Dive into a breathtaking array of beautiful and critical marine habitats, from a vibrant Philippine coral reef to lush, tropical rainforests and California's own coastal ecosystem.   

Steinhart Aquarium is one of the most biodiverse and interactive aquariums in the world. Home to an estimated 40,000 animals, representing more than 900 separate species, it offers guests an unprecedented view of underwater life and provides insights into the critical role that aquatic environments play in life on Earth.

The original Steinhart Aquarium (which opened in Golden Gate Park in 1923) was the model for many of the public aquariums that followed—and today's Steinhart carries on that tradition. The aquarium's expeditions, research, and advances in animal husbandry result in a wide range of awe-inspiring exhibits, including the world’s deepest living coral reef tank, a four-level rainforest dome, the unique, ever-changing Water Planet gallery, and more. 

Colorful fish swim in the Academy's Philippine Coral Reef exhibit

Philippine Coral Reef

At 25 feet deep and holding 212,000 gallons of water, the Philippine Coral Reef tank is one of the deepest exhibits of live corals in the world. It houses a broad range of aquatic life from the coral reefs and mangroves of the Philippines, one of the most diverse reef ecosystems in the world. 

The Academy's Tusher African Hall penguin breeding colony

Tusher African Hall

Live tortoises, lizards, and fish bring African Hall to life, but the undisputed stars of the show are the African penguins—a colony whose home is modeled after South Africa's Boulders Beach. Hurry in to visit the penguins before their exhibit closes temporarily for renovation on January 5.

Giant arapaima in the Academy's Rainforests of the World exhibit

Rainforests of the World

The Osher Rainforest is teeming with live animals, including free-flying tropical birds and butterflies and exotic reptiles and amphibians. Climb through three tiers of rainforest canopy and descend into our 100,000 gallon Flooded Forest tank, where freshwater fish cruise overhead.

Underwater window into the Academy's California Coast Kelp Forest

California Coast

See stunning views of the spectacular underwater ecosystems in our very own backyard, from kelp forests filled with leopard sharks to rocky reefs blanketed in vibrant pink anemones and colorful corals.

A tiny octopus emerges from a jar in our Animal Attraction exhibit

Animal Attraction

Explore some of the wildest courtship and mating strategies in the animal kingdom. From mate-munching arthropods to leaping fish, learn how animals go to extremes to pass on their genes.

Claude the albino alligator waits for feeding time in The Swamp

The Swamp

An ornate seahorse railing from the original Steinhart Aquarium surrounds the lush Swamp Gallery, where alligator snapping turtles and colorful koi circle the albino alligator known as Claude.

Flowing walls and jewel tanks in the Academy's Water Planet exhibit

Water Planet

Walls that seem to flow into one another create an immersive, liquid setting that encourages exploration of the dramatic connections between water and life.

Shark lagoon exhibit at Steinhart Aquarium

Shark Lagoon

Sharks and rays circle our 35,000-gallon Philippine mangrove lagoon exhibit in search of their next meal—and it’s not far away. Stop by or check the webcam every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 pm EST to see the next feeding.

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Steinhart Webcams

Steinhart Webcams

Be mesmerized by the brilliant colors of tropical fish, the grace of sharks and rays, and the busy waddling of African penguins. Our webcams stream 24 hours a day.  

Philippine Coral Reef exhibit

Visitor Map

Visitor Map

Prefer to plan your exploration in advance? Use your smartphone for way-finding? Just click here for an interactive map of the Academy and its exhibits. 

interactive visitor map

Donating an Animal

Donating an Animal

Though we occasionally accept animal donations, there are many species we can't accommodate. Have a fish, reptile, amphibian, or bird that needs a new home? Please fill out the form below.