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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 #25 of 376 Attractions in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
21 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014 NEW

This is a unique working museum where you see the mechanism that keeps the cable cars running in San Francisco. Not much to see in the way of exhibits, but worth it to see and hear the wheels and cables in action and understand how this amazing piece of engineering still runs today. You've travelled above ground on the cable... More

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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014 NEW

Best part watching the old spooling machines that actually run the system. The machines are original and old, and are tended to by workers who treat them like family. Really cool. Exhibits have excellent explanations of the workings of the system, as well as history. Worth an hour or two. Tip: when riding cable car get on a block or... More

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Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
218 reviews 218 reviews
142 attraction reviews
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014

Taking the cable car in San Francisco is $6 for a short one-way ride, but this museum of the cable car is free and definitely worth the stop. If possible come here before riding the cable car in order to gain some appreciation for the workings of the cable car system. See the actual cables running as they enter and... More

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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

The cable car museum is a great place to visit as it is the starting point of the cables that the cable cars are operated from. This is a very interesting place for the mechanically minded, and those not so. There is a lot of memorabilia and history details on the walls that is interesting to read. Another bonus is... More

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Rye, New York
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

The cable car barn is how to learn the history of San Francisco unique cackle car system. When you are on the cable car leaving Fisherman's wharf you wonder what happens if the car slips back only to then jerk forward it is scary. The museum gives the whys to what is happening. The video is excellent about the history... More

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Frederick, Maryland
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
12 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

This museum requires maybe 20 minutes of looking around, but it was amazing to see all the cables that were running all the cable cars, and to also learn about how the cable cars worked. Perfect just before hopping on the car for the second half of our day. Son reported that rest room was "really scary," but I didn't... More

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Tampa, FL
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
20 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

A fascinating inside look at the operation of those glorious cable cars. I wasn't willing to pay $6 to ride the cable cars since I have ridden them in the past, but the museum made up for this. Demonstrations of how the cables operate, what they look like new and used.... how the cables are repaired and replaced... and who... More

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Porto Alegre, Brazil
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
22 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

We took the Hyde St cable car, stopped at Lombard St and came back walking until we arrived at the museum. But you can also stop by the museum by cable car, we decided to come back walking to see the beautiful houses and hills of the area. Anyway, the museum is small (30 minutes are enough to see everything... More

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Omaha, Nebraska
Top Contributor
592 reviews 592 reviews
471 attraction reviews
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

This museum shows you just how the cable cars work and if you get on the system you can get off at the museum. The museum is perfect for what it is ment to show.

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Las Vegas
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
35 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

If you're aiming at getting off here and then heading back down to the Ghiradelli Square area via Beach/Hyde cable car again you might have a rude awakening. It's a neat trip (the back-and-forth) but you can pretty much forget getting on a cable car heading back to the wharf from the stop just on the other side of the... More

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