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  • Writer's pictureA Wild Lass

How to Tour San Francisco During a Pandemic

COVID-19 has changed the face of travel but there are still things to do if you’re visiting the west coast. Before heading out to any of these attractions, visit their websites (linked below) to ensure you are up to date on current protocols.

Be aware that the entire state is under a mask mandate on everyone in public ages 3 and up. Also, it is advised to complete a COVID-19 self-assessment before heading into any public place. You can view the list of symptoms here.

San Francisco has a variety of tourist attractions. There is something for everyone in this bustling, beautiful city. While the pandemic is still occurring, places are beginning to reopen as case rates continue to fall and vaccines are distributed.

Your touring plans will most likely look different than it would in non-pandemic times, but you can still enjoy these popular attractions. In the spirit of teaching our children how to love adventures, pick one option you normally wouldn’t.

You never know what attraction or outing will become a treasured family memory.

Photo by Joonyeop Baek on Unsplash

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

Winchester Mystery House

Just a little outside San Francisco is the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. If you enjoy architecture, mysteries, spooky stories, or antiques, this is the place for you.

The Winchester Mystery House features tours though the unique attraction, Victorian gardens, axe throwing, and an antique product museum. Check their updated health & safety policies before planning your visit.

Golden Gate Bridge

A visit to San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without viewing the Golden Gate Bridge. There are free walking tours on Thursdays and Sundays.

You can do a self-guided tour or simply take in the relaxing views. Unfortunately, the Round House Café and Bridge Café are closed due to COVID-19. Check out all the Golden Gate Bridge Exhibits on their site.

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

Popular with families, the San Francisco Zoo is now open for visitors. Learn about amphibians, birds, invertebrates, mammals, and reptiles by visiting the several different exhibits.

Also open are the gardens featuring several different exhibitions such as Native California Gardens, African Plants, Dune Garden, and the Prehistoric Garden.

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time online, and parking also needs to be repurchased. Visit their site for a complete listing of COVID-19 precautions and guidelines.

Asian Art Museum

As of March 2, 20201, the Asian Art Museum is open at a 25% visitor capacity. The museum features several exhibitions such as Pattern Recognition, Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks, and more. Timed tickets must be purchased ahead of time. View their full visitor guidelines and purchase tickets here.

Japanese Tea Garden

One of the most popular attractions in San Francisco is The Japanese Tea Garden. Featuring steeping stone paths, koi ponds, a Zen garden, and more, peace and relaxation are in abundance here. The popular cherry blossom trees bloom in March and April.

While no pets are allowed, kids are welcome, making this a great stop on a family trip. The listed hours on their site are from 9AM to 5:45PM during the summer season (March through October) and from 9AM to 4:45PM during the winter season (November through February).

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The SFMOMA is open as of March 7, 2021. Tickets need to be purchased online in advance. In order to keep in adherence with COVID-19, visitors will be admitted in on a staggered schedule. Visit their site for the full guidelines.


PIER 39 is now open from 11AM to 6PM with some adjusted guidelines. Many restaurants are open for indoor and outdoor dining. Retail shops and most of the Boat Operators are also open. Guests aged 3 years and older are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing between other travel parties.

A full list of open attractions can be found here. This list includes Sea Lions, Whale Tours, San Francisco Carousel, Musical Stairs, and many more.

The de Young Museum

In order to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, admission is staggered. The tickets must be purchased online in advance for each exhibition in order to ensure a low building capacity. The museum is open from 9:30AM – 5:15PM Tuesday-Sunday. See their upcoming events by visiting their site.

Adventures That Look Different

There are many different things to do in San Francisco. While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited tourist attractions, there are still many places open for business. Before planning your trip, it is advised that you check the current protocols to minimize risk.

At the time of posting, San Francisco is operating at the orange level and several businesses are now allowed to reopen if in compliance with current safety protocols. Read this post of mine if you want to save money while on vacation.

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For more on travel, check out these other posts from A Wild Lass:

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

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