The Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

Academy of Science in San FranciscoNearly 10 years and $500 million dollars in the making, San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences is humming right along.   The new Academy is a masterpiece of sustainable architecture.  It blends into the park’s natural setting, and it’s filled with hundreds of innovative exhibits and thousands of extraordinary plants and animals.

The Academy is one structure but it has a lot going on under that one roof:  The aquarium with an amazing coral reef, the planetarium, the natural history museum, and—get this—a four-story rain forest.  There’s also a 3-D theater, lecture hall, Naturalist Center, two restaurants, a garden and aviary, a roof terrace, and an Academy store.  We are just about ready to move into the place.

Believe it or not, there’s more. The Academy of Science’s lab includes a large library and scientific archives of more than 26 million specimens, plus working scientists.  1.7 million native plants thrive on the 2.5 acre living roof—you read that number correctly!

The Academy of Sciences is the largest public platinum-rated building in the world, and it’s also the world’s greenest museum.  They’re committed to sustainability, public outreach (they give a lot of classes to kids and adults), and all aspects of studying and keeping the natural world healthy.

Hooray for them!  Stop by and pay them a visit.  Whether you are 5 years old or 105, you’ll be amazed at what they have going on.

Writer: Meredith Blevins, featured travel writer for the Authentic Travel Group.  Join her at for wine country mysteries, writing classes, and the mystic west.

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