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“Enjoyed My Visit” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay
Book In Advance
US$ 24.95*
and up
Aquarium of the Bay General Admission
Ranked #76 of 527 things to do in San Francisco
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Aquarium of the Bay is located along San Francisco's walkable waterfront at PIER 39. See sharks, otters, underwater tunnels, and 20,000 other amazing animals.
Vallejo
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Enjoyed My Visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2012

This was my visit time visiting this aquarium. Small but had a lot to offer. Worth the admission.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Not worth it”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 June 2012

we got the city passes so we got a somewhat "cheap" entrance. The place itself definitely does not worth the price of its ticket. The Academy of Science at the Golden Gate Park offers more to see.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Kelly L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Small and expensive”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2012

The aquarium costs too much - just like anything else on pier 39. It is small, but the displays are good and the staff very helpful. Kids really like it, but there is not a lot of information for someone interested in really learning about the fish, ocean, etc.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank Shawn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Small space, super staff”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2012

The Aquarium of the Bay is great to visit if you buy the CityPass that includes admission to this attraction. I don't know if I'd pay full price for it on its own because it doesn't take very long to see everything inside it. It is a small aquarium in comparison to others (like the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta or the National Aquarium in Baltimore). But for a morning on the wharf, this place gives kids a nice chance to see the animals of the bay up close without much walking or big crowds involved. So if you can get it on the CityPass or if you find discount coupons (which seemed to printed on everything on the Wharf), it's worth a look.

We went at the very opening of the aquarium and we basically had the place to ourselves for much of our visit. For our walk through the first floor, a staff member stayed with us and pointed different animals out in tanks and taught our kids things. I am sure that attendance picks up later in the day, but if you go early, you can see everything in under two hours without pushing the pace or without pushing your way to an observation window.

The best part of the aquarium is the touch pool. The staff member working the pool was fabulous with our kids. He was knowledgeable and talked to kids on their levels. He also was very good at telling the kids how to handle the animals without being too abrupt or intimidating. We stood at that pool for a majority of our time in the building, letting the kids touch starfish, stingrays, a tiny shark of some kind, etc. After the staff member explained things about the animals, we started to ask him about what beaches to go to near SF and where we could take the best photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. He pulled out his phone and plugged in different spots to show us where to go. We followed his advice two days later and he was spot on in all cases. I couldn't say more about how helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly every staff member we met was.

If you can only go to one aquarium while in SF, I'd say the CA Academy of Sciences is the better of the two, considering all that comes with the latter. But if you have time/money for both, there's enough to see here to entertain and educate your kids for a few hours.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank AMathur12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Tourist Trap!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2012

For what you pay this is a bit of a disappointment and it clearly cashes in on its position in tourist-central without really needing to be an outstanding attraction. Don't bother - save your money and go to the Academy of Sciences instead - it's twice the price but their aquarium blows this one out of the water (excuse the pun!) and they have so much more to see and do on top.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank SugarplumMonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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