Running since 1873, the iconic and beloved San Francisco cable car system has remained in operation more for nostalgia than practicality. That being said, there's something special about hearing the cable cars coming over the next hill, clinging and clanging as excited visitors hop on board. Though only 17 miles of track remain, the cars running up and down the city streets are as much a part of San Francisco as the Golden Gate Bridge.
Locals continue to utilize the service as convenient transportation and a cable car ride is on just about every visitor’s to do list so a stop in at the Cable Car Museum is a must during your San Francisco getaway! This free museum in the Nob Hill neighborhood is part of the complex that houses the cable power house and car depot and allows you to see the impressive mechanics behind the ride. Established in 1974, the museum is open year-round and showcases historical and interpretive exhibits on the San Francisco Cable Car System. A variety of antique cars and memorabilia provide a real sense of bygone days while a wonderful gift shop, car-seat photo op and penny machine offer perfect mementos of your foray into the very heart of the city's history. You can even buy your own bell to practice ringing through the city!