Travel Journal: California Academy of Sciences and the Golden Gate Bridge

California Academy of Sciences

Sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time and on my first full day in San Francisco it turned out I was in for another bargain museums day at the California Academy of Sciences.

Doing even better than the Canadian ROM, where I managed to take advantage a severely discounted ticket, I’ve landed in San Francisco right before one of the California Academy of Sciences free Sundays which only happen once a quarter. Now this one is a big freebie. Had there not been a free day I would definitely not have visited since it was massively out of my price range at $48 a ticket! So opening at 11 am I decide to head to Golden Gate Park to wander around a little before hand only to find that at 9.30 there were literally hundreds of people in the queue. So after a quick change of plan and I joined it. I find out a little later that I was around 700th in the queue based on the museum staff tally. Who knew Californians loved science so much? It’s a long and very, very cold wait. San Francisco is not a warm city and even with my winter jacket on I’m frozen which was quite a contrast from Toronto the day before.

In the end it was worth it. It was cold and at times I didn’t think I was going to make it but once I got in to the museum and had thawed out a bit it was worth it. Once you’re in everyone makes a beeline for the planetarium tickets. I also managed to get one of these and it was a very impressive show. There’s plenty to see in the California Academy of Sciences – I got to experience an earthquake simulation, talked to some animals in their rainforest bubble exhibit and, probably my favourite, I got to (gently) stroke a starfish!

A starfish in the California Academy of Sciences
I got to stroke a starfish

After a long day just spent in the museum I wanted to make sure to get the most out of my San Francisco Hop-On-Hop-Off tour bus ticket so I head to the city’s most famous landmark – the Golden Gate Bridge.

It’s very impressive and a good view from the road. My bus didn’t stop at the San Francisco side of the bridge viewpoint so instead I went over to opposite side looking back over to San Francisco or at least I would have been if it wasn’t so foggy.