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Cable Car Museum

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Address: 1201 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone Number: 415 474 1887
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10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Open now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Fee: No

A museum to San Francisco's beloved cable cars, with a subterranean...

A museum to San Francisco's beloved cable cars, with a subterranean walkway that lets you see the moving cable.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,981 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 1078
  • 745
    Very good
  • 145
  • 10
  • 3
Super cool!!!

I was born in the San Fran area and come back often to visit. Just found this gem, but will definitely add to the list of touristy things to do! The museum is free and is... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Indianapolis, Indiana

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English first
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I was born in the San Fran area and come back often to visit. Just found this gem, but will definitely add to the list of touristy things to do! The museum is free and is actually the powerhouse for the 4 cables of the city. You see the cables in action and can read lots of facts along the... More 

Thank USATravelbug_194
Oak Park, California
Level Contributor
127 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Unexpected treat. This "museum" not only shows the history of the Cable Car in San Francisco it is also the actual working mechanism for the cars that are being used right now. Lots of old photos and artifacts and some great explanations of how the cable and braking systems work. Also, you can see the actual cables that are being... More 

Thank jtlerman
Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

One of the better FREE attractions I have been to. To be able to actually see the cable working and to read the history made it very fascinating, even to a non engineering type of person.

Thank fitnessplus
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

This is a free museum on how the cable car works, various old history and showing the actual cable lines all really interesting to see

Thank Robert1159
New Jersey
Level Contributor
287 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Wonderful to visit here before or after a cable car ride. Interesting history and you can take pics in what appears to be a car itself ! Any age would enjoy this. This was a family (but adult son) and friends visit. We all took a cable car later after walking to Union Square and spending some time which we... More 

Thank jansjourneys
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

After riding (If you are under 40 and agile. most fun is to hang on the running board) go visit the cable car museum/barn...this is where all the cables are pulled. It is fascinating to see the ancient machinery operating. A great thrill for adults bus especially for young adults interested in engineering of anything mechanical. A

Thank Navigator2120
Naches, Washington
Level Contributor
63 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

A lot of information about cable cars and their history. The museum is free and you can look at the actual cables the cars run on. The only negative is that it is extremely noisy in there.

Thank NachesANDi
Stittsville, Canada
Level Contributor
152 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I came across this museum by accident, while riding the cable cars, when the conductor announced we were passing by it. I'm glad I hopped off, as the museum provides a fantastic history of cable cars in San Francisco. Even better, it houses the actual wheels running the cables underground each road. You don't realize the engineering that went into... More 

1 Thank Jeff R
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
125 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This was an interesting place. You see the actual cables that currently run the cable cars. Plus, you learn a bit of history. My kids (ages 9-15) were mildly interested, but preferred other parts of our SF visit more. I still think everyone should check it out. Just spend a half hour or so, then take a nearby cable car... More 

Thank GNR80
Ascot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
151 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a free activity and explains very clearly the history of the cable car. Suitable for all ages and the moving cables are visible. Well worth doing. And a good cafe afterwards for a drink!

Thank Gill O

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Staying in Nob Hill

Neighborhood Profile
Nob Hill
Swanky and stylish, Nob Hill sits in the heart of the city and is home to amazing architecture and views. The hike to the top can be a challenging workout for those who forego a cable car ride, but they will be rewarded with some of the city’s most beautiful architecture adorning its peak. Originally populated with mansions after the Gold Rush, most if not all were devastated in the 1906 earthquake and fire that followed. Luckily all is not lost; storied hotels and Grace Cathedral surround Huntington Park. Having a drink or dinner while taking in the sunset and views at the "top of the Mark" is tough to beat.
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