Cable Cars, San Francisco
This photo, taken by Hans, shows people literally HANGING OUT of the cable car. Though I preferred to have a seat, many (including Hans) wanted to stand on the platform to get better views, plus Hans wanted to take movies.
This photo gives you an idea how steep "the streets of San Francisco" really are.
Who has not heard about them or seen a film where all cars smash in a police persecution?
We used them a few times but the queues are amazing so finally we used more time the other lines as the F that takes you around so watch all center and sea line if you are tired after all day walking
But cable cars are dangerous LOL, the cars drive along the sides nearly touching the people standing on the sides and when you leave the cable car you have to watch that no car is coming. Ok drivers are pretty god over there and careful. But I was suffering for the kind standing on the lines hehehe (I guess my friends would laugh as they always call me mum, as I always worry about this things hehehe)
Do NOT refer to them, under any circumstance, as "trolley" cars. The basic fare is $5.00 for adults, and there are NO transfers. Cable car tickets and one-day Muni passes ($10) are sold by the conductors on the cable cars. The conductors can make change for up to $20. Monthly passes and Passports are valid on cable cars. The Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cars are heavily touristed, while the California/Drumm/Van Ness cable car is used mostly by the locals. Hours of operation are generally 5:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Also, do NOT ring the bell to indicate your stop. The bell is for use of the conductors only; one bell means "stop" and two means "go" or, is it the other way around?!
Most tourists want to ride a cable car, and they should: cable cars are a lot of fun. However, most tourists catch the cable cars that go to Fisherman's Wharf on Powell Street. The line for these cars can wrap around the block and take an hour. It can take just as long to come back downtown, too.
As an alternative, catch the California Street Cable Car line at Market and California Streets (just above the Embarcadero BART station). These cable cars are almost never full, and there is seldom any line at all. They don't go to the Wharf, but they do go to Chinatown, Nob Hill, Polk Gulch and end at Van Ness Avenue. To see some grand old Victorians, cross Van Ness and walk a few blocks up California Street. These mansions are among the few in the area that survived the great earthquake and fire of 1906.
If you want to go to the Wharf, you can always catch the F streetcars on Market. They don't go up any hills, but the are charming in their own way and the ride along the Embarcadero is beautiful.
You will save a lot of time if you pick up one of the 3 or 7 day MUNI passes. You can ride the MUNI subway, F-Line street cars, buses and all the Cable cars.
The 7-day pass is a particulary good bargin. Get a pass and avoid waiting in line for tickets or digging for change.
A few days in Frisco before hitting the road down to LA.
These are all MUST-DOs: the Powell-Hyde Cable Car ride from the base of Powell Street through Union Square, Nob and Russian Hills.
By car queuing for 20 minutes before going down Lombard Street: the crookedest street in the world.
Fondest memory: Unique to San Francisco, cable cars are fun to ride because you get to hang from the side of the cars. The hilly terrain makes the ride even more interesting. These old fashioned cable cars have the power to climb the hills and descend with good brake power. I don't think they are powered by gasoline or anything; you have to find out at the Cable Car Museum where you can learn how cable cars work.
Fondest memory: There are usually pretty long lines with people waiting to ride the cable car. The wait is worth it, I think. This picture shows a cable car climbing a steep hill on Hyde Street. To get from the waterfront to Chinatown, you can ride the cable car and don't have to climb the hills yourselves because it can be a pretty exhausting exercise.
Hopping on a cable car and traveling up and down the hills of San Francisco.
Fondest memory: Riding the cable car at 11:30 pm from Nob Hill to Fisherman's Wharf to Union Square with all of the city lights and the bay as a back drop.
Favorite thing: The cable car was born in San Francisco at four o'clock in the morning on August 2, 1873, when Andrew Smith Hallidie successfully tested the world's first cable car. Operated by the nonprofit "Friends of the Cable Car Museum" the Cable Car Museum provides not only an historical perspective of the importance of the cable car to San Francisco, but an insight into the daily operations of today's system.
Take a cable car ride and it MUST be the Hyde Street line! Incredible views, hills, small streets...the essence of a cable car ride.
Fondest memory: Standing at Coit Tower with its incredible views of the Bay and hills.
Favorite thing: The cable cars are what I remember most about SF, but there are many wonderful things to do and see in this city. I was on my own here and I found getting around no trouble at all. Another hi-lite was Lombard Street. However ensure that you get the correct cable car so you don't have to walk from the bottom to the top. It certainly is worth while.
Favorite thing: The fare (for one direction) is $2. Exact change is preferred, but operators will make change. There are self-service ticket machines (which do make change) at a few major stops and at all the terminals. The one exception is the busy cable car terminal at Powell and Market streets; purchase tickets at the kiosk there.
Ride cable car, but stand in back( not inside of car) and look back as the car is going up the hill! Very invigorating! and very San Fransisco...
Fondest memory: Getting on the local bus and going downtown with no real destination in mind, got off at a stop near downtown and just explored area, ended up walking through Chinatown and miles ( up hills, I had to stop a few times because it is very tiring)!, but it was enjoyable, finished by having dinner at a local Italian restaurant where the staff was very courteous, the atmosphere was very comforting, and the food was out of this world and the price tag was very reasonable....
Ride on the cable cars! These have to be the most over-rated tourist attraction, but I still think that they're one of the best attractions!
It's so fun to stand hanging onto the rail and travel up and down the steep, steep slopes that make San Francisco so quaint.
Fondest memory: Has to be of being in San Francisco itself... the whole adventure of it all!
My first big trip out on my own with my friends... so it's become quite symbolic of my initiation into becoming a traveller of this world... where at once, I'm alone, and yet surrounded with fellow travellers...