Aquarium of the Bay

San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay Is a Must-See for Residents and Visitors Alike

You don’t have to be an oceanographer or even an aquarium hobbyist to appreciate the natural beauty and endless array of stunning colors and forms of aquatic life found at the Aquarium of the Bay on San Francisco’s waterfront. The Aquarium features several themed galleries, which showcase many different kinds of animals that live in, on and around the world’s oceans, such as these:

  • Otters
  • Pacific sea nettles, moon jellies and other jellyfish
  • Sharks
  • Sea stars, anemones, crabs and other invertebrates
  • Giant Pacific octopuses
  • Corals
  • Thousands of different kinds of fishes
  • Tree frogs and other amphibians
  • Plenty of different aquatic life forms to lower your heart rate, fire your imagination and enhance your appreciation of the diversity of life on this planet

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Visit

  • Engage the workers and interpreters stationed throughout the facility. They are there to help you gain a better appreciation for these animals and how our lifestyles and purchasing decisions affect their health and habitats. They can also explain the life support systems behind the scenes that keep these animals healthy and ensure that these stunning displays of living art look their best at all times.
  • Arrive during the first hour or during the last two or three hours. This facility can get quite crowded during the summer and holidays, and some galleries can get a bit loud when packed with awestruck and excited guests. Planning your visit on either side of peak times can help ensure that you have the time, space and quiet you need to truly appreciate the beauty of the exhibits.
  • Become a VIP guest to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Aquarium for a rare glimpse of the people and equipment that make this place a world-class aquarium. You will walk a narrow catwalk above a 700,000-gallon exhibit, observe areas where some animals are cultured and held in quarantine before they go on exhibit, check out towering protein skimmers and other essential life support equipment and get a better appreciation for what the modest entrance fee makes possible.

Need to Know

The Aquarium of the Bay is located on the Pier 39 Concourse on San Francisco’s waterfront and is open every day of the year but Christmas Day. Hours of operation differ somewhat depending on the season, so be sure to check out the Aquarium’s website for more information about hours, rotating exhibits and special presentations. Admission is $18 for adults and $10 for children and seniors, including a money-saving family rate of $50 for two adults and two children. It’s one of the best and most affordable forms of entertainment in the city, so, by all means, get out and support this marvelous Bay Area cultural institution!

View Larger Map