Icons of San Francisco, the Cable Cars are a cool way to get around and discover the city’s exciting places. With three lines – Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and California Street - the Cable Cars are a fun experience for sightseers who want to feel the wind in their hair and ride like the locals. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Cable Cars offer convenient transport to San Francisco’s famous attractions and neighborhoods, including Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and the Financial District.
Feel adventurous? Hop on the Cable Cars at its four terminals at Market & Powell Streets, Taylor & Bay Streets, Hyde & Beach Streets, and Washington and Jackson Streets, and cruise for only $6 or a CityPASS. Here are some travel tips to help you enjoy the Cable Cars and the spirit of San Francisco.
The Powell-Hyde car is hilly journey with killer views of the Golden Gate Bridge. The line goes north and uphill from Powell and Market streets, crossing California Street and downhill along Jackson Street and Hyde Street to the Hyde and Beach terminal, adjacent to the waterfront at the San Francisco Maritime Museum. Hop off on crooked Lombard Street for Russian Hill’s stunning panoramas.
The scenic Powell-Mason ascends up Nob Hill and downhill along Mason and Taylor streets to its end at Taylor and Bay, two blocks from Fisherman's Wharf. Stop for a hilltop martini, or ride to Chinatown. Head to North Beach at Washington Square Park, with great pizza joints, or walk over to the San Francisco Art Institute.
The California Street line runs west from California and Market Streets, close to the waterfront Embarcadero. The divine ride goes through Chinatown, past Old St. Mary’s, and climbs Nob Hill with amazing views of San Francisco to Grace Cathedral, then downhill to Van Ness Avenue, where you are a few blocks from Japantown Jump out for shopping at Polk Street boutique and cocktails at Bigfoot Lodge.
Ride, Stay and Play in San Francisco -
When you want to relax and be in the thick of everything, The Inn at Union Square is the perfect retreat in San Francisco. This landmark boutique hotel is two blocks from the Powell Street Cable Cars, where you can hop on and explore the city – from Fisherman’s Wharf to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to the streets of Chinatown. Steps from Union Square, the Inn offers beautiful rooms with classic San Francisco style, free breakfast and an all-hours concierge. Wind down at the evening wine & cheese reception or order room service from Morton’s Steakhouse next door.