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San Francisco, California: Cable Car Museum

Free museum in the powerhouse that pulls all of San Francisco's famous cable cars (Riding the cars themselves costs $7 one-way). See the engines and pulleys in action. It's probably best to see this frighteningly old technology after, rather than before, you've ridden a cable car.

1201 Mason St., San Francisco, CA
On the west side of Mason St. just north of its intersection with Washington St.
Summer daily 10-6, off-season 10-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Cable Car Museum

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Cable Car Museum.

Cable Car Museum

The Cable Car Museum is very well laid out and informative. One can purchase their tickets online and pay $13 for unlimited rides in one day. This by far beats the $7 price for one way.

[Rochelle Riordan, 07/04/2019]

Cable Car Museum.

Cable Car Museum

San Francisco used to have a lot more cable car lines, and they were actually used for transportation, rather than serving primarily as tourist attractions like they do now. There's a pretty interesting museum that tells the history of San Francisco's cable cars from the late 1800s until now. There are three antique cable cars on display, along with lots of cable car artifacts, photographs, and models. But the coolest part is that the museum is in the actual powerhouse that drives San Francisco's four remaining cable car lines. From a walkway in the museum you can look down and see the big engines and giant wheels that actually move the cables under the street. Downstairs, you can peer through some windows and see the wheels and pulleys by which the cables turn corners. Best of all, this is free.

[Dean Jeffrey, 01/15/2009]

July 2019: Photo added.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Tonga RoomTonga Room, San Francisco, CA - < 1 mi.
Tony Bennett StatueTony Bennett Statue, San Francisco, CA - < 1 mi.
Fortune Cookie FactoryFortune Cookie Factory, San Francisco, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Mare Island Eagle, Vallejo, CA - 22 mi.

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