Things to do in San Francisco: Cable Car Museum

Discover the Cable Car Museum in SF

San Francisco is a city renowned for The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and, of course, cable cars. At the heart of this historic transit system lies the Cable Car Museum, a fascinating destination that offers a glimpse into the past & present of San Francisco’s cable cars. These vintage forms of transportation offer a fun activity for visitors as well as one amazing photo opportunity to post to the ‘gram.

What is the Cable Car Museum?

Located in the Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, the Cable Car Museum is a place dedicated to the city’s unique transportation legacy. Housed in the historic Washington/Mason cable car barn and powerhouse, the museum delves into the details about of one of the world’s last manually operated cable car systems. It is located in a building that is actually part of running the cable cars in San Francisco, so it is a very cool way to learn about the inner workings of the cars.

Why Visit the Cable Car Museum?

The Cable Car Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in San Francisco’s history or curious about how cable cars work. The museum offers a real-time view of the powerhouse that drives the current cable car system. Include in the tour are:

Historic Cable Cars

The museum houses a collection of historic cable cars, including some dating back to the 1870s. These beautifully restored cars give visitors a sense of the evolution of cable car design & technology.

Mechanical Displays

One of the museum’s highlights is its detailed exhibit on the cable car’s mechanical operations. You can view the large sheaves & cables that pull the cars through the streets of San Francisco in real-time.

Photographic Exhibits

The museum features a collection of cool photographs and memorabilia that chronicles the history of cable cars in San Francisco.

Gift Shop

For those looking to take a piece of history home, the museum’s gift shop offers a variety of souvenirs, including cable car bells and memorabilia. The perfect place to buy some gifts to bring home to your friends and family.

What You Will See

What can you see at the Cable Car Museum in San Francisco?

Vintage Cable Cars

Get up close with the oldest surviving cable cars in the world.

Working Cable Car Parts

Observe the large wheels (sheaves) that pull the actual cables running beneath the streets.

Historical Exhibits

Learn about the 1906 earthquake’s impact on the cable cars and view historical artifacts related to the cable car system.

Interactive Displays

Engage with exhibits that explain the engineering and mechanics behind the cable car system.

Planning Your Visit


Cable Car Museum
1201 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94108




While the museum is wheelchair accessible, some areas might have limited access due to the nature of the historic building.

If you want some interesting and uniquely-San Francisco things to do in the city, then a trip to the Cable Car Museum is a perfect attraction to add to your list.