San Francisco Cable Car Museum

What: The San Francisco Cable Car Museum

Where: It’s located high up in the Mason and Washington cable car barn in (you guessed it) San Francisco, California.

Why: We wanted to learn more about those famous cable cars, without having to actually stand in one of the long lines to board one.

My Kid’s Picks: The penny machine. Yes, there seems to be one of those wherever we go. He also enjoyed seeing the wheels that turn the cables and checking out all of the maps and grids for each cable car line. In the downstairs viewing area, he checked out the cables that entered the building from the channels under the street. This is a trip underground.

Mom’s Verdict: The museum is often overlooked, mostly because it is not near any other major attraction. You can, of course, ride up in a cable car and then back down. In addition to the behind-the-scenes look at the machinery that keeps those cable cars moving, there are a few antique cars on display. It is worth a stop if your kids are into learning about modes of transport, and if you’ve already seen many of the other attractions in San Francisco. School-aged children will get the most of out of the visit. Oh, and if you can’t guess from watching the video: it’s loud.

Useful Tidbits: Admission is free. There is only street parking so we parked in a garage on California Street (a few blocks away). The whole tour of the museum took less than twenty minutes (including a bathroom break and penny machine session). There is also a small, inexpensive cafe across the street. We stopped there for a panini and Italian soda for lunch.


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4 Responses to San Francisco Cable Car Museum

  1. Amy @ The Q Family

    OH.. How cool! My kids will love this museum.

  2. My car-obsessed 5 yo would love this place! We’ll have to add it to our list of things to do in SF. Thanks for the video, too.

  3. I was pleasantly surprised when I visited this museum—it’s interesting and nice sized. Also, I got the greatest souvenir there: a flat, magnetic pen that sticks to the side of my fridge (where I keep the grocery list).

  4. very cool. i’ve said it before but we need a carbon copy of you–kids go east–out here to do all the fancy footwork and pass such info on to me!

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