The San Francisco CityPass is a fabulous way to save money and visit some of the areas top attractions in a short space of time, especially if you are travelling with children.
The passes cost $94 (c. £72) for adults and $74 (c.£57) for children.
Buying a citypass saves you approximately 43% on the cost of paying for the included attractions separately, but the ultimate saving will obviously depend on how much use you get from using the public transport.
So what is included?
3 days unlimited use of the San Francisco Cable Cars and Muni Buses.
PLUS: Tickets valid for 9 days to visit the following attractions:
Aquarium by the bay
A fairly small by enjoyable aquarium based on the bustling Pier 39, which in itself is home to multiple attractions, restaurants, gift shops….and sea lions!
It only took us about an hour to go around the whole aquarium but there were some interesting exhibits.
Exploratorium (OR entrance to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
Located at Pier 15 we found the Exploratorium a really fun way to spend a couple of hours, with levers, knobs, pulleys, pedals and all sorts of ‘hands on’ experimental exhibits for kids young and old to play with. We could have spent longer there but unfortunately having arrived later in the afternoon they were closing their doors 2 hrs later. I would highly recommend a visit there though, if only to see the slinky treadmill (below)!
California Academy of Sciences
I visited the California Academy of Sciences on my last visit to San Francisco back in 2010 and I loved it then. Hence I was very keen to take my 7yr old son there and was delighted that the admission was included within the city pass. Trust me your admission here is worth the money alone. CAOS showcases a fabulous aquarium which I personally feel exceeds the Aquarium by the Bay both in presentation and educational value.
Next we visited the Africa display of stuffed animal displays and outside houses a display of impressive roaring dinosaurs for kids to see, hear and climb on.
One of the main highlights is visit the rain forest which sweeps you on a gradual incline through fauna, flora, parrots and butterflies and finally up onto the living roof (which I have to say reminded me of Tellytubby land!!)
The other main feature at CAOS is the incredible planetarium. There are a number of shows presented each day and we chose to attend the Universal Stars presentation which lasts for around 30 mins. As you lean back on your chair and look up to the ceiling we were transported through the planets, milky way, galaxy and outer universe, reminding us how tiny and insignificant we really are and just how much of the unknown is still undiscovered. It was a fascinating presentation expertly narrated with a recording by Tom Hanks, with additional live updated commentary given by a member of the planetarium staff.
I would most definitely recommend a visit here if you are visiting the Bay. The CAOS is set within the Golden Gate Park, 1017 acres of urban landscape which houses numerous other attractions including as the National AIDS Memorial Grove, Robin Williams Meadow, Conservatory of Flowers and Japanese Tea Garden.
Blue and Gold Bay Cruise
Here you can step aboard your boat for a 1 hour cruise around the bay, taking you out beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and back around the island of the infamous Alcatraz Jail. There is an in-depth recorded narration to accompany the cruise and hot and cold refreshments are also sold on board. We were fortunate to take our cruise on a beautiful sunny day and have full advantage of the many spectacular views which this bay has to offer.
All in all we enjoyed absolutely everything which was included within our San Francisco City Pass and felt it represented excellent value for money.
To purchase a CityPass click here: San Francisco Citypass