San Francisco CityPASS » Things To Do In San Francisco
As the shimmering "City by the Bay," San Francisco’s distinctive terrain – water on one side, hills on the other – leads to spectacular views and experiences that could only happen here. The city’s wide array of attractions, activities, and personality-infused neighborhoods appeal to visitors of all ages.
California Academy of Sciences
Where else can you find a natural history museum, planetarium, rain forest dome, and aquarium under one plant-blanketed eco-roof? The California Academy of Sciences was reinvented following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and reopened in 2008 as "the greenest museum on the planet."
Ride the Cable Cars
Hands down, the best way to traverse San Francisco’s steep hills is aboard the city’s world-famous cable cars. Tourists and locals alike rely on this historic means of transportation to get from one side of the city to another. And yes, you really can hang off the side, if you like! As you can imagine, riding the cable cars is one of the most popular things to do in San Francisco.
Aquarium of the Bay
Visitors to this nonprofit marine nature center can get up close and personal with sharks, bat rays and skates, thanks to 300 feet (91.4 meters) of clear acrylic tunnels. More than 20,000 aquatic animals, which frolic in 700,000 gallons (2,650 cubic meters) of filtered bay water, represent the diversity of the area’s aquatic life and ecosystems.
Take a Cruise of the Bay
For a fresh take on San Francisco, see it from the water. A variety of bay cruises offer a novel perspective on the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the PIER 39 sea lions, Sausalito and the city skyline itself. The daring can even try a "RocketBoat" tour that offers high-speed thrills along with sightseeing.
Known simply as "the Rock," Alcatraz Island was – during its operation as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 – home to some of the nation’s most infamous criminals. Today, visitors can roam the island freely, taking in the cellblock and the gardens, once maintained by well-behaved prisoners. Alcatraz is definitely one of the most interesting places to visit in San Francisco.
This iconic San Francisco discovery destination had a brand-new home at Pier 15 on San Francisco's historic Embarcadero waterfront. From its microscope imaging station to the adventures of the Mars Rover, one doesn’t have to be a science nerd to be titillated by the exhibits here. Just ask the kids at the Cow’s Eye Dissection display.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Folks won’t want to miss the gorgeous coastal community of Monterey, just south of San Francisco. Once there, visit the "otterly" delightful sea otters, dipping, diving and twirling about at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There also are jiggling jellyfish, parading penguins, a wolf eel and hammerhead sharks.
de Young Museum
The de Young Museum, which reopened in 2005 in a new Golden Gate Park building, offers a significant collection of American, international and textile arts. Its dramatic architecture – complete with a public observation deck atop a 144-foot (44 meters) tower – calls attention to its natural surroundings.
Golden Gate Bridge
Perhaps San Francisco’s most recognized landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 and has dominated the city’s skyline ever since. More than 9 million visitors annually cross the 1.7-mile (2,737 meters) bridge in cars, by bike, or on foot.
Golden Gate Park
This great urban park – the third-most-visited in the United States (behind New York’s Central Park and Chicago’s Lincoln Park) – beckons with many offerings: the Japanese Tea Garden, historic windmills, a flower conservatory, boat rentals, walking and biking paths, and ideal locations for a quiet picnic or nap.
As the historic center of the city’s fishing industry, Fisherman’s Wharf is a working neighborhood and commercial area. Visitors have much to do and see, including the famous PIER 39 sea lions (yes, they are loud); the USS Pampanito, a WWII submarine museum and memorial; Ghirardelli Square; and specialty shops and restaurants.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
As the first museum on the West Coast of its kind, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) boasts more than 26,000 works and holds fast to its mission of showcasing both established and new artists. Its dynamic building – featuring a soaring turret – is a focal point of the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood. Normally part of San Francisco CityPASS, SFMOMA will be closed from June 3, 2013, through early 2016, as they undergo a major expansion. Learn more >>
To visit the attractions listed above that charge admission, use a San Francisco CityPASS and save nearly half off combined admission costs. Plus, CityPASS holders avoid some ticket and entry lines, which means less time waiting and more time having fun. San Francisco CityPASS includes a 7-day Muni and Cable Car Passport, as well as prepaid admission to the California Academy of Sciences, a Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise (visitors who purchase their San Francisco CityPASS at the Alcatraz Cruises ticket office may substitute an Alcatraz Island tour), your choice between Aquarium of the Bay or Monterey Bay Aquarium, and either the de Young and Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museums or the Exploratorium. Some special exhibits are not included with the CityPASS and may require an extra fee.
Passes can be purchased online or at any attraction that accepts CityPASS. With CityPASS you can easily enjoy the best things to do in San Francisco.
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San Francisco CityPASS is a ticket booklet that saves 44% on unlimited cable car rides plus admission to the 4 best attractions in San Francisco