The green living roof of California Academy of Science, San Francisco



San Francisco, CA

Fisherman's Wharf
DESCRIPTION: as San Francisco's #1 visitor destination,
Fisherman's Wharf is very popular on warm days, so arrive early for close-in garage parking; chocked full of gift shops, petit curio museums and other family attractions, the city takes great pains to ensure that it remains a working wharf for fishermen and seafood vendors; take an early morning walk to see fisherman at work and get huge crabs and the freshest fish here; some of the city's the best seafood restaurants are here, as well; the boardwalk-style entertainment will not disappoint children of all ages or the young of heart; the list of popular attractions includes San Francisco Maritime Museum and a historic battleship docked at Pier 45; if you plan to take a ferry ride in warm months, make reservations in the early morning to ride in the afternoon or next day

ADMISSION: Free, but various fees at some attractions

DAYS & HOURS: daily sunrise to until late for some restaurants and a nightclub

ADDRESS: Piers 41 & 43, The Embarcadero  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni F Line Streetcar

PARKING: plenty of garages and paid lots nearby

PHONE: varies for each vendor



Pier 39
DESCRIPTION: The 3rd most visited vacation destination in the country features 100 shops, 10 restaurants, a 300-berth marina, a two-story Venetian Carousel, Players Arcade-Sportsbar,
Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze, Rocketboat, SpongeBob SquarePants 4D Ride, Turbo Ride thrill ride among its bushel of family attractions; always a crowd favorite, irascible sea lions sun and yelp on an abandoned jetty adjacent to the pier; take in unforgettable views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, Angel Island, passing ferries and the Golden Gate at the edge of the pier or in 2nd floor restaurants; street performers contrantly patrol the area; Theatre 39 brings a diverse array of prominent shows ranging from theatrical productions, musicals, concerts, comedy to special events to an intimate, 275-tired seat theatre


DAYS & HOURS: Sun-Thu 10a-8p, Fri-Sat 10a-10p

ADDRESS: Beach Street at The Embarcadero  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni F Line stops in front

PARKING: plenty of garages and paid lots in Fisherman's Wharf

PHONE: varies by attraction


Aquarium of the Bay
DESCRIPTION: A premier attraction at Pier 39, this 1 million gallon aquarium allows visitors to view sharks, bat rays, octopus and other marine animals from the San Francisco Bay and its surrounding waters, in 300 feet crystal clear tunnels filled with over 700,000 gallons of filtered Bay water; moving sidewalks convey guests through the tunnels, where the experience is a bit like skin diving without getting wet; touch pools let visitors touch leopard sharks, bat rays, skates and sea stars; also features rare angel sharks and the graceful giant Pacific octopus; the aquarium seeks to entertain, educate and inspire preservation of this wonderful and distinctive ecosystem; visitors can view daily shark feedings and dive encounters where they can ask questions of the divers who care for the animals and enjoy activities geared towards children; a Behind the Scenes Tour takes visitors on the catwalks above our tanks, introduces them to chefs who feed the animals and a sneak peak at dive operations

DAYS & HOURS: Winter-Fall hours: Mon-Thu 10a-6p and Fri-Sun 10a-7p; Spring-Summer hours: 9a–8p daily

ADMISSION:  Ages 12-64 $14, Ages 3-11 and 65+) $7, under age 3 enter Free

ADDRESS: Pier 39, The Embarcadero  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni F Line stops in front

PARKING: plenty of garages and paid lots

PHONE: 888-732-3483



DESCRIPTION: One of the world's best interactive science museums, this 330,000 sqaure foot marvel of 600 exhibits is 3 times larger than the original Palace of Fine Arts location; one of the best ways to think of this venue is as a  public laboratory for investigation into physics and human perception; a sampling of the many exhibits should include Outdoor Gallery explores the bay, the elements, geometry, light and shadows while encouraging interaction with natural and urban phenomena; inside, Color of Water exhibit consists of 32 color swatches suspended above the water so that visitors can actively match the day's water color and investigate the causes behind these daily shifts; Aeolian Harp by Doug Hollis is a wind-activated, sound structure that responds to the wind dynamics between Piers 15 and 17; Remote Rains translates storm information into a tangible experience of frequency, size, and velocity of raindrops, allowing people to explore complex mechanisms that drive our weather; Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya magically envelops a 150-foot-long pedestrian bridge between Piers 15 and 17 in an ever-changing blanket of fog -- see it lit at night; Rickshaw Obscura Cart playfully invites visitors to view landscapes and people passing by – upside down; Bay Windows visitors spin disks filled with samples of mud, sand, and gravelgathered from five distinct regions of the San Francisco Bay; you'll want to visit the first rate restaurants and gift shop on the premises; this place is like fun calisthenics for the mind

ADMISSION: Age 18-64 $25, Age 6-17, Students and Age 65+ $19, Age 5 and under enter FREE

DAYS & HOURS: Tue, Fri, Sat Sun 10a-5p, Wed 10a-10p, Thu 10a-5p and 6p-10p for ages 18+

ADDRESS: Pier 15, The Embarcadero  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni F Line stops in front

PARKING: paid lots nearby

PHONE: 415-528-4444



Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Museum
DESCRIPTION: Has nearly 300 fascinating artifact exhibits collected by world-famous traveler Robert Ripley; be astounded by the strange, the odd and the unbelievable - guaranteed
ADMISSION: prices subject to change; collect discount coupon from their website
DAYS & HOURS: 10a-Midnight
ADDRESS: 175 Jefferson Street  MAP
PARKING: nearby garages
Muni F Line stops nearby
PHONE: 415-771-6188

Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf
DESCRIPTION: famous wax figures are organized in groups of Hisotry, Hall of Religions, Palace of Living Art, King Tut, Chamber of Horrors, Sports & Entertainment; personailities represented include Barack Obama,
Jimmy Carter, JFK, Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Oprah, Barry Bonds, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie and many more in this 100,000 square foot venue; the Bill Clinton figure will be repaired soon

ADMISSION: Ages 18-54 $13, Ages 12-17 and 65= $10, Ages 6-11 $7

DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 10a-9p, Sat-Sun 9a-11p

ADDRESS: 145 Jefferson Street  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni F Line Streetcar

PARKING: plenty of garages and paid lots

PHONE: 415-202-0416



Maritime National Historical Park
DESCRIPTION: Stand on the stern of Balclutha, face west to feel the fresh wind blowing in from the Pacific Ocean; Maritime National Historical Park offers the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Pacific Coast maritime history

DAYS & HOURS: daily 9:30a–5p


ADDRESS: Hyde Street Pier  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni F Line stops nearby

PARKING: Free on premises
PHONE: 415-447-5000

California Academy of Science
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1853, the completely redesigned 410,000 square foot eco-sensitive green-roof museum inspires the next generation of scientists
  to the outer reaches of the Universe; the Aquarium is remarkable for its use of space in the Philippine coral reef and an albino alligator in the Swamp and the Discovery Tidepool; get nose-to-beak with penguins and parrots, watch sharks and sea turtles cruise beneath your feet, and feel the spray of the California coast; The Planetarium lets you fly to Mars, the Moon, or beyond the Milky Way without leaving the safety of your seat; the Museum takes you on a virtual safari in African Hall; the living Rainforest lets you expereince a Borneo Forest Floor, Madagascar Midstory and Costa Rican Canopy for a multi-level perspective of rainforest ecosytems along the way to a flooded Amazon Basin; true to its name as an academy, the CAS is home to scientists as they return from research expeditions around the world

ADMISSION: Adults $25, College students w/ID Ages 12-17 and 65+ $20, Ages 7-11 $15, Ages 6 and under enter Free; special exhibits/lectures require seperate fees

DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Sat 9:30a-5p, Sun 11a-5p

ADDRESS: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni N Line stops a few blocks away; you’ll save $3 on admission without the hassle of parking

PARKING: Street parking is located throughout Golden Gate Park; the Concourse Parking Facility is located on Fulton Street at 8th Avenue

PHONE: 415-379-8000


AT&T Park
DESCRIPTION: Some locals still call it by its opening name, Pacific Bell Park, others call it by its 2nd name, SBC Park; whatever the latest sponsor name, one thing never changes – its is beloved as one of the nation’s best ballparks; the sightlines are unbelievable – not a bad seat in the house; if you want to appreciate the Bay and the game as Barry Bonds hits another home run, get seats to the right side of home plate; the garlic fries are as irresistible as the parking is scarce – if driving, get there early; even if the game is lousy, you’ll have a good time just visiting; better yet catch an underground Muni streetcar on Market Street to the park; extra streetcars run before and after games to handle the load

ADMISSION: pricing matrix for San Francisco Giants baseball games

BOX OFFICE: Mon-Fri 10a-5p

ADDRESS: 24 Willie Mays Plaza  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni T Line stops in front; Caltrain stops one block west at 4th and MLK

PARKING: plenty of garages and paid lots nearby

PHONE: 415-972-1800


Willie Mays Statue
DESCRIPTION: Powerful depiction of Willie Mays hitting one of his 660 home runs, which stands as the 4th most in Major League Baseball; also known as the “Say Hey Kid” who wore number 24, collected over 3000 hits, 3000 runs scored, batted for over .300 average and a bushel of Golden Glove awards for fielding before retiring in 1973; the best all-around and most exciting player in the history of baseball

ADDRESS: 24 Willie Mays Plaza at 3rd Street  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni T Line stops in front

PARKING: plenty of garages and paid lots nearby

Willie McCovey Statue
DESCRIPTION: Another famous San Francisco Giant player in the Baseball Hall of Fame; McCovey hit over 500 home runs; the cove next to his statue is lovingly called McCovey Cove; perhaps the most remarkable facts about both the McCovey and Mays statues is that both were dedicated with both men were alive to enjoy them

ADDRESS: Terry Francois Street just off 3rd Street  MAP

TRANSIT: Muni T Line Streetcar stops in front of AT&T Park, walk down 3rd street across the river, then walk left to McCovey Cove

PARKING: next to paid lots nearby

Sony Metreon
DESCRIPTION: 350,000 square feet entertainment and retail center next to the beautiful Yerba Buena Gardens; it features: a food court of restaurants, a 15-screen cineplex with the largest IMAX Theater west of the Mississippi River; a Playstation Store sports the newest video games on demo; Rosetta Stone and TILT also offer family entertainment and there's a Chronicle Books store; when its time to eat, you'll appreciate the
Buckhorn Grill, Sanraku, Jillian's and Firewood Cafe


DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Thu 10:30a-8:30p; Sat & Sun 10:30a-9:30p; the Cineplex and some restaurants have extended hours

ADDRESS: 101 Fourth Street  MAP

TRANSIT: BART and all Muni Line stops at Powell Street Station, walk east on Market Street one block and soth on 4th Street one block

PARKING: plenty of garages and paid lots

PHONE: 415-369-6000


DESCRIPTION: a multimedia arts and technology museum that fosters creativity in young people and families; blessed with so much Bay Area talent, people of all ages and backgrounds, combine the hands-on use of animation, digital technology, electronic media, traditional and non-traditional materials to power of their imaginations creating high quality stories, movies, performances, music, art and more; a fully restored carousel is next door

ADMISSION: Adults $10, Ages 3-18, Students, Seniors $8, ages 2 and under enter Free

DAYS & HOURS: Summer Hours Tue-Sun 11a-5p, School Year Hours Wed-Fri 1p-5p, Weekends 11a-5p

ADDRESS: 221 Fourth Street  MAP

PARKING: plenty of garages and paid lots nearby

TRANSIT: BART and all Muni Line stops at Powell Street Station, walk east on Market Street one block and soth on 4th Street two blocks

PHONE: 415-820-3320


San Francisco Zoo
DESCRIPTION: Open since 1929, it has grown to be one of America's elite zoos and conservation education centers; among its natural habitat and biodiversity exhibits the new African Savanna features giraffe, zebra, kudu, ostrich and other African wildlife in a spectacular group setting; a recently expanded Children’s Zoo, Lemur Forest, Grizzly Bears, Carousel, Education Center, Animal Resource Center, and an Entry Village sparkle on its 65 developed acres; theGreat Ape Forest is a lush new home for some of the largest apes in a North American zoo; Wagons, Jeeps, wheelchairs, and electric scooters are available for daily rental at the Entry Village on a first come, first served basis.

ADMISSION: Adults $15, Ages 65+ $12, Ages 4-14 $9, Ages 3 and under enter Free; Guests who take Muni to the Zoo will receive $1.00 off the price of admission. Just show your Muni receipt

DAYS & HOURS: 10a-5p, 365 days a year

ADDRESS: 1 Zoo Road  MAP

PARKING: on premises

TRANSIT: Muni L Line stops 1/2 block north of the entrance on Wawona Street

PHONE: 415-753-7080


Sausalito, CA

Bay Area Discovery Museum
DESCRIPTION: One of the country's finest Children's museums, this one-of-a-kind indoor/outdoor venue offers a full range of programs for children, parents, school groups and educators on 7.5 acres; the museum's unique programs feature hands-on art, science and environmental exhibitions, special events and cultural festivals; explore the natural and cultural environments of the Bay Area - from distinctive landscape elements and natural habitats, while encouraging environmental stewardship

ADMISSION: Ages 1-17 and ages 62+ $8, Adults $10, Age 1 and under enter Free 

DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Fri 9a–4p, Sat-Sun 10a–5p

ADDRESS: 557 McReynolds Road in East Fort Baker  MAP

PARKING: on premises

PHONE: 415-339-3900


Oakland, CA

Children's Fairyland
DESCRIPTION: Younger children will enjoy this enchanting three-dimensional fantasy world in picturesque Lakeside Park, where popular nursery rhymes come to life with puppet theater, childrens theater special performances, rides and fairytale sets; when the kids get hungry, there's also a Johnny Appleseed Café

ADMISSION: Ages 1-100 $7, everyone else enters Free

DAYS & HOURS: Spring-Summer: Mon-Fri 10a-4:30p, Sat-Sun 10a-5p; Fall-Winter hours vary

ADDRESS: 699 Bellevue Ave  MAP

PARKING: on premises

PHONE: 510-452-2259


Chabot Space & Science Center
DESCRIPTION: From a stunning precipice in the Oakland Hills, this recently opened, 86,000-square-foot center boasts one of the largest public telescopes in the United States and an exciting space-flight simulator; a 250-seat planetarium; Train like an astronaut or experience what it's like to perform tasks on a space walk; the hands-on science and technology exhibits in Challenger Learning Center will keep them the kids occupied 1-2 hours if you let them; Celestial Café's menu features sandwiches, Kosher hot dogs, salads, chips, soft drinks and juice; you won't want to leave without visting Starry Nights Gift Store

ADMISSION: yes; IMAX Theatre requires a separate  fee

DAYS & HOURS: Adults $15, Ages 3-12 $11, Ages 2 and under enter Free

ADDRESS: 10000 Skyline Blvd  MAP

PARKING: on premises

PHONE: 510-336-7300


Oakland Zoo
DESCRIPTION: Houses more than 375 native and exotic animals in a child friendly zoo that is easy to walk or push a stroller around; recently renovated habitats are organized into geographic regions configured to resemble the animals' native habitats; educational activities aplenty for kids; the African Savannah is a focal point of the Zoo, located between the Tigers and Lions; the Rain Forest habitat, complete with naturalistic rockwork, vines, climbing structures and lush foliage is also quite attractive; check their website for animal feeding times

ADMISSION: Adults $10.50, Ages 55+ and Ages 2-14 $7, Age 1 and under enter Free

DAYS & HOURS: daily, 10a-4p; Memorial Day to Labor Day open daily 10a-5p

ADDRESS: 9777 Golf Links Road in Knowland Park  MAP

PARKING: $7 on premises

PHONE: 510-632-9525



Monterey, CA


Monterey Bay Aquarium
DESCRIPTION: Opened in 1984 and still one of the largest aquariums in the world, thanks to an endowment by David Packard of Hewlett Packard Company; the aquarium expanded in 1996, 2004 and 2005 to feature nearly 200 galleries and exhibits devoted to the diverse habitats of Monterey Bay such as the Outer Bay (1 million gallons), the Kelp Forest (335,000 gallons), Monterey Bay Habitats (326,000 gallons), Sea Otters along the Rocky Coast (55,000 gallons) and one of the world’s largest jellyfish galleries; in total, more than 35,000 animals and plants representing over 550 species of fishes, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, birds and plants found in Monterey Bay and other marine habitats worldwide; All exhibits and aquarium facilities are accessible to people with disabilities
ADMISSION: $30 adults, $28 13-17 or college ID or Age 65+, $18 age 3-12; age 2 or under enter Free
DAYS & HOURS: daily 10a-6p daily with extended Summer hours on Sat & Sun
ADDRESS: 886 Cannery Row  MAP
PARKING: plenty of paid lots nearby
TRANSIT: Monterey Salinas Trolley circulates around town
PHONE: 866-963-9645 toll free ticket researvation



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