California Academy of Sciences
Learn about life on Earth through engaging exhibits.
Since it opened its doors in September 2008, the Academy of Sciences has been a must-visit for both locals and tourists. Highlights include the gorgeous — and green — design by renowned architect Renzo Piano, and interactive exhibits ranging from aquariums (where you won’t want to miss the albino alligator) to a walk-through rain forest to a planetarium show narrated by actor George Takei to a unique "living roof." Allow a few hours to see it all, and if you feel like a kid again, don’t worry: That’s one of the best parts of visiting.