Last updated: 3/28/2015
San Francisco, California
The Embarcadero at Beach Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
phone: 415-623-5300
Aquarium of the Bay is open 364 days each year. We are closed on December 25.
Please see our website for detailed hourly schedule.
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Mallory Johnson, Aquarium Contact

Aquarium of the Bay is San Francisco Bay’s Aquarium. We are passionate about providing fun and unforgettable encounters with our natural world in ways that ignite both wonder and conservation. We do this from our 50,000 square foot building at the heart of San Francisco's history and culture. We are nestled in the shadow of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill on Fisherman’s Wharf at PIER 39, along the City’s “Walkable Waterfront.”

Aquarium of the Bay is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco.

How do we achieve the mission?

We focus on water, beginning at the heart—the very depths—of San Francisco Bay. Our facility boasts 300 feet of crystal clear acrylic tunnels holding 700,000 gallons of carefully maintained bay water that sustains approximately 30,000 animals, from octopuses to eight-foot native, sevengill sharks. Visitors are also treated to mesmerizing walls of jellies and a chance to touch bat rays, skates and “splash zone" animals.

In our fifteen year history, over seven million guests, including more than 100,000 school children, have visited the Aquarium.

Smart Partnerships, Great Science

Our research efforts are grounded in peer-reviewed science and focus on monitoring and improving life for all San Francisco Bay species. We work both alone and in partnership on research including shark monitoring and captive breeding programs. Our goal is to understand how best to ensure that native animals can thrive in the busy, much used waters of San Francisco Bay, its estuary, marshes and tributaries.

Beneath our Bay

Explore the magic, beauty and wonder of San Francisco Bay at Aquarium of the Bay. Your visit will take you through three main exhibit areas that display the amazing riches that lie beneath the surface of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding waters.

Discover The Bay

Your Aquarium of the Bay exploration begins in Discover the Bay, featuring the distinctive ecosystems that support an incredibly wide variety of marine life.

Under the Bay

Stroll through 300 feet of crystal clear tunnels featuring over 20,000 marine animals from San Francisco Bay and nearby waters.

Touch the Bay

The magic of San Francisco Bay is literally at your finger tips in Touch the Bay, featuring touchpools with sharks, rays and sea stars, and the interactive Bay Lab station.


Working to protect, restore and inspire the conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed – from the Sierra to the sea.

Educational Programs

School program reservations now available

All of the Aquarium’s education programs are taught by our staff of trained Naturalists, linked to California State Science Standards and include developmentally appropriate, STEM based activities.

All programs, with the exception of the Discover the Bay Hybrid Ferry Program, are free to all K-12 schools in the 9 Bay Area Counties (San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano). Each program is offered at specific times throughout the school year, and all require a reservation. Our programs are very popular and book quickly, so act fast!


We publish a quarterly educator newsletter.


Wheelchair Accessible



A beautiful and unique waterfront venue

Aquarium of the Bay provides a unique and unforgettable venue for cocktail receptions, mixers, product launches, presentations and meetings. Whether it is a fun-filled team-building event, a board meeting, or a product launch, we have event staff that can help you plan the event of your dreams.

2015 Aquarium of the Bay Facility Rentals

Discover the Bay: The Discover the Bay exhibit is an introduction to the San Francisco Bay and the animals that live within it. Guests will have access to the exhibit proper, main entrance, restrooms and glass canopy, with views of the marina and San Francisco Bay.

Touch the Bay/North American River Otter Exhibit: Give your guests the opportunity to touch sharks, rays, skates and sea stars. Guests also get up close and personal with land-dwelling animals ranging from Blue-Tongued Skinks to Chinchillas, in the PG&E Bay Lab. Explore our newest exhibit, North American River Otters and meet our watershed ambassadors!

Discover the Bay/Touch the Bay/North American River Otter Exhibit: Enjoy cocktails while strolling the top level of our Aquarium. Your guests will have access to Discover the Bay, featuring eight exhibits holding over one thousand aquatic animals; Touch the Bay, where guests have the opportunity to touch some of our animals; and our new North American River Otter exhibit, featuring our watershed ambassadors.

Full Aquarium Events: Your guests will have full access to Aquarium of the Bay and will be able to share a cocktail with the sharks as they walk through crystal clear tunnels filled with 20,000 marine creatures.

Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

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Charles Town, West Virginia

Established in 1996, iondesign is an award winning design firm that has developed a niche in producing interpretive exhibits for sites nationwide. We are positioned to help clients communicate brand value and interpret history to engage visitors. We bring together a team of high-level professionals for every project to create a strategic partnership with you to support your mission.

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