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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 362 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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971 reviews from our community

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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014 NEW

The Cable Car Museum was on our list of places to learn about the history of a true symbol of San Francisco. The reason for their creation in the first place was great to know. The cables that currently guide the remaining cable cars are still in use. However, the museum was really small. I also thought there would be... More

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014 NEW

The museum explains the history and mechanics of the San Francisco cable cars - and it is a fascinating story. You get to watch the real cables in motion. Even with all the running machinery the museum is peaceful compared to the over-crowded cable cars; the museum is free while the ride is expensive.

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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014 NEW via mobile

The Museum is located along the Hyde and Powell cable car line. So you can ride the cable car and hop off at this stop. It's really convenient. The Museum itself is rather small but filled with all things cable car and we had a good time reading up and learning about the the cable car history and how it... More

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Bridgwater, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014 NEW

We visited the museum as part of our sanfran shuttle tour. Really interesting to see how the tram system actually works. You'll be surprised.... For a free atraction it is well worth a visit.

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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
21 helpful votes 21 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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