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Friday 28 March 2014

San Francisco Cable Car Museum

A few weeks back we spent the day playing tourist in San Francisco. We started off the day with a visit to the Cable Car Museum followed by a long walk through Crissy Field to see the SFMOMA On the Go exhibit (which you can see here).

Now if you're going to go to the Cable Car Museum there's only one way to get there: by cable car of course! Ok, so you can get there many other ways too but catching the cable car is definitely the most fun. We hopped on the California line at its start down by Embarcadero and made our way to the museum near the top of Nob Hill. I always suggest to visiting friends that if they want to ride the cable car purely for the fun of riding the cable car then this is the line to choose. There's never a queue and the views down California Street towards the Bay are pretty stunning.  

The Cable Car Museum is housed in the same building as the actual cables and mechanisms that run San Francisco's iconic transportation system. Watching the giant wheels spin the cables for the four cable car lines is definitely the highlight of the museum. The girls were fascinated by the spinning cable.

The museum is home to quite a few decommissioned cable cars. Most of these are roped off to prevent visitors climbing on them but they were very interesting to look at. The design of the cable cars really didn't change all that much over the years!

While the girls were not able to climb aboard any of the older cable cars on display they were able to pose for photos on a few cable car facades and ring an old cable car bell. Oh, did they love ringing that bell!

There were plenty of other things to see at the Cable Car Museum including old signage, cable car parts and tools, vintage penny arcade machines and, the girls' favourite everywhere we go, a penny squisher machine.

The San Francisco Cable Car Museum is located at 1201 Mason Street in San Francisco.  It is open daily (apart from certain holidays) and admission is free. You can find more information about the museum and San Francisco's cable cars at http://www.cablecarmuseum.org/


  1. I've lived in the Bay Area my whole life and haven't yet been to this museum. My 2 year old daughter loves Daniel Tiger and Mr. Rogers and is enthralled by the trolley. She'd dig this place.

    1. It's a fun place to visit and it's free!
      There's also San Francisco Railway Museum near the Ferry Building which focuses more on the street cars. We haven't been there yet but it's on our list. It's also free :)


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