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The smart way to find California Academy of Sciences parking

  • City Parking Tips
  • Renee Martin
  • 3 minutes

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Whether it’s a school trip, a family outing, or a science-y date, the California Academy of Sciences is the perfect place to go ‘whoa!’ You don’t want that sense of wonder to be marred by the frustration of finding a parking spot. Before you head out, here’s everything you need to know about California Academy of Sciences parking, rates, and alternative options.

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences within the Golden Gate Park attracts visitors around the year. Weekends and holidays are the most crowded times, with most visitors jostling for the best parking spots in the vicinity. Even with expansive on-site parking, the Academy often comes up short, prompting drivers to park on the street or elsewhere.

Here’s a quick lowdown of the conventional parking options for California Academy of Sciences parking – after which we give you some smart off-site parking options to save big!


Is there an on-site California Academy of Sciences parking lot?

Yes, official public parking is available at The Music Concourse Garage inside the Golden Gate Park. The underground garage is less than a minute’s walk away from the main entrance. However, it is not operated by the Academy and it is not responsible for parking rates and other regulations.

The garage is accessible via Fulton Street/10th Avenue on the north or Music Concourse Drive/MLK Drive on the south. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on all days of the week.

How much is parking at the California Academy of Sciences?

The Music Concourse Garage will cost you $5.25/hour on weekdays up to 5:30 p.m, and $6.25/hour on weekends and weekday evenings (after 5:30 p.m). Daily parking rates can go up to $29 on weekdays and $33 on weekends. If you’re a regular visitor or an employee, you can try monthly parking for $240. These rates are subject to changes depending on the operator.

California academy of sciences parking

Is there free parking near the California Academy of Sciences?

Yes, you can find free street parking outside the Academy on Nancy Pelosi Drive, MLK Drive, and Stow Lake Drive. Usual parking time limits are between three to four hours. You can also find metered parking on Balboa Street, Irving Street, and Ninth Avenue which will cost between $3-5 for 2 hours.

However, given the high demand for free spots near the Academy, you might need to have a backup plan – unless you want to drive around in circles! We’d recommend booking a guaranteed spot at an off-site parking garage before you even head out to the Academy.

Where can you find off-site parking near California Academy of Sciences?

If you thought there weren’t any more affordable options nearby, you’re wrong! There are several top-rated indoor garages nearby that offer fantastic value for money and convenience.

Pre-book a spot at any of these garages from the comfort of your home so that you don’t need the hassle of finding California Academy of Science parking! What’s more, it’ll cost you as little as $2 per hour, with even more savings if you use early-bird discounts and vouchers.

California academy of sciences parking

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