae directly from Costa Rica.

Doris longwing | Banded orange heliconian


Looking up while standing in a clear tunnel on the lowest level of the rainforest.



We spent most of our allotted time in the rainforest exhibit. We quickly checked out a few other things at the museum, though.


Baby Ostriches
They were cute & ugly at the same time. To see an Academy video of the ostriches click here.



In the swamp area is Claude, an albino alligator

California Academy of Sciences Claude albino alligator



This is the roof of the museum! It’s an awesome living roof. Among other environmentally friendly features, this roof keeps the science center 10 degrees cooler than a typical roof. 

California Academy of Sciences living room | OK Which Way


We only had a few hours to spend at the museum. There’s much more to see, but I loved what we did see. If we find ourselves in San Francisco again, I would definitely go back. It was exactly the type of place my kids enjoy – full of animals & science.




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California Academy of Sciences - Road Trip Stop | Rainforest Science | OK, Which Way?

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