• VIP Tour guests atop the Academy's Living Roof
  • Native flower that lives on the Living Roof and around Golden Gate Park
  • VIP Tour guests exploring the surrounding Golden Gate Park
  • One side of the museum visited during the VIP Tour

The Academy is reopening to the public on March 17! We look forward to seeing you on a VIP Tour soon. For ticket reservations, health and safety details, exhibit updates, and FAQs, please visit our reopening page.

Book a VIP Tour

Public guests, please note that you'll need to purchase a timed-entry Daytime Admission ticket as well as a VIP Tour ticket. Visit our Buy Tickets page to purchase your admission ticket, then add VIP Tour tickets to your order after selecting a visit date and time. (If you already have a Daytime Admission ticket, you can purchase a standalone VIP Tour ticket here.)

Members and donors, please reserve your free timed-entry admission tickets before returning to this page to book your VIP Tour tickets in a separate order. Please note that you will need to log in for each transaction.


About the tour

Rolling hills and skylights of the Academy's Living Roof

Head off the beaten track to explore the abundance of biodiversity in Golden Gate Park and atop the Academy’s lush Living Roof. On this 45-minute tour, encounter native plants in bloom, unearth the secrets of the Living Roof, and discover impressive feats of sustainable engineering. For your safety, tours are limited to 6 total guests. Members, your discount will be applied after login.

What’s included:

  • 45-minute guided tour 
  • Tours depart daily at 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3:30 pm
  • Content of this tour is recommended for ages 7+
  • Includes 10% off shopping and dining
  • VIP express entrance to Osher Rainforest and Shake House earthquake simulator
  • $24.95/guest ($19.95 members)

Please note: This tour includes several stairs and a natural, uneven walking surface. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Face masks and physical distancing are required.


Tour FAQ

How do I check in?

When you get to the Academy, please check in with your VIP Tour guide at the tour cart located near the Swamp exhibit 5 minutes before your scheduled tour time.

What if I'm running late?

Tours run on schedule, so please arrive early to check in and meet your guide at the tour cart. Refunds will not be given to no-shows or guests who arrive after the tour has departed.

Are VIP Tours accessible?

Please email us at specialtyprograms@calacademy.org or call us at 415-379-5854 to inquire about accessible tour options.

Service dogs are welcome at the Academy if providing assistance to individuals with disabilities, but a small number of areas, including the rainforest, research collections, and back-of-house, do remain off-limits. If you plan on bringing your service dog to the Academy or would like additional information, please call our Contact Center at 415-379-8000 and press 0 to speak with a representative.

What else should I know about VIP Tours?

Comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for indoor and outdoor environments are strongly recommended. Please note that open food and beverages, including gum and candy, are prohibited on the tour, as is flash photography and video.

How can I make my tour private?

Our team would be happy to assist you in booking a private VIP Tour. Please email us at specialtyprograms@calacademy.org or call us at 415-379-5854 to learn more.

Can I bring a large group on a tour?

Absolutely! For larger group reservations, please fill out this brief form and a member of our team will reach out to you. Please note that due to physical distancing requirements there may be limitations on the number of guests per tour group.

Please note: A 50% non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking to reserve group tickets of 10 or more. Your total balance is due 30 days prior to your tour date. If you are booking a tour within 30 days of your tour date full payment is due at the time of booking. Cancellations occurring 30 days or more prior to the tour date, will receive a full refund minus the deposit.

Bringing a Large Group?

Please complete this form if you're bringing a group and we'll follow up with you.