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San Francisco Tourist Attractions

Save Money on Top SF Attractions with the CityPass Discount Card

Are you looking for ways to save money on San Francisco tourist attractions? The San Francisco CityPass is one of three great tourism San Francisco passes that will save you a lot of money - almost 47% off! It also includes 'skip the line' benefits for most of its attractions, so you won't have to wait in long ticket lines.

san francisco city passWith this pass, you have options to visit the museums and attractions that interest you. All passes include entrance to the California Academy of Sciences.

You then have the choice to visit either the Exploratorium or both the Legion of Honor and the de Young. Your second option is to either visit the Aquarium of the Bay in Fisherman's Wharf or the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium (about an hour and a half south of SF).

All tickets also include a one-hour cruise on the San Francisco Bay. You can also upgrade this to the "Escape from the Rock Tour" or add on a full visit to Alcatraz.

One of the other reasons that I love this San Francisco discount card is that it includes a seven-day Muni pass. Muni is the San Francisco public transportation system which includes cable cars, street cars, buses and the light rail train.

The ease of this Muni pass alone is worth the money. You won't have to worry about digging around for change every time you want to jump on a bus or cable car.

Here is more detail about the San Francisco tourist attractions and the savings included with this pass:

San Francisco Tourist Attractions Full Adult
Retail Prices*
7-Day Muni Pass $29.00
Golden Gate Bay Cruise (Blue & Gold) $28.00
California Academy of Sciences $29.95
Select One of These Two Options Aquarium of the Bay $21.95
Monterey Bay Aquarium $39.95
Select One of These Two Options de Young Museum & Legion of Honor $10.00
Exploratorium $29.00
Price for San Francisco CityPass $86.00
Your Savings Save 47% or More Off Retail Price

*All prices, estimates and attractions are subject to change without prior notification.

Skip the line benefits are available for all of the San Francisco tourist attractions with this pass except for the Golden Gate Bay Cruise. When you arrive at each attraction, just look for the CityPass 'Skip the Line' sign and head on in!

Additional Savings

This card also includes discounts for shopping, restaurants and a few other tours. Here are the additional savings you will receive with this card:

  • Fun Pack at Pier 39
  • 15% with $200+ purchase at Bloomingdales + a free gift
  • Discounts on GoCar Tours
  • Blazing Saddles Bike Rental (includes a one way ferry ride back to San Francisco)
  • 15% discount at Macy's
  • 15% off at the store in the California Academy of Sciences

Are you ready to save? Save up to 47% on San Francisco's Muni and 4 other attractions with CityPASS. Shop Now!

Ideas to Help You Plan Your Visits

You have up to nine days to use the tickets for the San Francisco tourist attractions that come with the CityPass. The starting date is based on the day you first use the card.

This gives you plenty of time, but you can realistically visit all of these San Francisco tourist attractions in just a few days.

Here are some suggestions on using the card, so you can make the most of your time. It includes ideas for all of the options you can choose from above.

California Academy of Sciences: What Else to See Nearby

The California Academy of Sciences is one of the most visited San Francisco tourist attractions and is a must see during your visit.

claude at the california academy of sciencesThe reason it's so popular is that is really four museums in one. Here you can visit the Steinhart aquarium, their natural history museum, the planetarium and the four story rainforest.

You should leave at least three to four hours to fully enjoy this museum.

I recommend arriving 10 or so minutes before the museum opens. It gets really crowded, so you want to get in as early as possible. There is almost always a line - but with the CityPass discount card - you get to 'skip the line' so there is no need to show up any earlier.

You will also want to note that the planetarium shows are on a first come, first served basis. The shows are free, but you do need to head over and pick up a ticket. Do this immediately when you arrive - so you can get a seat for one of the earlier shows that day.

Once you are done at the museum, I recommend exploring Golden Gate Park. It is a large, beautiful park with many other things to do.

You will notice that the de Young Museum is right across the street from the Academy of Sciences. I recommend you visit this on a different day since you will receive a 'one day' ticket for both the de Young Fine Arts Museum and the Legion of Honor. Visiting all three in one day is too much. You also have plenty of time, so you can come back and visit another day if you select them instead of the Exploratorium.

Some of the other great San Francisco tourist attractions to visit in Golden Gate Park include:

  • Conservatory of Flowers: This is a living museum with a unique set of plants and flowers from many different countries - some that you probably have never seen before. The entrance fee is not included, but worth a stop while you are in the area.

  • Japanese Tea Garden: A beautiful, outside Japanese tea garden - there is also a small cost for this that is not included with the card.

  • Stow Lake: This is a small lake in the middle of Golden Gate Park. You can spend a little time hiking around the lake or rent a paddle boat for a quick ride around.

Choice Ticket: Aquarium of the Bay or Monterey Bay Aquarium

If you only plan to visit San Francisco, then you will chose a visit to the Aquarium of the Bay. If you have a little more time, then I recommend taking a day trip down to Monterey to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Here are a few more details on each option.

Aquarium of the Bay

I love this aquarium! It's an educational view on all of the plants and animals that live in the San Francisco bay. It's really well organized and such a fun visit for 'kids' of all ages.

A visit to the aquarium will take an hour to an hour and a half. That gives you plenty of time to explore the rest of the neighborhood including:

  • Golden Gate Bay Cruise: The ticket to this bay cruise is included with the CityPass. Before or after your visit to the aquarium, you should head over for your cruise. It will last an hour with some additional time waiting in line for your cruise.

  • Alcatraz Prison Tours: A ticket to Alcatraz is not included with the CityPass card, but this is a must see attraction. You pick up the ferry on the eastern side of Fishermans Wharf at Pier 33. You could easily combine all three of these attractions into one day.

  • Pier 39: Grab some lunch or pick up some gifts while you are here. Don't forget to use the Fun Pack coupons to save you some additional money.

Find more top activities in Fishermans Wharf San Francisco.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

A drive to the cute seaside town of Monterey takes about an hour and a half from San Francisco. While you are here, you can also visit the following attractions.

  • Cannery Row: The aquarium sits on the southern end of Cannery Row. This fun area includes several shops, small museums and restaurants. You could easily spend all day just walking up and down this street.

  • Monterey Fisherman's Wharf: To the north of Cannery Row, you will find Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf. This historic pier was built in 1845 and offers views of the surrounding sea and several otters and sea lions. You can also enjoy the finest fresh seafood or do a little shopping at their specialty stores.

  • Monterey Museum of Modern Art: This great museum has two locations in Monterey. Each offer a unique collection of works. They also offer children's activities as well as a beautiful hidden garden.

Choice Ticket: de Young Museum & Legion of Honor OR Exploratorium

If you love fine arts, then I recommend selecting the combined de Young and Legion of Honor Museum ticket. If you are traveling with children or love science, then I recommend selecting the Exploratorium ticket.

Here are some things to think about when selecting each one.

de Young Museum & Legion of Honor

I'd start out at the de Young. It gets crowded in the afternoon, so I recommend heading over shortly before it opens.

On display, you will find hundreds of pieces of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries. You will also find fine art from around the world including pieces from Europe, Africa, and the Pacific.

It will take about two to three hours to visit the de Young Museum.

Once you are done, you will then want to head over to the Legion of Honor. This is another gorgeous fine arts museum, set in one of the most beautiful locations along the San Francisco Bay.

You should leave another two to three hours for your visit to this museum.

With your Muni pass, you can easily get between these two San Francisco tourist attractions. Here is a map to show you both locations.

legion of honor map

You'll have to transfer buses to get to the Legion of Honor. You'll first walk north to Fulton Street - this is the orange street on the north side of the park shown in the map above - only a 5 minute walk.

From here, cross the street and find the 5 Fulton bus stop at Fulton and 10th Avenue (make sure the sign says it's heading to Ocean Beach - you can also ask the bus driver to confirm that you are heading the right way). Take this bus to the Cabrillo Street and La Playa Street stop.

Here you'll pick up the 18 bus heading toward the Richmond District. This will drop you off right in front of the Legion of Honor. The entire trip only takes about 30 minutes.

Exploratorium: Science Museum

The recently relocated Exploratorium is now right in the heart of the action. It offers dozens of hands-on science and human perception exhibits that are fun for everyone.

A visit here can take anywhere from two to three hours. If you are traveling with kids that love science, you may want to stay even longer.

After your visit, you can either head north about a half mile to Fisherman's Wharf or south about a half mile to the Ferry Building.

This card has so many great benefits. Not only will you save money, but you also get the chance to see so many of the top San Francisco tourist attractions at a fraction of the cost.

Are you ready to take advantage of the savings available with this card? Save up to 47% on San Francisco's Muni and 4 other attractions with CityPASS. Shop Now!.

> > CityPass Card Overview

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