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BEST FREE ATTRACTIONS IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

article and images by Carole Terwilliger Meyers

          Many San Francisco attractions that charge admission allow non-paying visitors into their lobbies, including Coit Tower with its WPA mural, the de Young Museum with its 9th floor tower featuring panoramic views, and the SFMOMA with its 213-ton lobby sculpture by Richard Serra.  Also, many spectacular annual events are free.  Note that free admission policies sometimes change, as do free days and times.  Do check at the attraction’s website to confirm.  And do consider becoming a member of your favorite museums, as that often allows you and your family free admission and to participate in free days and events especially for members.

Free San Francisco
Free East Bay
Free Peninsula
Free Marin


THESE SAN FRANCISCO ATTRACTIONS ARE ALWAYS FREE:
Baker Beach 
Cable Car Museum
City Guides walking tours
Crookedest Street in the World
Fort Funston
Fort Point National Historic Site 
49-Mile Drive
Golden Gate Park
     Koret Children’s Quarter playground
Grace Cathedral
Musée Mécanique
Museo ItaloAmericano
Presidio of San Francisco
Randall Museum
San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco Railway Museum
Sea Lions at Pier 39
S.F.F.D. Fire Museum
Wave Organ
Wells Fargo History Museum


FREE DAYS/TIMES AT MORE SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS:
Asian Art Museum  1st Sunday.
California Academy of Sciences  See website.  SF resident days vary; see website.
Chinese Historical Society of America  1st Sunday.
Conservatory of Flowers  1st Tuesday.
Contemporary Jewish Museum  1st Tuesday; 1st full weekend for Bank of America Card holders.
de Young Museum  1st Tuesday; 1st full weekend for Bank of America Card holders.
Exploratorium  Search website for “free day.”
Japanese Tea Garden  Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9am-10am. 
Legion of Honor 1st Tuesday; 1st full weekend for Bank of America Card holders.
Museum of the African Diaspora  3rd Thursday, 5-8pm.
Museum of Craft and Design  1st Tuesday. 
San Francisco Botanical Garden  Daily 7:30-9am; 2nd Tuesday.
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park  See website.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)  Search website for “free day.”
San Francisco Zoo  Search website for “free day”(San Francisco residents only).
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts  1st Tuesday

 

 

 

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travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers