Monday, June 24, 2013

San Francisco City Pass

The kids and I had four and a half days to fill while iKeith attended the WWDC Conference in San Francisco.  We decided that we'd stay in Fisherman's Wharf and that he'd commute to the Moscone Center via Muni(bus) each day.  The F bus stop was right outside of our hotel so it was very convenient!   This left the kids and I right in the middle of all of the action.

When researching things to do, I was easily overwhelmed!  San Francisco is an amazing city with museums and learning experiences everywhere you look.  When I was researching how we'd be getting around, I stumbled upon the City Pass.

For the low price of $202 for the three of us, we got a 7 day Muni pass and admission to 4 attractions.  I already knew that I wanted to take the kids on a boat tour and to the Academy of Science and they were both included.  It seemed like a no brainer!

Day One~Aquarium of the Bay and Pier 39

We started off this day by finding a place to eat breakfast that wouldn't blow my budget.  Food is ridiculously expensive and a kid's meal can run you $10. I found a great place where the kids could have pancakes and I could have Pho!

Next we walked over to Trader Joe's and saved $200 on food for our stay.

My little boy is all about the fishes!  He loves the aquarium so much and loved all of the displays.  At the end we got to touch a shark and manta rays. This is a small attraction and only takes about an hour to get through....less if one of your children suddenly develops an aversion to fish tanks and freaks out.

Aquarium of the Bay is on Pier 39 which doesn't look like much from the front but its a two layer mall with a Merry Go Round and the world famous Sea Lions.  This takes about 2 hours to navigate but there are many restaurants (print coupons from home before you leave)  scattered through out including the California Wine Bar where you can get a flight of Pinot Noir for $16.

Day Two~ Academy of Science and the Golden Gate Bridge

We traveled to the Golden Gate Bridge on the mass transit system which can be very confusing.  Download an app that tells exactly which buses to get on and where.  This is also helpful for figuring out when the next bus is arriving.

This bridge is really breath taking!  And when you read all of the plaques about how and when it was built, you are just amazed that it is there at all.  There are very affordable souvenirs here like cool pencils for $1.  Just don't do what I did and leave them somewhere. There is also a little cafe where you can grab a drink and a pastry.  The coffee is really good here!

The bus dropped us off on the outskirts of Golden Gate Park.  There is one bus that will take you right to the front door of the Academy of Science but since we made a stop at the bridge we didn't take that one.  But it's so fine because the park is beautiful and is worth walking through.  We found ourselves in the middle of a rose garden.

The California Academy of Science is an amazing place.  It has a natural history museum, an aquarium with African Penguins, a rainforest and an earth quake simulator. On the very a living garden!  It's almost too much to put under one roof and not be overwhelmed.  Make sure to download their app so you can get more info about the events happening during your visit.  We were able to be front row at the Penguin feeding (10:30am every morning) because I checked the app.

Day Three~The Exploratorium 

The Exploratorium recently moved to a new building on Pier 15 between Fisherman's Wharf and The Ferry Building.    This place is amazing!  Give yourself a good two hours to navigate and be ready to use your brain a lot!  Basically, you are about to do 400 science experiments in a short amount of time. There is so much to read and see and do.  You will have to come back a second time to really see everything.

Day Four~Bay Tour

Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Cruise does a great job of showing you the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.  There is indoor seating if you don't want to stand or sit in the wind and you can buy drinks and snacks onboard.   We loved hearing all of the history while sailing around the bay!

I was so pleased with the City Pass and would use it again in San Francisco or any other city that offers it.  I figured out that we saved about $150 and all of the activities are worth seeing if you are visiting the city!  Make sure to visit my food blog for info about where to eat while visiting the great city of San Francisco!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for writing about the City Pass.  I just loved using it and wanted to share it with my readers and anyone else that comes across my blog while googling 'crap to do in San Fran'.  


  1. Such an amazing trip!

  2. I'm so glad you got to go the exploritorium! It's one of my favorite places EVER!!

  3. Wow, what a great vacation! I have been to San Fran twice but never with kids. This is such an amazing guide you have written. I am going to bookmark this so if we end up going with the kids we are ready to go :)

  4. This is awesome! I love finding good deals like that on vacation, especially when you've got to find things to do with kids in tow. I had heard that everything in San Fran was pretty overpriced, but I think that goes for most big cities in CA! I would love to visit here someday!

  5. :D Thanks for this post. We're trying to decide where to go during Christmas break because it's the only time we can travel together as a family. We've talked about taking the girls to San Francisco.

    I'll head over to your food blog and read about your dining experiences.


  6. San Francisco is one of my very favorite cities to visit. When I used to work for an airline company, I'd fight to get a layover in SF.

    Great pics and what fun...sounds like a fantastic time!


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