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BellaOnline's Senior Travel Editor

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San Francisco for Senior Travelers

Guest Author - Janet Collins

San Francisco exudes an energy unlike any other city. Maybe it’s the stunning location, the beautiful architecture, or perhaps local anomalies like the crooked streets. World-famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Fisherman’s Wharf spark the imagination as much as the stylish shops and great entertainment. Personally, I can’t get out of town without sampling the great seafood and chocolate.

For those of us on the older side of life, a range of discounts only adds to the experience of visiting this memorable city. Here are just a few examples:

Getting around:
MUNI, the San Francisco Municipal Railroad, operates the world-famous cable cars as well as historic street cars, light rail system, and buses. The company offers discounts to seniors with valid ID that proves their age. In addition, some cable car ticket booths and hotels sell cheap monthly passes that will save heavy users of the transit systems even more. For more info, see the MUNI website at www.sfmuni.com

BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system also offers up savings for seniors. See details at www.bart.gov

Tours:
Most companies offering tours of the city, local wine regions, and harbour provide a special rate for seniors. Be sure to inquire when booking.

Accommodation:
Some hotels offering senior discounts include (be sure to ask about discount when booking):
Hyatt Regency
Motel 6 – San Francisco Airport

Entertainment:
San Francisco International Film Festival
Asian American Theatre Company
Smuin Ballet
42nd Street Moon

Attractions:
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
California Academy of Sciences (Steinhart Aquarium and Natural History Museum)
California Historical Society (has museum)
Cartoon Art Museum
de Young Museum
Exploratorium
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Historical Society (has museum)
Haas-Lilienthal House
Legion of Honor
Museum of African Diaspora
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
SF Camerawork
Society of California Pioneers

Free Stuff:
San Francisco International Airport – exhibits throughout the terminal plus an aviation museum and library
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco – free first Tues of the month
California Academy of Sciences (Steinhart Aquarium and Natural History Museum) - free entry to all on 1st Wed of each month
de Young Museum – free first Tues of each month
Grabhorn Institute – exhibit is free but there’s a charge for tours
Legion of Honor – free first Tues of each month
Mission Cultural Centre for Latino Arts – some classes are free
Octagon House/Museum of Decorative Arts
San Francisco Cable Car Barn & Museum
San Francisco Centre for the Book
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – free first Tues of each month
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival
Stern Grove Festival
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival/Yerba Buena Arts & Events

Another great way to explore the city is to take a self-guided walking tour. One of the best books I’ve found for this purpose is Frommer’s Memorable Walks in San Francisco. The title says it all, these truly are memorable excursions, many to little known parts of the city.

Some of the movies shot in San Francisco: 48 Hrs, All About Eve, American Graffiti, Birdman of Alcatraz, Dirty Harry, George of the Jungle, The Graduate, Mission, The Love Bug, and many, many more. And who can forget the TV show Streets of San Francisco?

Books set in San Francisco: The Bone Setter’s Daughter by Amy Tan, Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende, Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins, plus many others.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Janet Collins. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Janet Collins. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Hazel M. Freeman for details.

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