You’ll likely leave your heart in San Francisco, but there’s no need to leave all the cash in your wallet.
Before you book a flight into San Francisco International Airport, look for cheaper airfares coming into nearby Oakland and San Jose airports. Note that free Airport Flyer buses will take you from the San Jose airport to the CalTrain service that rolls into San Fran.
There are an overwhelming number of attractions packed into the City By The Bay, so consider a San Francisco Travel Pass, which can save 44 percent on admissions, lets you skip lines and includes unlimited cable car rides. Use the pass to explore the city’s Museum of Modern Art or Aquarium by the Bay, or to take a Bay Cruise Adventure.
Of course, it’s free to walk or ride a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge — and there are complementary walking tours of the iconic bridge on Thursdays and Sundays.
Looking to venture about an hour outside the city to California’s famed Napa wine country? Summer is peak season, so going on the shoulder season (April, or September/October) will save money. Many years ago, wine tastings in Napa were free — those days are long gone. Nowadays, most wineries charge anywhere from $15 to $25 per person for a tasting flight. But some wineries will waive the fee if you purchase a certain amount of wine by the bottle. And many hotels offer two-for-one deals at the front desk at winery partners.