Monday, November 12, 2007

Fisherman's Wharf I - Musee Mecanique

Fisherman's Wharf seems a world apart from the rest of San Francisco. Tourists love it, while locals only venture there when friends or family visit. While much of the Wharf is tacky, there are some gems worth visiting.

My favorite place on Fisherman's Wharf is one of its most overlooked attractions: the Musee Mecanique. Located at Pier 45, Shed A, at the end of Taylor Street, the
Musee Mecanique is home to one of the largest collections of mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade games.

Today's children are accustomed to playing video games. They can't imagine that their grandfathers and great-grandfathers played mechanical, rather than electric, games. A visit to the Musee will enable your children to play early 20th century arcade games, music boxes, and pin ball games. You will also get to see exhibits from San Francisco's old amusement park, Playland; the Sutro Baths; and Cliff House.

The Musee Mecanique is a great place to come with children, but adults also will enjoy seeing these old games. You are likely to go through a pile of quarters during your visit, but change is easily gotten from machines in the museum. The Musee Mecanique opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and at 8:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

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