While many cities around the world boast efficient public transit systems, very few can claim theirs are actually fun to ride. San Francisco’s trolley system not only helps residents and tourists easily get from one place to another, but is also an attraction in itself. The iconic cable cars are as much a part of San Francisco’s identity as the Golden Gate Bridge.
San Francisco’s cable cars are the only permanently operational, manually-operated cable cars in the world, so make sure that you hop on for a ride during your stay for an unforgettable experience as you whiz up and down San Francisco’s steep hills.
The trolley system was officially named a national historic landmark in 1964. The cars are meticulously maintained and have been recently refurbished with brand new tracks, cables, turnarounds, and machinery to ensure that they operate as efficiently and beautifully as they did when the system was built in 1873.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of these incredible cars, you can also stop by the Cable Car Museum located at 1201 Mason Street. Walking through the beautiful museum, you’ll get to see old cable cars, photographs, and intricate displays detailing over 140 years of cable car history.
Three cable car lines run through the city and make stops at many popular tourist destinations so you easily kill two birds with one stone by taking a trolley to a spot on your sightseeing list. Visit SFMTA’s website for detailed information about routes and schedules.
Tickets can be purchased from the conductor when you board or at a turnaround.
How to Get There
The closest cable car stop to the Payne Mansion Hotel is located at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and California Street – just a 7 minute walk from the hotel. Take a right out of the hotel on Sutter Street and turn left onto Van Ness. 6 short blocks later, you’ll have arrived at California Street.