Cable Cars, San Francisco

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  • darryl.wilson's Profile Photo

    Get on in between Cable Car Stations!

    by darryl.wilson Written May 14, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A cable car descending down on of the steep hills
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    The Cable Cars are a fun and exciting way to see San Francisco. I found it to be a convenient way to get from downtown to Fisherman's Wharf and China Town. Some of the operators have also got a lot of personality and you'll see that in the way they drive their cable cars.

    If you take one of the cable cars from the bases at Fisherman's Wharf or downtown, you could end up waiting in line for up to one hour. The secret to not waiting is to hop on the cable car in between the main bases. They never fill up the Cable Car completely when they board at the bases because they anticipate people getting on in between the main stops. So there is typically standing room at the very least.

    Sometimes they forget to ask for your fare when you get on in between so depending on how honest you are, you could enjoy a free ride! But if you get on at the bases, don't count on the forgetting.

    Oh and be sure to have your camera ready because you can get some incredible shots of San Francisco's best landmarks and views...

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  • iclee's Profile Photo

    Not all things are costly in SanFo

    by iclee Written May 6, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yerba Buena Park

    Cable car ride is nice bec you'll be part of something historic at $5/way/person. Try Cable Car Museum - free. Presidio park (don't forget fabulous photo op showing GGate bridge and you can rent a bike to tour whole area). I went to Yerba Buena Gardens and visited Museum across, too.

    Surf chowhound.com to check dining styles recommended by locals. Use opentable.com to reserve spots in restos and get points for doing it and best thing is membership is free.

    Hope this helped..... :)

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  • SailorRoar's Profile Photo

    The famous cable cars

    by SailorRoar Written Apr 2, 2008
    Cable car

    The San Francisco cable cars are known all over the world, you have seen them in plenty og movies and TV shows. There are 4 cable car lines Hyde, California, Mason and Powell. You don't have to take all og them of course, just pick the one that is most convenient for you. But you have to take one ;) If you are lucky you will also get one of the crazy cable car operators that entertains you on the trip. Also be aware that there can be long waiting lines to get onboard the most popular linesans spesially the outside seats can be hard to get.

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  • San Francisco in a few days...

    by AndreaKalbfleisch Written Mar 26, 2008

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    Hi!
    First, you don't need a car in SF. Parking in the downtown area is expensive. You - if you are in good shape - can easily walk in the Metro SF area. Buses and the subway system called BART are also excellent. With a little help, you will be able to get where you want to go in the city.

    Go to Chinatown to shop, walk around and see the sites, have a meal.If you keep walking north from there you/ll be in North Beach - the Italian part of town where the food is marvelous. There are shops for food, books, etc. North from there is Fisherman's Wharf. There are many seafood restaurants. Be sure to get some fresh French bread and crab. You can see the boats docked in the Bay, there are scenic areaa to photograph. The Cannery is close by and to the west with Ghiradelli Chocolate factory there, shops and restaurants. Pier 39 is ast of there and it is a pier with shops and restaurants all on the water. You'll be happy doing any or all of the above. Stick with this agenda if you only have 3 days. Take your time in each of these areas, see all there is to see and have a good time!
    You can take a cable car to all of these areas from downtown on Market street of catch it somewhere along the line. Be sure to get a public transit pass for the bus and cable car as single trips are expensive. Ask anyone and they can point you in the direction for all of these areas. Stay out of the "Tenderloin" area - porno shops, etc; and Hunter's Point. If you stay in the touristy areas I have described, you'll be fine. There are a lot of panhandlers in SF so beware.
    There are some really great things to do in SF. This agenda will keep you busy for a few days. This will give you a taste of SF and make your trip memorable. You'll be back for more!
    Hope this helps!

    Andrea

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  • SaxonSon's Profile Photo

    Ride the Cable Cars like a local

    by SaxonSon Written Mar 4, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Here's a good way to save time when you're ready to take a Cable Car ride. The Cable Cars turn around at the bottom of Powell Street, at Market. You can buy Cable Car tickets there ($5 as of today--March 2008) then get in the gawd-awful line and wait and wait and wait. OR you can walk two blocks up the hill (c'mon, it's not that bad) and catch the cable car at the first stop. See, the cars leave the starting line 1/2 full, in order to save room for the other passengers--like smart VT-ers.

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  • trvlrtom's Profile Photo

    The "other" museum for streetcars & railways

    by trvlrtom Written Jan 17, 2008

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    San Francisco street car -  museum photo

    Riding on or seeing the city's ever popular cable cars are on most visitors list of things to do. You may notice while in the city, however, that there is a fleet of antique and old streetcars now in operation. The Municipal Railway has routes that run along Market St., Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf and other areas on historic cars for the regular rate of $1.50 - a bargain.

    The railway has an interesting but often overlooked museum about cable cars and street cars, located across from the Embarcadero on the F line. It is worth a quick visit, and has a lot of good souvenirs for sale related to the theme: T-shirts, calendars, post cards, etc.

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  • vickthechick's Profile Photo

    The Cable Car Museum is FREE!

    by vickthechick Written Aug 6, 2007

    Can't make it over there? Here is a short but lucious video tribute to the cable car museum.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1moy8y_cK04

    You can also DING a real cable car bell on display! The maximum speed these cars can travel is only 9.2 miles per hour which is probably for the best since tourists love to dangle from the sides and wave to everybody as the cars ascend the dizzy heights of the city.

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  • Hellfirejen's Profile Photo

    Cable Cars

    by Hellfirejen Written May 25, 2007

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    These things are amazing, to see the people hanging off the side it does look quite scary! The queues are quite big, but if you get there early enough it is not so bad. Everyone has to experience flying through the streets of San Francisco on one of these at some point in their lives!!!

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  • newsphotogirl's Profile Photo

    Cable Cars

    by newsphotogirl Updated Dec 4, 2006

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    Conductor

    The beginning of the cable car lines have enormous lines and long waits. But we went to the stop near our hotel and never had to wait and always found a place to stand/sit. So maybe it's easier if you get on a stop or two down the line. It's fun to watch the cars turn around at the end.
    Our conductor was fun. The two times we rode the cable car we had the same guy. He got the crowd going and offered to take our picture, etc.

    I've heard the Cable Car Museum is interesting though I've never been.

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  • Lhenne1's Profile Photo

    Free Ride

    by Lhenne1 Written Nov 9, 2006

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    Give walking those hills a rest and hop on a cable car. The trick? Don't get on at one of the ends, hop on at a stop on one of the streets along the route. The tickets usually cost $3-$5 and can be bought onboard, but our conductors didn't care and told us and other riders not to worry about paying. I don't know if this is a regular occurance, but give it a try and see if it works for you.

    We got on at Lombard St and rode through China Town and the Italian District before stopping at the end of the line downtown. We got to see a lot of the downtown area in about fifteen minutes.

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  • bugalugs's Profile Photo

    The Cable Car

    by bugalugs Updated Oct 22, 2006

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    Cable Car

    It wouldnt be the same if you visited here without a ride on the cable car. You can get on the cable car at the junction of Market Street and Powell Street.

    This cable car takes you down to the bay area. We also got our return trip from near to Aqautic Park and even though it was August and only early evening it was absolutely freezing!!!!! So remember even in August it can be chilly so take something warm to wear. Also we had to wait a really long time as the queues were so long.

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Riding the Cable Car in San Francisco

    by SLLiew Written Aug 28, 2006

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    This is the fun thing to do in downtown San Francisco - hop on the Cable Car and going downhill towards Fisherman's Wharf.

    I recommend the ride from Stocton Station at China Town down to Hyde Station at Beach Street, Fistherman's wharf.

    There are 3 major cable car lines
    1) Powell-Hyde Line
    2) Powell Mason Line
    3) California Street Line

    So hope on and hope off the cable car like in the movies and television dramas. You can hear the bell ringing as the cable car has the right of way.

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  • tere1's Profile Photo

    San Francisco cable cars

    by tere1 Written Aug 1, 2006

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    San Francisco cable car
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    The cable cars are very typical in San Francisco and a nice and inexpensive way of seing the city. You can go almost everywhere in San Francisco on them.

    There are three lines, the Powell-Mason and the Powell-Hyde , which end both near Fisherman's Wharf, though in different areas, and the California Street line that runs from the Financial district through Chinatown.

    A ticket costs $3.00 each way while there are whole day passes for $9.00 or 3 day passes for $15.00.

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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    San Francisco cable cars

    by Martin_S. Updated Jul 10, 2006

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    San Francisco cable car
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    The famous San Francisco cable cars are still running. You can take it up the hill to visit Lombard Street and then return with it to Fisherman's Wharf. The view of the bay as you descend is beautiful. Do NOT take the cable car if you are afraid that the cable will snap, sending you rolling into the bay, I do not know if that has ever happened, but it would make a good amusement ride of course. Recently saw a "Ripleys' Believe It Or Not" program where an inline skater raced the cable car UP the hill and the skater WON....(I will take the cable car to get to the top).

    During tourist season (which seems to be most of the year in San Francisco) you can expect a wait of 20-40 minutes to take the cable car from the Fishermans' Wharf station.

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  • USCgirlie's Profile Photo

    A wonderful way to see the famous landmarks of SF

    by USCgirlie Written Mar 22, 2006

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    Cable Car with Alcatraz in the background
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    Cable car riders are mostly composed of tourists, however some San Francisco residents who live on the cable car line ride it for public transportation! For tourists, I highly recommend the Powell-Hyde Cable Car line. This is the line which allows you to reach such famous landmarks such as Lombard Street, Fisherman's Wharf, as well as allowing you to see fabulous views of the Bay Bridge and the San Francisco Bay. Along the cable car ride, you will also experience San Francisco's famous hills. This is truly a San Francisco experience that is not to be missed! The ride costs $5/person, and while steep, is truly worth it. You can pay while on board (a cable car employee will come to collect it personally). The best views from the cable car are standing while holding on to the pole - just be careful not to lean out too much while cars pass by right next to you!

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