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Cable Car Museum

1201 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 (Nob Hill)
415 474 1887
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As featured in San Francisco on a budget
Ranked #26 of 361 attractions in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Specialty Museums
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Description: A museum to San Francisco's beloved cable cars, with a subterranean walkway that lets you see the moving cable.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
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967 reviews from our community

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English first
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
27 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

A great place to visit (though if you are trying to park near the museum - that is a tough thing to accomplish) - great history of Cable cars in SF, and visuals on how the system works...

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Greeley, Colorado
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
8 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

This self-guided exhibit on cable car history and mechanics is located in the powerhouse that actually drives the cables used on the city’s remaining cable car lines. Its organizers are clearly a dedicated group of cable car enthusiasts and historical preservationists, and after visiting the museum one can only wish them continued success in protecting this unique bit of American... More

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Tigard, Oregon
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

This is a wonderful place to go see how the cable cars work, how the brakeman grabs onto and releases the cable. There are lots of pictures and newspaper articles that have been written over the years...before and after the 1906 earthquake that destroyed some of the cars. However, several are still in use. A good learning experience for kids.... More

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Kennewick, Washington
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
10 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

Through the years we have returned to the Cable Car power house with kids and for all of the adults. It is a marvel to just sit and watch. All of the cables and motors that keep all those cars going up and down the hills is really engineering at its best. It is always Free, you can watch as... More

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Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

It's nice to ride on the cable car while in San Fran, it's what the city is known for. But on a daily basis for locals, hardly worth it. Staff is slow, and not rushed to get you going places, which sucks if you want to get around the city. The cable lines are limited so you can't go too... More

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Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

Cable cars are really fun and this museum makes it even more interesting. It explains how cable cars actually work and you can actually see them in action.There isn't a lot to see but it does make up for a quick visit. You will also get to see how the cablecars have evolved in design. Kids will definitely love the... More

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Buenos Aires, Argentina
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
23 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

Small museum dedicated to the history of the cable car in San Francisco. But what makes this place real interesting is that this is where all the cable cars are operated from. Don't want to ruin it for you, but go and be surprised.

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Southwest Harbor, Maine
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
36 attraction reviews
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

We had our 5 year old grandson with us and this was a wonderful way to explain the workings of the cable car system. It is quite fascinating to see the working cables and the historical photos and explanations. A "don't miss" on our San Francisco visit list.

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Platte City, Missouri
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
19 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

I would definitely recommend this free museum. It really explains the history behind San Francisco street cars and cable cars. It also allows you to get close to the actual cables the run the 4 lines today. I would not come if you are in a wheelchair or have a stroller as there are steps right when you come in.

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Kochi (Cochin), India
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
41 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

Showcasing the history of cable cars in San Francisco which established almost 150 years back as an alternative to horse drawn carriages. It's interesting to see how the four lines were managed from this point. There are exhibits of different cars used and pictures of them in use as well as the great earth quake of 1906. Souvenir shop is... More

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