The system was an innovation of Andrew Smith Hallidae who arrived in the US from England in 1852 and was shocked to see horses crushed under the weight of carts, which slid on the damp streets. He invented a wire rope system for pulling making for a more humane and better system of transport. At Powell and Market streets, there is a cable car turntable that serves as the beginning stop for two lines, the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde lines. The Powell-Mason line begins at the Powell/Market turntable. These cable cars have a yellow sign and the line runs up and over Nob Hill and down to Bay Street at Fisherman’s Wharf. See the next bucket list item on what to do at Fisherman’s Wharf! The Powell-Hyde line (look for the red signs) also begins at the Powell/ Market turntable and runs over Nob and Russian hills before ending at Aquatic Park near Ghiradelli Square. Aquatic Park cove and beach is worth visiting for the view and beach, then there is the Maritime Museum to explore at the Hyde Street Pier which includes a number of magnificent historic ships including a square-rigger, a schooner and steam ferryboat from the 1800’s The visitor center is open 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. You can call 415-447-5000 for more information. The cost to visit the ships is free for supervised children 15 years of age and younger. There is a $10 Individual Entry Pass – valid 1 through 7 days for those over 15. At Ghiradelli Square stop for some of the famous chocolates from Ghiradelli Chocolate Company – the US division of Lindt – master Swiss chocolatiers.
Cost: $5 for adults and youth (5-17), children under 4 ride free. Purchase tickets at the turnaround or on the cable car from the conductor.
When: Seven days a week; special schedules on weekends. For a list of cable car stops and timetables, visit www.sfmta.com.