Learning

Encounter the bay’s critters, culture, history, flora and other fun stuff up close at these museums and science centers along the Bay Trail.

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Exploratorium (San Francisco)

Considered among the country’s top science museums, the Exploratorium provides visitors a variety of interactive ways to explore and understand the world around them. The museum’s participatory exhibits ignite curiosity and inspire creativity in people of all ages.

Aquarium of the Bay (San Francisco)

Located on San Francisco’s Pier 39, this aquarium is a great place to learn about, view and touch local aquatic animals from the San Francisco Bay and neighboring waters.

CuriOdyssey (San Mateo)

This nationally recognized science center and museum offers hands-on exhibits for kids inside and natural wildlife habitats surrounding the building. Visitors can participate in daily animal programs to learn about the over 50 native animal residents and the habitats they live in.

Alviso Environmental Education Center (San Jose)

Located in the heart of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the Alviso Environmental Education Center is surrounded by uplands, salt marshes, salt ponds and a freshwater tidal slough, and is located right on the Bay Trail. The building contains two classrooms, an auditorium and an enclosed observation tower. An open pavilion, trails and a boardwalk through the salt marsh habitat make it easy to see and explore natural wonders of the South Bay. The building and portions of the trails are accessible to all people of varying abilities. 

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center provides an introduction to the ecology of the San Francisco Bay Estuary. It features exhibits, programs and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect and stewardship for the bay, its inhabitants and the services they provide. 

Crab Cove Visitor Center (Alameda)

Crab Cove Visitor Center at Crown Memorial State Beach connects people with the local marine and shoreline life, as well as Alameda history. You can see bay creatures in the 800-gallon aquarium system, use interactive stations to view microscopic animals, or get a worm’s view of the mudflats.

Shorebird Park Nature Center (Berkeley)

At the Shorebird Visitor Center you’ll find aquariums and displays on local aquatic species, marine mammals and birds. The building is the first municipal strawbale building in the U.S. and provides information to visitors concerning recreation and marine conservation and education.

Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center (Richmond)

Located along the Bay Trail, this National Park explores and honors the efforts and sacrifices of American civilians on the World War II home front. The museum details how they lived and worked – particularly highlighting the role of women and African-Americans in making Richmond one of the most productive industrial sites during the war. 

Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito)

Located near the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Area Discovery Museum facilitates learning through hands-on exhibits, activities and risk-friendly challenges designed to ignite creativity for the whole family.