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Tourist in my own city: Cable Car Edition

September 25, 2013


It may be fall everywhere else but it’s summer in San Francisco. A season when sun-starved locals gather in the city’s parks, and when we also get a short break from tourists before the holidays begin. For me this means it’s time to explore this amazing city that we live in.

As if I wasn’t already intrigued enough by San Francisco cable cars (don’t call them trolleys, trams or trains!), I recently learned that the San Francisco cable car system is the last one in existence. Mind blown. Now I realize what makes the cable cars so unique, and more importantly, understand why the tourists line up by the hundreds for a ride. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my fair share of cable car rides, so a trip to the San Francisco Cable Car Museum was the only natural next step.

This museum is where it’s at. It’s not just a museum it is the actual powerhouse for the cable car system complete with things like sheaves, winding machinery, extra cable and a gift shop! No joke.  You’ll spend no more than an hour learning everything there is to possibly know about cable cars while watching the actual pulleys that the cable cars are running on. And did I mention it’s FREE? But if you had as much fun as I did when you visit, a small donation wouldn’t hurt.

If you aren’t convinced yet, some fun facts:

– Cables move at 9.5 MPH all day long (seems slow, right?)
4 separate cables move in a continuous loop, all go through the museum/powerhouse
26 cable cars operate at one time; there are 40 total in the fleet
– It takes 6 hours to change the cable, which they do in the middle of the night (obvs)

Here’s a sneak peek of the sheaves in action:



Any other off-the-beaten path sights we should check out before the holidays hit?

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