Saturday, August 18, 2012

Aquarium of the Bay Via Discover and Go Pass

Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful San Francisco day, but have to give Aquarium of the Bay only a C-!  Was so ready to like it, too.  Yelp was right yet again, but we didn't complain too much since our Discover and Go passes from the Contra Costa County library got us in free.

  • Plenty of sensory and intellectual stimuli to occupy an almost 3-year old (underwater tunnels, schooling anchovies, pulsating jelly fish, docent-led activities, a Nemo tank, touchable starfish).
  • Can view the whole thing in less than two hours.
  • Breathtaking Bay views (Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, et al.)
  • Free street parking and free admission with the Discover and Go pass.
Starfish lunch of shrimp


  • The same stimuli enjoyed by my pre-schooler fell flat for me since I've seen it done better at every other aquarium on the West Coast.  Seems like SF could do better.
  • Parking!!  Perhaps this was our timing (Saturday afternoon in mid-August), but the closest parking garage was full and traffic made searching a few-block radius for free street parking seem like the 2-hour trip to Monterey for a much better aquarium might actually be worth considering....
  • Cramped, claustrophobic, kinda shabby, elevators to each floor.
Bottom line:
We both agreed the admission price was not worth what we experienced today.  Even with a free pass, the distance, toll bridge and time spent was only off-set by the scenery outside the aquarium.

We have much more fun with our Lindsey Wildlife Museum membership and the free admission we get to Oakland Zoo with it!  And our Discover and Go scored a hit when we went to Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley last month.

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