San Francisco Sights

Musée Mécanique

  • Pier 45 Map It
  • Fisherman's Wharf
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 01/29/2015

Fodor's Review

Once a staple at Playland-at-the-Beach, San Francisco's early 20th-century amuseument park, the antique mechanical contrivances at this time-warped arcade—including peep shows and nickelodeons—make it one of the most worthwhile attractions at the Wharf. Some favorites are the giant and rather creepy "Laffing Sal," an arm-wrestling machine, the world's only steam-powered motorcycle, and mechanical fortune-telling figures that speak from their curtained boxes. Note the depictions of race that betray the prejudices of the time: stoned Chinese figures in the "Opium-Den" and clown-faced African Americans eating watermelon in the "Mechanical Farm." Admission is free, but you'll need quarters to bring the machines to life.

Sight Information


Pier 45, Shed A, San Francisco, California, 94133, United States

Map It



Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Weekdays 10–7, weekends 10–8

Updated 01/29/2015


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