Musée Mécanique

Museums, Special interest Fisherman's Wharf Free
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Dave Patten Musée Mécanique

A museum in name only, everything at the Musée Mécanique can, and should, be played with. At this homage to turn-of-the-century mechanization, you’ll find more than 200 coin-operated games and amusements dating back to the 1880s, many of which were salvaged from San Francisco’s now-defunct seaside amusement park, Playland at the Beach. Gypsy fortune tellers, giant moving dioramas, can-can girl stereoscopes, carnival strength testers, player pianos, and a looming Laughing Sal (the cackling Playland greeter) will delight kids and adults alike. When you’ve had your fill of fun, check out the early photos of San Francisco and earthquake memorabilia along the walls of the arcade.

By: Shoshi Parks


Venue name: Musée Mécanique
Address: Pier 45, The Embarcadero
San Francisco
Cross street: at Fisherman’s Wharf
Opening hours: 10am-8pm
Transport: Metro to Jefferson St & Taylor St/ Bus 2, 4, 8, 18, 24, 27, 38, 39, 44, 47, 54, 56, 58, 72, 74, 76
Price: Free
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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What a great blast from the past, both for kids and adults. Every time I come here I always get my fortune read by the Gypsy Woman, and have kept those fortunes in my wallet for years. Wandering around the space is like touring a hands-on museum, and it's great to see everyone in awe over mostly forgotten pastimes. There's a lot of touristy, gimmicky sites in this area of San Francisco, but this is a definite must-visit.