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Locals Steals and Deals

SF Discounts Offered to Bay Area Residents

Do you live in San Francisco or the Bay Area? If so, then check out this list of locals steals and deals which includes many of the top discounts available to you throughout SF.

It's easy to save. Simply show your ID with your SF or Bay Area address to save on a variety of activities from admissions to SF attractions to discounts off purchases at select retailers.

You will need to be proactive to save. Many of the attractions below will not ask for your ID as they work with so many visitors from out of town. However, when you buy your tickets in person, simply tell them you are local and they will offer you the discounted price.

Pier 39's Local Advantage

Pier 39 offers discounts to those living in SF, the Bay Area and other counties a little further away. The discounts offered change every few months and range from free kids tickets (with the purchase of an adult ticket) at the Aquarium of the Bay to discounts on purchases at specified stores.

These deals are good for anyone in the following counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo or Yuba.

Click here for a current list of locals steals and deals at Pier 39 and to sign up for their email for additional discount notifications.

Learn More: Top Things to See & Do on Pier 39

Aquarium of the Bay

Locals can also save on admission to the Aquarium of the Bay on SF's Pier 39. When purchasing your tickets, show your drivers license or another current ID with your address to receive this discount.

These admission rates apply to all family members.

Admission for locals is:

  • $18.00 for adults (13 - 64)
  • $10.00 for children (4 - 12) and Seniors (65 and up)

These are the nine SF Bay Area counties included in the discount: San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara.

Learn More: What to Expect During Your Visit to the Aquarium


Residents of the nine Bay Area counties receive discounts on their admission to the Exploratorium. To receive the discount, show your drivers license or another ID when purchasing your tickets.

Admission prices for Bay Area residents is:

  • $20 for Adults (18 - 64)
  • $15 for Youth (4 - 17)
  • $15 for Teachers & Students (with additional ID)
  • $15 for Seniors and PWD
  • Children 3 and under get in free.

You must be a resident of one of the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano or Sonoma.

Learn More: Find Pictures & See What It's Like to Visit

Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park

Admission to the Botanical Gardens is always free to residents of the city of San Francisco. Show your ID at the ticket counter to enter the gardens at no cost.

These gardens are amazing and worth the time to visit. I come here often as something different is always in bloom.

One of the best times to visit is when the Magnolia trees bloom between mid-January and late March. Another great time to visit is in May and June when many of the local plants are in bloom.

Learn More: What You Will See During Your Visit

Do you have a Deal for SF and/or Bay Area residents that you would like to add to this list? Simply click here to contact me. Please include your deal information and a valid email address so I can contact you directly.

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences offers free admission days for residents of San Francisco. They offer them one weekend day every Spring and Fall. Free admission is determined by zip code, so you must show your current ID to get in free.

Visit the SF California Academy of Sciences website for the date and list of zip codes for upcoming SF resident free admission days.

Learn More: Read About My Experience Visiting this SF Museum

SF Theater Tickets

Many of the big ticket theater performances in SF offer lottery tickets at a deep discount to fill up open seats. This is for Broadway performances at the Golden Gate Theater, the Orpheum and the Curran.

In order to participate in the lottery, you need to show up at the ticket booth 2.5 to 3 hours before the performance. They usually draw names for tickets about an hour later.

They typically sell these last minute lottery tickets for around $25 per ticket. They only accept cash, so be prepared when you arrive. You can usually enter the lottery for up to two tickets. It's available for everyone, but it's a great locals secret as most people on vacation don't want to stand around for a few hours waiting for the chance to get tickets to a show.

I've done this several times and have the best luck when I try for tickets during the week. At times, there have been more tickets than people waiting.

Lottery rules for each show vary. They announce the rules about two weeks before each performance. Visit the SHN SF site to check the lottery rules for upcoming performances.

Learn More: Full SF Theater Calendar by Month

Save on Tickets Through Goldstar

One of my top recommendations to save on events and activities in SF is through Goldstar. They offer tickets at up to half off theater performances, tours and other annual events.

I often use them to save on my tickets to comedy shows, live music and SF Festivals. I've also found discounts on admission to the SF Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco Giants games and the TAPAS Wine Tasting Festival.

Goldstar is easy to use. Simply book your ticket online, print out the voucher and bring it along with you to the event. Turn the voucher into the ticket office when you arrive and you are set to go!

Click here for a list of all the tickets available for up to half off. Also, make sure you check back often as they add new event offerings almost every day.

Coit Tower

San Francisco residents receive a discount when visiting the Observation Deck at Coit Tower. Locals can take the elevator to the top for just $5 per person (vs. $7 for non-SF residents). Seniors and children also receive $2 off admission ($3 for residents vs $5 for non-residents).

Learn More: What It's Like to Visit Coit Tower

Japanese Tea Garden

Those living in SF receive discounted admission into the Japanese Tea Garden. All residents can enter for $5 (vs. non-residents for $7). The cost for Seniors (65+) and Youth (12 - 17) is just $3 (vs $5 for non-residents).

Show your drivers license or other current ID with your SF address to save on your admission.

Learn More: What You Will See at the Japanese Tea Garden

SF Zoo

One day each month, the SF Zoo features free admission to residents of San Francisco. You can prove your residency in the city with your current driver's license, a valid identification card or a phone, utility or other local bill (that includes your name and address - along with some form of identification).

Visit the SF Zoo website for a list of upcoming free days for SF residents.

In addition to these monthly free days, SF residents also receive discounted admissions to the zoo. The price for adults is $14 (vs $17 for non-residents), for children (4 - 14) it is $7.50 and for seniors (65+) it is $9.50.

Learn More: See Pictures and Learn More About Visiting the SF Zoo

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