Science is and has always been one of my biggest passions. Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to understand how to world works – what energies power it, what laws hold it together the way it is. That very passion is what led me to become an engineer, and ultimately come to San Francisco on an internship.
A few months ago I visited the Exploratorium, one of the most famous museums in the world and the most known in San Francisco, and I absolutely loved it. More recently, I decided to also give the California Academy of Sciences a try, and, little that I knew, I was even more impressed!
This museum is, without a doubt, the most raw, engaging and authentic one I have ever visited. Have you ever been frustrated by the thick glass that separates you from the wildlife presented in virtually all museums on the planet? Have you ever wished you could wander around the simulated biomes instead of just observing from a distance? If you have, this museum will conquer your curiosity instantly.
My favorite part was, by far, the rainforest. At the center of the museum, a gigantic glass dome exposes a huge multi-level area that is full of life. To enter it, you must pass through several isolation rooms. Once inside, a wave of heat and humidity welcomes you into the heart of a perfectly engineered tropical biome.
As you start walking around the spiral path that slowly wraps round the dome and takes you to the highest level (from where you can access the museum’s living roof), tropical birds, beautiful colorful butterflies and all sorts of gorgeous flowers and plants come to life around you – all with a crazy level of immersion. If you’re lucky enough, a butterfly may even land on you. The place is so authentic you can even see huge silk spiders roaming around (almost) freely.
The museum also features an aquarium, a rock exposition, a massive planetarium that projects educational shows regularly, and even a living roof painted by dozens of flowers and trees. Overall, it’s a great way to spend a day in San Francisco if you’re into science (and if you’re not, you’ll probably be after this!), and I could not recommend it more.
A little tip if you’re living in San Francisco (i.e. if you have local bills you can show) – get the free library card to obtain a free ticket to visit the museum once every year. Tickets around here are pretty pricey, and this membership can help you save a lot of money, as it also offers discounts for many other points of interest (including the Exploratorium).
See you next time 🙂