San Francisco Sights

Musée Mécanique

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

Published 07/06/2016

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.

  • Cactus Gulch, Antique Arcade, Musee Mecanique, San Francisco, California, USA

    By Piotrus [CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sight Information


Pier 45, Shed A, San Francisco, California, 94133, USA

Map It



Sight Details:

  • Free

Published 07/06/2016


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