San Diego Go Pass Review 2019 – Is the Go San Diego Pass Worth It?

San Diego is a City of fine Culture, Breathtaking Beauty, fantastic weather and great food. It is also a City Rammed with incredible attractions and things to see and do. For anyone Visiting the City and planning on doing a few of these attractions, the costs can really rack up. You are left spending far too much or missing out on things to simply save money. One solution to this is an Attractions Pass.

San Diego Go Card Review

We take a look at the pass in our San Diego Go Pass Review, and ask if the San Diego Go Pass is Worth it? We take a look at what attractions are included and which are worth your time. We will take a look at some Costed examples and help you decide if the San Deigo Go Pass is right for you?

  • Product: San Diego Go Pass- All Inclusive
  • Price: $96- $304
  • Price Child: $89 – $271 (Child 3-12yrs)
  • Where to Buy: GoCity.com
  • Number Of Attractions: 41+ Top Attractions + 1 Premium
  • Time Limit: 1,2,3,5 or 7 days unlimited (Consecutive Days)
  • Rating: 4.7/5

 

Attractions Included – 41 + 1 Premium Attraction Per Pass (3,5 and 7-day Passes only)

Premium Attractions:

  • Sea World San Diego 3+ Day Ticket ($92)
  • 3 Day Hop on Hop off San Diego Trolley ($100)

Unlimited All-Inclusive Attractions:

  • San Diego Zoo ($54.00)
  • Speed Boat Adventures ($70)
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park ($54.00)
  • Legoland San Diego ($99.00)
  • USS Midway Museum ($23.00)
  • Bike, Snorkel, Kayak and/or Stand-Up Paddleboard Rentals (up to $89.00)
  • Belmont Park All Access Combo Pass ($54.00)
  • Hornblower Whale Watching Cruise – Summer or Winter ($43-55.00)
  • and Many more…
In A Nutshell
  • Price
  • Ease of Use
  • Attractions
4.7

Summary

A Very Comprehensive pass that covers most of San Diego’s best sights and attractions and things to do. With so much on offer in San Diego seeing a doing everything can quickly add up to a big bill but with the Go Card you know exactly how much you need to spend and won’t miss out on any of the Cities big attractions due to your finances.

Easy to use and with instant delivery the Go San Diego card has a lot going for it. Wit a few downsides that we take a look at int the article.

 

What is the San Diego GO Pass?

The San Diego Go Pass is an All-Inclusive attraction pass that allows you to visit as many attractions, from a list of 41 of San Diego’s best attractions during a set number of days. Your choice of 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 Consecutive days. On top of this the 3, 5, and 7 Days passes allow you to choose one of three Premium Attractions per Pass.

How does it Work?

San Diego Go Pass Mobile

The San Diego Go Pass is what is known as a Digital Pass. This is a code that is Emailed to you after purchase. This can be printed out, used directly on your phone or as part of the Go City App. Either way, it is a QR code that is simply scanned at each attraction and grants you access. It is a great system and couldn’t be simpler.

Upon First Use the pass is activated. And you then have the number of days purchased to use the pass at as many attractions as you like. It is important to note that days are Calender Days not 24 hour periods, so it’s important to activate EARLY in the day, otherwise, you lose most of that day.

Days are also Consecutive, So if you activate a 3 Day Pass on Monday you then have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to use the pass.

There are a few attractions that require reservations so make sure you check the details of each desired attraction to see how to use the pass.

The Go City App is available from the Play Store or the Apple Store and your pass can be added to the App making it simple to use right from your phone. The app has a built-in guide, giving valuable information on the Attractions available. It is an Offline app so you do not need Phone Signal or Data so you won’t get stuck unable to access your pass.

How much does the Pass Cost?

  • 1 Day Pass: $96.00 – Adult $89.00 Child  $96.00/89.00 per day
  • 2 Day Pass: $142.00 – Adult $123.00 Child  $71/61.50 per day
  • 3 Day Pass: $215.00 – Adult $193.00 Child  $71/64.00 per day
  • 5 Day Pass: $278.00 – Adult $242.00 Child  $55.60/48.60 per day
  • 7 Day Pass: $304.00 – Adult $271.00 Child  $43/38.70 per day

Check our Promo code Page to save even more on Our Promo Code Page!!!

Check out our Promo Code Page to save EVEN more when Purchasing a San Diego Go Pass Click here to access our promo code page. 

Is the San Diego Go Pass Right for Me?

For some people, a pass is not the right option. San Diego has a large number of free and beautiful attractions and you can happily visit the City just to experience the wonderful coast, the Fantastic parks, and the fantastic dining scene. For these people a pass is not the best choice.

Likewise, some people just want to see the sights and attractions at a very relaxed pace. Due to the All-Inclusive nature of the pass and the Consecutive days, this can mean The San Diego Pass is a little much. You do need to pack things in to get the best of the pass. With a 3 day pass you need to do a lot of attractions every day to make the pass pay and even with the 5 and 7 day passes, where the price per day drops, you still need to do at least one thing each day to make it pay, this leaves less time for hitting the beach, or just exploring the area.

We think in this case the Build Your Own Option is Perfect as it allows you to only choose the attractions you want and visit at a pace the suits you. The Savings are not as significant but if you are not going to utilize the pass to its full extent it’s better than paying FULL price!

However, If you are planning on visiting the Attractions listed, or after reading the list, several have really jumped out at you, then the cost savings are hard to ignore, and as we will see later there are some other big advantages of how the pass works. Especially for people who are not really sure what the want to do when visiting the City.

So really The Most important aspect of any pass is the Attractions available, Are they what you want to do? Are they good value and will Visiting them improve your trip? With this in mind, we take a look and see what the best attractions are.

Attractions

With over 41 Attractions available on the pass we can’t check out them all, but we take a look at our favorites and some of the most popular below, as well as a good look at the all-important Premium Attractions.

Premium Attractions:

If you purchase a 3, 5 or 7 Day Pass then you can choose one premium attraction per pass. The Addition of the Premium attractions hikes the price quite a bit to cover the cost of inclusion so it’s important they are suited to you. Although it’s still very easy to get good value from the card without using the Premium Attractions. We are not sure why you wouldn’t though especially as at least one of them is right at the top of most people San Diego Must Do’s

Sea World San Diego 3+ Day Ticket ($89.99)

SeaWorld San Diego

Sea World is one of San Diego’s top attractions and we think most people will choose this option. In fact, we make sure we get at least go a 3-day pass just so it includes Sea World. While the Sea World Brand has taken a Battering in recent years over the concept of Orca’s in captivity, the Park has made large strides to improve welfare and diversified quite a lot. It’s Orca’s are now not the Star of the show and the park is more of an ocean-based theme park.

While there is still Orca’s on site and they do take part in a show it’s more of a nature documentary than the spectacular and possibly exploitative Shamu shows they used to promote. Other shows involve sea lions and Dolphins. There are also now a large collection of thrill rides, such as Manta and the Electric Eel.

The Go San Diego Pass offers Access to Seaworld for every day your pass is valid so 3, 5, or 7 days depending on Pass. While you are unlikely to want to go every day or you would miss out on other attractions, Its still a nice feature especially on the longer 5 and 7-day cards.

We think this is the number one pick for the Premium attractions and one that will bring a lot of fun and excitement to your trip. One reason you may want to avoid this is a moral obligation. This is definitely understandable, While the Parks have made huge strides, you may feel they still have not done enough.

Take a look at Our recent Trip to Sea World to see what the Park is like now and see a Video of the FULL Orca Show.

You could try Legoland or Knottsberry Farm if you want to visit a theme park without the Orca. Both also included on the Pass.

Speed Boat Adventures ($69.90)

This is no longer a Premium attraction, However, the good news is it is now a REGULAR attraction! So you can do it as well as Sea World or The Trolley. We take a look at it below!

3 Day Hop on Hop off San Diego Trolley ($100)

Unfortunately, we are not taken with this attraction at all. While the Trolley tours are pretty fun and a great way to see the City, you don’t really need a 3-day pass, unless you can use it as transport. While you can get about parts of the City with this tour, there are other cheaper ways, so the quoted $100 price is a bit misleading. We would only choose this if Sea World and the speedboats don’t interest you.

It is a fine attraction, but just worth the $100 quoted and a poor choice of a Premium attraction. If this were in the Standard list as a 1-day tour we would happily recommend it but as a 3 Day Premium it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but would be useful is the others are no good for you.

Standard Attractions:

While the Premium attractions add some good value to the pass, It is the standard attractions that make or break the pass. Fortunately, the Go Pass has some really top attractions some are right at the top of most Must Do Lists.

San Diego Zoo ($56.00)

San Diego Zoo

Often rated as the best Zoo in the world, and always in the top 3, This is one of San Diego’s best attractions. And it’s great to see it on the Pass. The Zoo is packed with incredible animals all in authentic natural enclosures. The 650+ animal species on display range from tiny beetles, lizards and spiders to Giant Pandas, Tigers, Lions Elephants, and Giraffes. It’s an incredible collection.

While it’s great to Marvel at the animals it’s also good to know that the San Diego Zoo is a world leader in conservation. The Zoo is not just here to show you these spectacular animals but its main goal is to preserve and maintain both wild and captive stocks of the animals. Unfortunately, without the efforts of the Zoo along with other organizations, we could genuinely lose some of these creatures from the world.

The San Diego Zoo had a hand in the Rescue and recovery plan of the California Condor that would have been lost without the efforts of the Zoo, They are also part of the worldwide efforts to Save the Giant Panda. This list goes on and on.

We visited the zoo recently and you can read more about it here…

San Diego Zoo Safari Park ($56.00)

This Much Larger park houses it’s animals in larger more open natural settings. This allows you the chance to “Safari” through the enclosures to see the creatures behaving as they would in the wild. This is both a blessing and a curse. As if the animal naturally wants to sit behind a tree out of sight it will! But in other cases, the animals will approach and get very close.

The Safari Park would be a fantastic attraction on its own but combined with the Zoo it’s hard to want a lot more from an animal park. To Visit Both would cost over $100, but you get both included on the pass.

Legoland San Diego ($111.00)

LEGOLAND California

Legoland San Diego is a few miles out from the center of San Diego (Approx 1 hour drive) and as such will, in reality, take up a full day of your time, and hence pass. But at an entry price of $99* it’s still great value. And Lego land is a true kid favorite. You will not go far wrong if you promise your kids a trip here, leaving you free to include some more adult activities to compensate!

The rides and attraction are definitely suited to the younger guest, it’s not a thrill ride park, but it is great fun and you may find you are pestered incessantly about visiting if your kids know it’s there. Having it included on the pass is a great way to reward good behavior and save a load of cash while you are at it!

Unlike Disney and other parks that are really fun even if you are an adult, we don’t find Legoland particular great as adults. While you will have a great time watching your kids enjoy it, for adults, there is not a lot to interest and as such we don’t recommend this too much if you don’t have little ones! We advise heading a little further to the awsome Knotts berry farm for a more adult theme park day! Especially if your little Darlings are not so little anymore!

* $110.99 is the most you are likely to pay if you just rocked up at the gate, just booking online could save you a few $ on this and there are often deals. 

San Diego Speed Boat Adventures

San Diego Speed Boat Adventures

This 90min guided tour of the San Diego Bay is a real thrill. Unlike a lot of boat tours, the difference here is YOU are the Driver! The Boats are very simple to drive so don’t worry, you just open the throttle and go, then just steer and follow the boat in front. While the boats a pretty quick there is no requirement to hammer it full throttle!

Cruising the bay in this manner is a really fun experience and you get to see a lot of the bay in a very short time as you speed past the San Diego Skyline and the huge Ships and Aircraft carriers of the Navel BAse on North Island.

At only 90mins this attraction should only take a couple of hours of your day leaving you free to hit some other attractions whereas Sea World could take one or more whole day out of your pass.

We did this attraction recently on our latest trip and it was AWESOME, Read more here…

USS Midway Museum ($23.00)

USS Midway Museum

What to do with multi-million dollar aircraft carriers when they reach the end of their service, with some a simple trip to the scrap yard will do, others that have accrued so history and importance that scrapping them would be criminal, you moor up in a city and turn them into a museum! The USS Midway is one such ship!

Built Right after WW2 it was the US Navies lead ships for nearly half a century and served in both Vietnam and the Gulf War, before being replaced by the newer, bigger Nimitz class Carriers. Now moored on the spectacular San Diego Harbor front and serves as a living museum to the US Navies recent past. It’s Deck and Hangor are filled with War Birds from the WW2 such as the F4U Corsair through to recently decommissioned aircraft such as the F-14 Tomcat (Top Gun) and F/A 18 Hornet.

See the Collection here

The Midway Museum is a very highly rated attraction often topping lists for military museums and the best things to do in San Diego. It is definitely worth visiting but only if you have an interest in military history, even if it’s only very mild.

Read More here about our recent trip to this legend!

Bike, Snorkel, Kayak, Surfboard and/or Stand-Up Paddleboard Rentals (up to $89.00)

Bike and Kayak Tours

San Diego is almost custom designed for watersports, the calm protected bays are perfect for paddleboarding and Kayaking, whereas the wilder Pacific coastline is perfect for surfing, and more experienced Kayaking. The rugged coastline around La Jolla is great for snorkeling, although it is pretty different to what you would find at a tropical destination, The life is varied and spectacular, leopard sharks, rockfish, Garibaldi, even rays Guitarfish and Sea lions.

The Coastline is flat with many long paved paths allowing the perfect leisurely place to go for a bike ride and explore a lot more of the coast than you could from walking.

There are a few options for rentals from “Bike and Kyack Tours” included with the pass, at both their Coronado and La Jolla locations so you are sure to find something to suit.

La Jolla – 

  • Kayak: 90-minute rental (minimum 2 Go Card customers per kayak)
  • Snorkel: Full-day rental (package includes mask, snorkel, and fins)
  • 1-Hour Bike Rental
  • Stand-Up Paddle Board: 90-minute rental
  • Full day rental of a surfboard

Coronado – 

  • Tandem Kayak: 90-minute rental (two Passes are required per tandem (two person) kayak rental. Passes may be adult and/or child Pass combinations)
  • Stand-Up Paddle Board: 90-minute rental

The $89 value quoted is a bit misleading as that refers to a tandem kyack walk-up rate, and you would need two passes to cover that, but if we ignore (we will do the correct adjustments in out costings below!) that it is a great addition to the pass and something you really should try when in San Diego.

Belmont Park All Access Combo Pass ($54.00)

Belmont Park

We love Belmont Park, It is an old-school seaside Amusement park that is packed with nostalgia and fun. It’s far from the high tech modern theme parks of today but harks back to the America of old. The All-Access pass is fantastic and lets you do most of the top rides and attractions.

We like to do this as an evening activity, which is great as it allows you full use of the pass all day but then you can head to the Park to make use of the evening too! Although the pass is only valid until 5:30! That is the final time you can exchange for the all-access, once you have the All-Access pass you are good to go until close (8-10pm). So just make sure you get there before 5:30. You can then come and go as you please and ride whatever you like. It is not just rides included, you get mini-golf, Lazer Tag, High Ropes, wall climbing, and a Zipline!

This is an absolute must-do for Families, You will have to drag them away, in the end, there is So much for them to do at the Park!

Hornblower Whale Watching Cruise – Summer or Winter ($50-65.00)

Whale Watching Horn Blower Cruises

There are two Whale watching seasons in San Diego, Summer, and winter. The Summer season focuses on finding the incredible Blue Whale, while Winter is on the migrating Gray Whales, which are mightly impressive, even though they are not quite blue whale awesome. The Winter season run Mid December through April and the Summer season is July-August.

If you are there for the Whale season then we highly recommend heading out for your chance to see the Whales, seeing Blues can be a once in a lifetime experience. If not then there is also a pleasant Bay Cruise by Hornblower in the list so you can still get out and see the wildlife and the City from the ocean, even if the whales are missing.

Museums of Balboa Park ($10-$21.95 Each)

San Diego Museum of Art

We haven’t included a single museum in this review as there is a whole load of them included on the pass, most of which are located in Balboa Park, You can easily check out all of these in a day or maybe just a select few that interest you in an afternoon. We adore Balboa park and it’s great to have a pass in your pocket that means you can simply nip into most of the museums that are dotted around whenever you like. The entry fees are very reasonable for each but having a pass means you don’t need to consider it just head on in and see what you think!

  • San Diego Air and Space Museum – $19.95
  • San Diego Natural History Museum – $19.95
  • The Fleet Science Centre (IMAX) – $21.95
  • San Diego Automotive Museum – $10.00
  • San Diego Museum of Man – $13.00
  • Japanese Friendship Garden – $12.00
  • Model Railroad Museum – $11.50
  • San Diego Museum of Art – $15.00
  • San Diego Art Institute – $5.00
  • Mingei International Museum – $10.00
  • The New Children’s Museum – $14.00

We Headed to the Museums of Balboa on our Latest trip as the weather was AWFUL and we needed to head inside!

Is the Go San Diego Pass Worth It?

As you can see there is a whole heap of really good attractions included on the pass and it can actually be an issue of fitting enough in rather than finding things to interest you, which can be an issue on some passes. As such we think the purchase price is really good value. But we want to take a look at some costed examples to show how you can realistically plan your days. There are only so many hours in a day and it is very easy to plan FAR too much. Some attractions on the list are really full day attractions and even if you do get them done early you could be just too tired to bother with anything else.

 

Costed Examples:

2-Day Pass

No premiums mean the purchase price is low per day but you only have the basic attractions to choose from.

Day 1

San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park so it’s well worth a walk around after the zoo and check out a few of the museums included on the pass. You could probably fit in more than just two but we are being modest about how much can be crammed into a day!

  • San Diego Zoo ($56.00)
  • Balboa Park (Free)
  • San Diego Air and Space Museum – $19.95
  • San Diego Natural History Museum – $19.95

Day 2

The Hornblower cruise operates from the Embarcadero Marina area which is where the USS Midway is located, you can enjoy a nice stroll around the area afterward also. Followed by evening fun over in Pacific Beach at Belmont Park.

  • Hornblower Whale Watching Cruise – Summer or Winter ($50-65.00)
  • USS Midway Museum ($23.00)
  • Belmont Park All Access Combo Pass ($54.00)

Breakdown

  • Total Cost: $ 223
  • Cost of Card: $ 142
  • Total Saving: $81 
  • 36% Saving!

3-Day Pass

With the 3-day pass, you get the Premium Attractions included. We tend to recommend Sea World and while it does take a few hours to visit you can squeeze something in later on in the day. Although you get a 3-day Seaworld pass we would rather see other things than head back again with only 3 days to explore the City.

Day 1

If you head to Sea World nice and early you can see most of the park in a long half day, before heading over to La Jolla later on to enjoy the real ocean wonders of San Diego. Rentals operate right up until sunset, so you can do an early evening Kayak or paddleboard easily.

  • Sea World ($92)
  • Bike and Kayak Tours La Jolla:  Twin Kayak Rental ($39 per person)

Day 2

  • San Diego Zoo ($56.00)
  • Balboa Park (Free)
  • San Diego Air and Space Museum – $19.95
  • San Diego Natural History Museum – $19.95
  • Sea World Evening? (FREE) Or Visit Downtown San Diego

Day 3

  • Hornblower Whale Watching Cruise – Summer or Winter ($50-65.00)
  • USS Midway Museum ($23)
  • Belmont Park All Access Combo Pass ($54.00)

Breakdown

  • Total Cost: $ 354
  • Cost of Card: $ 215
  • Total Saving: $ 139!
  • 40% Saving

5-Day Pass

With a five day pass, you can take your time a bit more as the Price per day drops significantly.

Day 1

  • San Diego Zoo ($56.00)
  • Balboa Park (Free)
  • San Diego Air and Space Museum – $19.95
  • San Diego Natural History Museum – $19.95

Day 2

Unlike the 3-day pass, you are less pressured to cram as much in so you can spend a good day at sea world really taking things in.

  • Sea World ($92)

Day 3

  • Hornblower Whale Watching Cruise – Summer or Winter ($50-65.00)
  • USS Midway Museum ($23)
  • Belmont Park All Access Combo Pass ($54.00)

Day 4

With the Extra days, you can head early to La Jolla to enjoy the breathtaking coastline, and head out in a Kayak or paddleboard. in the Afternoon either head to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park or maybe back to sea-world to make use of the Multi-day Pass?

  • Bike and Kayak Tours La Jolla:  Twin Kayak Rental (39 per person)
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park ($56.00) or Sea World (5-day pass)

Day 5

Day 5 is a treat for the kids or an exciting day for the slightly more grown-up kids! These are full days so don’t count on doing much afterward.

  • Legoland San Diego ($99.00) / Knotts Berry Farm ($84)

Breakdown

  • Total Cost: $ 494
  • Cost of Card: $ 278
  • Total Saving: $ 216!
  • 44% Saving

We have tried to give realistic examples, it would be easy to look at all the most expensive attractions and think wow look at how much you could save! but the reality is you won’t be able to fit all those in and if you did you would be exhausted and probably not enjoyed the attractions to their full!

Check out our recent Itinerary as we actually visited San Diego and used the pass!!! – Spoiler – We saved a bucket$$$!

However, as you can see there are some pretty impressive savings to be had! And we have yet to adjust these calculations for the fact the Speedboat tour is now a Regular attraction and could easily be squeezed into these cost savings!

Check our Promo code Page to save even more on Our Promo Code Page!!!

Check out our Promo Code Page to save EVEN more when Purchasing a San Diego Go Pass Click here to access our promo code page. 

Advantages

PETCO Park Tours

On top of these Savings, the Pass has a few really tangible benefits on top of this. Which we will look at below before highlighting the Drawbacks, as always there are negatives to everything.

Inspiration

We often find people rarely know what is on offer when visiting a new City, Sure you are probably aware of Sea World and the San Diego Zoo, but there are many other attractions you may have had no idea about. The San Diego Go Pass can help open up plenty of new and exciting opportunities you just might not have been aware of? Often some of our favorite things are stuff we have done on passes that we really wouldn’t have done without the pass.

Planning

We always think it is important to have a plan when visiting a City. So many try and wing it and see how it goes. Their logic is they want to be spontaneous and authentic. The reality is they are being lazy and disorganized and will probably just wander about doing nothing!

The San Diego Pass really helps overcome that. Having the Pass help you plan out exactly what it is you want to do each day. You can lump attractions that are close together naturally into one day so you get to see the best of the City with minimum effort. It’s not a case rigidly planning everything, it’s more organic, You plan to do a Whale watching trip but see the USS Midway Museum is right next door, It just makes sense to kill both birds with one stone!

Budgeting

Costs on Trips add up, Food, Hotels, souvenirs, etc it can all lead to empty wallets or thumping great credit card bills when you get home. Buy buying a Pass you know exactly what you will spend on attractions. You can also pay for the pass beforehand so it doesn’t come out of your holiday funds. There is nothing worse than missing out on something because you have spent all your money, With a Pass, you get to do everything you want to do.

Less Hassle

The Pass is a very simple concept, you scan the QR Code at each attraction and you are in. There are other ways to save money on San Diego Attractions. Shopping around, finding deals, or looking for coupons, you could save at least part of the savings the Go Pass Provides, but it’s a lot of hassle, and it’s not really necessary when you can just buy the pass and be done with it.

While these advantages don’t really add up to making the pass worthwhile on their own, they are of course on top of the pretty substantial savings we have already highlighted.

What We don’t like!

The Fact the Pass is for consecutive days is disappointing. We like to relax and enjoy the beach and parks some days but with Consecutive days you need to use the pass every day to get the most out of it. We much prefer the Non Consecutive day Passes that Smart destinations offer in other cities. This is less of an issue on the longer passes, 5 or 7-day as the price per day reduces.

Some of the listed prices are a bit ambitious too, booking online or looking for deals can snag you some of the savings without buying a pass, you would be hard-pressed to match the savings on offer and it would also be much more complicated than just buying the pass and getting the savings all at once.

The Sea World Attraction may divide some people. It is still debatable if Orca’s should be in captivity at all, and while we credit Sea World for ending this practice, in the long run, the issue of what to do with the animals in the meantime is a contentious one! We feel Sea World are doing what they can and a total worldwide boycott could do more harm than good to the Orca’s in captivity, who knows what would happen to the animals should Sea World go bust?

While we are happy to return to Sea World following their changes, we know others will not be happy until Orcas are no longer kept in captivity, while it may not be possible to free every Orca they could allow the remaining animals to live out their lives in Sea pens.

Almost every top attractions in San Diego is included on the Pass and as such, it can be really hard to decide what to do, the natural reaction is to try and do it all! This can be a mistake as you may just tire yourself out or rush around one attraction and fully take it in. It seems odd to say the pass just has too many top attractions and this is a downside, but in reality, you need a 7-day pass to see all the City has to offer, but often people are here for a short time than that.

We really had a hard time planning out our itineraries as you are almost forced to miss out on some things just as you will not have enough time in the day to pack it all in. That is why we don’t include Legoland on the 3-day Itinerary as we would rather do two or three local attractions than spend a whole day at Legoland, even though it would seem better value to visit the theme park!

Alternatives?

We don’t know of any other Attraction passes for San Diego, However, some attraction here are covered by the Go Los Angeles Pass. This is a Great pass for the Los Angeles area. It covers some really top attractions. It also has a few of the top San Diego Attractions so can be used if you are having a split base trip. It also offers our preferred NON-consecutive day format so you don’t lose days if you just chill by the pool or just do something else!

Check out our full review here, the below San Diego Attractions are included on the LA Go Pass

  • San Diego Zoo, or
  • Legoland California

Conclusion.

We think the Go San Diego Pass is a really great value pass. The List of attractions is its standout feature, t just includes just about everything we would want to do when visiting the City. The only thing we would like to see is maybe a Brewery Tour, but apart from that, it covers most things from our TOP San Diego Attractions list, plus quite a few other still really worthwhile attractions.

The Price point means it can save you a large sum of money assuming you are going to visit the attractions listed and can turn a trip to San Diego into a really Memorable trip. We love the Digital format and the Go City App. The Pass is just so simple to use and allows a lot of flexibility in your trip.

We do think it’s a shame the Pass needs to be used on Non-Consecutive days as all your attraction days have to be lumped together and there is less time for just enjoying the breathtaking beauty of America’s Finest City. However, it is still manageable and with the longer passes the cost per day being so much lower does help offset this a little as you can do less per day and still get good value. You will also get to take in most of the cities beauty during the attractions so even if you spend ALL your time at attractions you should still get a deep appreciation of the City.

The money you saved can easily be put to good use in San Diego’s’ fantastic Dining scene! And Remember right now we have…

Check our Promo code Page to save even more on Our Promo Code Page!!!

Check out our Promo Code Page to save EVEN more when Purchasing a San Diego Go Pass Click here to access our promo code page. 

Have Your Say?

Let us know if you have tired the Go San Diego Pass? Did you find it good value? Did you find it helped or hindered your trip? Which attractions did to visit and what was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below. And please let us know if you are planning a San Diego trip and are considering using the Go San Diego Pass! Feel free to ask us any specific questions below about how the pass works or about any specific attractions.

46 thoughts on “San Diego Go Pass Review 2019 – Is the Go San Diego Pass Worth It?”

  1. I had no idea the San Diego Go Card could be used for so much! Just seeing the price comparison of the normal ticket prices of entertainment, I could understand how it had become so popular!
    I have family in San Diego and I am so excited I came across this. Honestly the price is really affordable when you take into account how much individual admissions prices can get for entertainment in San Diego. If you have been to San Diego you know the price can add up fast like you said!
    Thank you for sharing this and I will be keeping this bookmarked for future use when I go to visit family! This can be very useful and help save a lot of headaches!
    Thanks,
    Timm

    • Hi Timm,

      Thanks for reading, Great to hear you are familiar with the area and can appreciate how much the Pass can save. Hope you have a great time visiting your family and enjoy all the great things on off in San Diego!

      Steve

  2. Hello Steve, What a great recommendation for the San Diego Go Card.  I have been to San Diego one time and I knew when I left that I would need to get back just as soon as possible.  There is so much to see and do in that town, you cannot possibly accomplish it all in one trip.  And as you mentioned, the great city of LA is just up the road.

    Any time that I visit an new place, I prefer to have an organized way of targeting the site seeing and places I plan to visit.  And I have found that purchasing this type of card can go a long way toward helping plan your trip.

    When I visited San Diego, I did make the effort to get up to LA and found that depending on the time of day, the drive between LA and San Diego can be two very different journeys. Do you have a recommended time to make that drive? 

    • Hi Glenn,

      Yep it is not easy to pack everything into several trips to San Diego let alone one! And there is so much to see and explore in So Cal in General, not to mention Vegas and The Grand Canyon, and other National Parks just a few hours drive away! That’s why we keep coming back as every trip we feel we have missed something out!

      We completely agree Attraction passes are a great way of organizing your trip so you get to do everything you want, it’s so easy without proper planning to just run out of time or money to do something.

      Driving to L.A the best bet is to Set off at midnight and drive through the night! Well that’s the best way to avoid the traffic but not especially practical! The key is to ensure you just miss Rush hour, but miss it at both ends, An early start in San Diego will avoid the worst of it San Diego end and by the time you arrive in L.A the worst should have cleared. However traffic can be a nightmare anytime of day in L.A!

      We find the best plan it to not sweat it! We take the Coast road, stop of plenty and enjoy the scenic drive, that way It doesn’t matter how long it takes. And never have anything planned at the destination, as being on the road running late for something is very stressful, an attitude of being there when we get there makes for a more relaxed and fun trip! 

      Have fun on your next trip

      Steve

  3. Wow I did not realize there is so much to do and see in San Diego. Went to a Chargers game one time back in the early 2000s while passing through. When I am in the area again I will have to check out more and get one of these passes. Interesting concept. Has this pass card been around for a long time?

    Of all the attractions in San Diego which ones are your favorites that you would recommend to a visitor to the city? I would be interested in the Sea world  attraction, the USS midway attraction, the whale watching attraction and going to a variety of museums to learn about different topics and time periods related to the city of San Diego.

    San Diego sounds like a beautiful and wonderful city to enjoy attractions and also to be outside. Not being from San Diego I did not hear much about the city. 

    Thanks for a great informative post about your city. Have a great day!

    • Hi Jody,

      As we mentioned in our post we only highlight our favorites as there are plenty more attractions available on the Pass. But of those it’s hard to Ignore the San Diego Zoo, it’s an incredible place, along with the museums in Balboa Park, that’s probably our favorite day out in San Diego. However we also love enjoying the beaches and spectacular coastline of La Jolla, so the Kayak Rentals are big attractions for us. We have a little bit of a love/hate with Sea World but it is hard to deny it’s a fantastic attraction. And the Midway Museum is pretty spectacular as well.

      The Go San Diego Pass has been around for a god few years now but is growing in popularity recently. We really do think it’s a great option for a lot of people. 

      We hope you get back soon and check out everything this amazing City has to offer

      Steve

  4. I would definitely purchase a San Diego Go Card for the cost savings and the awareness that it brings to all that the city has to offer.  I agree that having to use the card for consequetive days is a bit of a downside, especially with there being a digital version;  I would think that a start/stop option would be nice and achievable. Perhaps, I would buy two 3-day passes to allow for downtime in between activating the two cards. 

    I have a number of retired friends who enjoy travelling together.  Do you know if group or senior rates are available?

    • Hi Sonya,

      Yep it is a shame and Smart Destinations who offer the card do offer non consecutive on other passes so it is something they “could” do, but are choosing not to on this pass. I think alot of people are only in town a few days, which is a shame in it’s self but a product of simply how awesome So Cal is, just too much to see and do! So people only have a few days to use a card.

      You could of course buy two 3 day passes but then the cost per day is not as competitive, but you would get two Premium attractions? Because the cost per day on the 5 and 7 day cards drops so much it does still make them good value and you can have a day off without loosing too much.

      Hope you have a great time when you next visit San Diego!

      Steve

  5. I grew up in Southern California and San Diego was always one of my favorite cities. It’s so beautiful there!!! 

    I had never heard of the Go Card before. Is it relatively new? 

    I’m in Wisconsin now, but I’ll be sure to keep this in mind next time I’m visiting family in California! Thanks!! 

    • Hi Kayla,

      So Jealous of you growing up in So Cal! It is one of our favourite places in the world! And we agree San Diego is one of our favourite Cities too! 

      The Go San Diego Card has been around for a while but it is starting to become a lot more visible and well known in the last few years.

      Hope you get back to San Diego soon and have a great time! We are heading back next Spring!

      Thanks

      Steve

  6. Wow, I never knew this existed and I wonder if other cities would adopt what San Diego is doing. A San Diego Go Card makes sense and if I ever visit the city, I would definitely purchase one so that I can get into some of the greatest attractions there. I’m a single person so for me, it would definitely be worth it. I’ve always heard good things about the San Diego Zoo, so it would be a must whenever I visit the city. I don’t think I would spend the $100 for the Trolley Tour, but it is nice that it is an option. Do you know of a lot of people who have used the San Diego Go Card?

    • Hi Brian,

      Yes there are city cards for many US Cities and all offer a similar experience, Saving lots of cash while seeing the best of the City. 

      The San Diego Zoo is a great attraction you would have a great time there, and the Trolley is not the best value but that $100 is without the pass, it’s included free on the pass as one of the premium attractions.

      Of course we know tons of people who have used the pass, the are every popular in both San Diego and other Cities, we have used these passes numerous times and always feel they improve our trip! We are heading to Las Vegas and San Diego in the Spring next year and will make sure we are well equipped with Passes, just like our trip to New York next month …Passes at the ready!

      Hope your next trip to San Diego is a great one

      Thanks

      Steve

  7. As a tourist, I think this card is great, especially if you don’t know your way around the city, or what is on offer. I would rather go by bus than have to contend with driving through traffic in an unknown place.

    There seems like there is a lot to do, so I would maybe take 1 or 2 days at time, otherwise it all may seem overwhelming trying to see as much as you can in as little time as you can.

    Sea World looks great, but the speed boats would appeal to me a lot more.

    • Hi Michel,

      Great to see you like the sound of the Pass, It really can help you get the best out of San Diego if you are unsure what it is you want to do and see! You could definitely buy two 1/2 day passes but the cost per day could be high where as buying the longer passes the cost per day is lower and you can space the attractions out more so it’s less overwhelming. But you need to see what suits you best and what will save you the most money.

      It’s a tough choice between Sea world and the Speedboats but sea world wins for us, but we are all different.

      Thanks for Reading

      Steve

  8. I have been to San Diego a couple times, but I never get to see everything I want to see.  Your article on the San Diego Go Card showed me that I am defiantly doing it wrong.  Do you know how far in advance I can buy the Go Card?  We will be going out that way around Christmas, but I would like to buy it now.

    Thank you for this article.  I think you might have just made our vacation!   Clay 

    • Hi Clay,

      Yeah it can always be hard to pack so much into one trip there is so much to see and do you have to be very organised to pack it all in or just prioritize, as travel is not just about doing, sometimes it’s about relaxing and soaking it up too! But if you want to get as much in as possible the Go San Diego card is a great way to maximise you time and finances!

      A pass can be bought up to 1 year in advance so you would have no problem buying now for a trip a Christmas, they are not activated until the first use!

      Thanks for reading, Have a great trip. We are pretty jealous, we don’t get to go back until MAY!

      Steve

  9. WOW!!! Loving the Site.

    Great to see you give the Cons as well as the Pro’s. Most people seem to love or hate these passes so it’s hard to know if they are any good, but your review just lays it out so we can make our own minds up!

    Well done and thanks for a truly amazing online visit to San Diego a city I have yet to visit. But It’s definitely on my list Now!

    • Hi Donnie,

      Glad you liked the Post and the site. There are defiantly a few negatives to passes like these so it’s important people know the pitfalls to see if the pass would suit them. They are fantastic products but just don’t suit everyone!

      Hope you get to San Diego soon, It’s such a great City,

      Thanks for reading 

      Steve

  10. The San Diego Go card seems like a real simple way to visit attractions.  I would definitely love to visit Sea World.  I can see why it would be a very popular place to visit.  I love the picture of the Panda.  The Zoo and the Safari Park sound like a great way to see all kinds of different animals, that you would not usually see.  Lego world also sounds like a great idea.  It looks like a lot of fun.

    • Hi Shy,

      Yeah the Pass really covers some great attractions, and makes a Trip to San Diego much more complete and rewarding, along with saving a lot of cash.

      Hope you have a great trip 

      Steve

  11. This is incredible and I had no idea something like this exists.  Also the price seems more than fair.  That is a lot of fun packed into a short amount of time but they are also attractions that I have always talked about.  Thank you for taking the time to write this review.  I know it has already given me some ideas about next years holidays.

    • Hi Dale,

      Yeah we hear quite often that people are unaware of these products and we intend to spread the message as we really do think they are great value for money and really help people get the best of their trips.

      The Nature of the pass does mean you need to cram quite a bit into your trip but it does mean you get a lot done and get to see many of San Diego’s best attractions in a short window!

      Hope you have a great trip next year

      Steve

  12. After reading your article I have to say that I did not know that there was so much to do in San Diego. So this is going on my bucketlist for places I should visit some day or another in my life! And mainly because of the San Diego Go Card option as this will really keep the costs down.

    Because this is why we never really do a lot of stuff when we’re on holiday, because every excursion you do costs a lot of money.

    Thanks for the tip!

    • Hi Jurgen,

      Hope you get there soon, It really is a great City and really good for families! So much to see and do, and as you say the Pass really opens up the opportunities. We are headed there next year and it’s a case of there is just too much to do and fitting in everything is the challenge!

      Its such a shame when you can’t do something you want due to budget constraints. We all wish we could live like millionaires but the reality is we only have so much money. That is one of the things we love about the pass. It’s not that it saves money but it maximise what you have so you can see and do so much more than you would with the same budget! Remember there are passes for most Cities in the USA!

      Hope you get to see San Diego soon, Don’t leave it for another life, you will definitely regret it! 

      Steve

  13. Hi,

    First of all, thanks a lot for this very in-depth review of the San Diego Go Card. I really enjoyed reading it and learned a lot. I initially just wanted to read this article to find out if the Go Card is worth it or not. But this article also told me about so many awesome things to do in San Diego which helps in planning my trip to San Diego.

    Keep up the great  work!

    • Hi Ios,

      Yeah, we find the passes and subsequently our articles provide a really good basis for planning your trip. There are so many things to do on the card and often our favorites are things were almost certainly would not have done without the pass.

      Hope you have a great trip to San Diego

      Steve 

  14. I really want to visit this place, along with other places in California. But I have this little problem here wherein the processing of passport and tourist visa take quite lengthy. I am afraid that if I buy the card now of this card, I might wait for too long the card may risk expiring. So, I’d like to know by asking you if the card has an expiry date and can be rendered useless if I am not able to use it immediately. If I buy now, how long will it be valid?

    • Hi Gomer,

      The pass has a 12month expiry date, From Purchase to first use. So if you buy now you have a full year until you need to use it.

      That said if you are waiting for a Visa there is no need tp buy until you have all that sorted, flights book and are ready to go. The Pass is not going anywhere. We tend to buy about 2 months out from our trip, This helps spread the cost. 

      You never KNOW what is going to happen with Visa’s etc so why rush in?

      Steve

  15. Wow! This one page is so detailed It is almost a travel guide on its own But I see you have so much more info about San Diego as well. I really never knew there were s many attractions in San Diego We were not sure we were going to do San Diego but we definitely will now and definitely get the pass! Me and My Friends are planning a major trip to the USA and will definitely bookmark your page to help us plan it!

    Thanks

    • Hi,

      Great to see you and your friends are planning a big trip. Touring America really is one of the best trips you can take. Have a look around our site as we cover many USA Cities with tips and advice on how to visit them all. 

      Thanks

      Steve

  16. Hi Steve – it’s been awhile since I’ve been to San Diego, so I don’t remember if they had this available back then.  But, I love this idea of the Go Card.  Especially since it’s a digital pass and you can access it on your phone.  There are so many things to see and do in San Diego.  I agree, it would be nice if you didn’t have to use the pass in consecutive days.  Maybe they’ll eventually make that change.

    Thanks for this information.

    Michele

    • Hi Michelle,

      Yeah hopefully, On some other passes, especially in beach locations, they do offer the non-consecutive pass, so they might bring this option to San Diego. As it’s always nice to have a break from attractions and just chill by the ocean. 

      Glad you like the pass, 

      Hope you have a great trip to San Diego!

      Steve

  17. Hi! Thank you for this cool guide! I have found your site very useful and thank you for recommending the San Diego Go Card. I could check out by myself the attractions included and it is sure worth it. Even if I hand picked a few I would still end up spending much more. So, for me it’s a no-brainer.

    Among the top attractions, we’re definitely going to Sea World. And our kid’s will love to spend a whole day at Legoland. We have made our minds for a 5-Day Card. Both, Sea World and Legoland are included in it!

    • Hi Henry,

      Good choices and with just Legoland and Seaworld you have almost covered the cost of the pass, meaning all the other things you do are very cheap/free. We do suggest the San Diego Zoo As well, It’s really good for the family.

      Hope you and your family have a great trip,

      Steve

  18. Hello Steve,

    We are looking at planning a trip to San Diego and are blown away by the number of things to see and do for both kids and adults. This could obviously be very expensive so it’s great to see how much we could save with the Go Card. 

    As I side not do you know if there are any fishing excursions from San Diego. It would be great to drop the family off somewhere while I head out fishing!

    Thanks in advance. 

    Regards!Claudio

    • Hi Claudio,

      Hope you have a great trip to San Diego!

      You are right there is so much to see and do it really can get pricy so the savings the card provides really can help you see a lot more than without. We are sure your family will have a great time!

      As for Fishing, there are loads of possibilities for shore fishing in San Diego with loads of piers to fish from along with place’s to rent fishing equipment too. There are also Charter boats you can book a space on that head out to deeper water to target either sport or bottom species.

      Thanks for reading

      Steve

  19. When I first heard about this pass, I thought it was too good to be true because I can’t understand how they can get away with providing so much for a single low price. After reading this though, it sounds pretty legit. Each of the destinations would cost so much more to pay for them individually. This is perfect for me because we are going to be there for five day. I think the three day pass would be perfect. We can have three days of activities  and two days to relax at the beach and do some free activities around San Diego like hiking. 

    • Hi Eric, 

      Yeah, we advise not having the pass for all of your time there as you will want to do other things and chasing the pass around all the time is exhausting. So a 3-day Pass for 5 Days is perfect.

      These types of Passes can seem a bit too good to be true but we find we always get incredible value and see and do so much more than we would without a pass. 

      Hope You have a great trip to San Diego!

      Thanks for reading

      Steve

  20. What an indepth and insightful article. I admire the way you update the attractions when changes are made. This way visitors (or homies) won’t be disappointed when they reach San Diego and find out that an attraction is no longer available or cost more than they budgeted for. You have obviously researched this extensively and like me, I believe readers will trust the information that they find here. Kudos!

    • Yeah, we do regular Audits on all our pass reviews to keep them up to date.

      As for research we do that the old fashioned way. Buying the Passes and hitting the Cities. Next Month we head To Las Vegas and San Diego, armed to the teeth with City Passes!

      Thanks for reading

      Steve

  21. I think it’s really cool that cities like this provide the option of purchasing one of these cards and then being able to visit just about everything on offer (time permitting of course!). 

    I’m also impressed by the overall price of it, as separating each attraction up and paying individually for each option would come to a lot more. Is there any way you can claim a refund if for some reason you cannot use the card in it’s entirety? (illness etc).

    • Hi Chris, 

      We too really love City Passes and always use them when visiting Cities, we head to San Diego next month and the first thing we sorted was Our San Diego Go Cards!

      They offer a 30-Day Guarantee on all un-used cards. So if you cancel or postpone your trip as long as it is within 30-days you get your money back. If it’s longer than that then the card is good for up to 1 year from purchase, so you can always rearrange the trip.

      Once activated though they do not refund your purchase, so if you only use 1-day of a 3-day pass, for example, you would lose the other days. This would be the case with most other pre-booked tickets, however.

      Hope that Helps

      Steve

  22. It seems lot of benefits are attached to the San Diego go card. My cousin and his family visited the place in the summer of 2017 and they had a wonderful experience stopping by at the San Diego zoo and as well going on tour in the city. I am planning my vacation for later this year and I think San Diego would be our destination but firstly I will purchase the San Diego go card to bring my family down to have an amazing experience of the beautiful city.

    • Hi Felicity, 

      Great to see you are heading to San Diego!

      We have just got back and had a superb time using the Pass, Check out our Live Blog for more on this latest trip. Like Cousin and Family, we had a great time at San Diego Zoo and you definitely need to check it out. Saand Diego is such a great City and you will have a great time, especially if you use the Go San Diego Pass!

      Hope you have a great trip

      Steve

  23. The Go San Diego Card actually looks like it is well worth the money. I have yet been to San Diego, but have always wanted to go. Been to other parts of CA, but San Diego is definitely on the cards. I’m going to bookmark this page and get the card when I finally do book a trip there. Would love to see the San Diego Zoo.

    • Hi Nate,

      You should definitely put San Diego on your list if you enjoyed the rest of CA. San Diego is a real highlight. We tended to avoid it, to begin with thinking it not as special as other CA destinations, but that is a mistake. It is a wonderful city, really laid back and beautiful with tons to do!

      Grab a San Diego Go Card and get down there to check out all this amazing city has to offer!

      Steve

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