Ride the cable car to these fun San Francisco spots

A SFMTA cable car on Hyde St in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of SFMTA.

Have you heard? The SFMTA cable car is running again in San Francisco after being out of service since March 2020 due to the pandemic. Face masks are required, and all lines are running. There's lots to see along the cable car routes and we'll show you some of our favorite spots to visit when playing tourist in the City. Ride BART to Powell St, and then make a quick and easy transfer to Muni. Let's go!

Editor's Note: Please wear a mask while riding BART. Before you travel, use our Trip Planner to get estimated arrival and departure times. Learn what to expect when you return to BART here.

Cable Car Museum
The San Francisco Cable Car Museum. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Cable Car Museum

Start your day by checking out the San Francisco Cable Car Museum at the corner of Mason and Washington Streets. Ride BART to Powell St Station and pick up the cable car at Powell and Market Streets. In 1964, cable cars were named the first moving National Historic Landmark. At the museum, look at the huge engines and spinning wheels that pull the cables and make the cars work. See the vintage cars, photographs and other various antiques from back in the day. Did we mention admission is free?

After seeing how these vintage cable cars work, hop back on the Powell-Mason line right outside and take it to Fisherman’s Wharf. Enjoy the wind in your hair as you bustle up and down the San Francisco hills. Get off at the last stop and you have arrived at the next destination.

Musee Mecanique
Arm wrestling at Musée Mécanique. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Musée Mécanique

You are now at the most touristy area in San Francisco, otherwise known as Fisherman’s Wharf. You want to make it past the SF merch shops and find the hidden gem that awaits. On Pier 45 resides one of the world’s largest family-owned collection of antique coin-operated arcade machines. They are all in their original condition, too. At, Musée Mécanique, step into the past and explore a world of vintage games you can't find anywhere else. With just a few quarters for each machine, you can get your fortune read, have an intense arm wrestle or play some old-school skee-ball. You can have tons of fun here for only a few dollars.

The SS Jeremiah O'Brien is moored at Pier 45. Photo courtesy of National Liberty Ship Memorial.

SS Jeremiah O'Brien

After getting your game on, head out on Pier 45 behind the arcade to see the SS Jeremiah O'Brien ship. It's one of two remaining fully functional Liberty ships of the 2,710 built and launched during World War II. The O'Brien has the distinction of being the last unaltered Liberty ship and remains historically accurate. Moored at Fisherman's Wharf, this is a premier San Francisco attraction. A living museum on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark, the O'Brien transports you back almost seven decades to when sailors braved the harshest of high seas and threat of enemy attack. Now back open to the public, tours are $20 with discounts available. Want to see more historic ships? The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is a short walk away at the end of Hyde Street.

Lombard Street
Lombard Street in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of BARTable staff.

Lombard Street

Finish up your day as a tourist by seeing one of the most famous streets in the city and world, Lombard Street. Walk along the water to Hyde and Beach Streets to ride the Powell-Hyde cable car line back to Market St. On the way, the cable car passes Lombard Street -- the world’s second most crooked street, coming right after San Francisco’s less known Vermont Street in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. Join other tourists in admiring the eight sharp turns and see the famous houses on the block. See the house used in the early reality TV show "The Real World" or the house from the movie "Vertigo," and maybe even the haunted Montandon House if you’re not afraid.

For more information on the cable car, visit SFMTA's website.

Let's talk about cable cars. 

Where's your favorite touristy spot in San Francisco? Let us know via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable (virtual) events, places to eat (grab take out from) and have fun (outside) around the Bay. 

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