San Francisco: The city's historic streetcars

Courtesy Nick.Fisher/Flickr

While the cable cars are much celebrated, the F-Line Market Street Railway is another historic transit option that shouldn't be missed. (Thanks, reader Jaime Raba for reminding us about them!)

The F-Line runs from Fisherman's Wharf, along the Embarcadero, and up Market to the Castro. The brightly colored vintage streetcars were imported by the city from places around the world, from Australia to England, Philadelphia to St. Louis. On any given day, as many as 20 different trolleys are on the street. Perhaps the most notable is the 1934 open air roofless "boat tram," strung with lights that came from the seaside resort town of Blackpool, England. Kids (and kids at heart!) will especially get a kick out of riding the train and hearing the old-fashioned bell ring at each stop. History buffs should stop by the SF Railway Museum south of the Ferry Building for exhibits and more information. Check out the website for a background guide to the origin of the different trolleys.

The F-Line runs every 5-20 minutes from approx. 6:00 AM until 11:20 PM. As a part of Muni, transfers work throughout. $2 for adults, $.75 for youth and seniors, and free for kids under 5.

Museum, 77 Steuart Street, (415) 974-1948, Free, Open Tuesday–Sunday 10:00am–6:00pm

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