We've taken the cable car rides in San Fransisco on several of our trips to the city and still enjoy this historic form of transportation. This is a bit of a touristy activity that is quite pricey (US$6) and the queues can be too long. During our recent trip we bought tickets in the evening and still waiting almost 45 minutes to board the cable car after finishing our visit at the Wharf. Just something to be aware off is you are interested in riding the cable cars in SF.
When riding the cable car, try to find an outside positions where you can stand. If you are on the left side, you will have very nice views and you'll see other cable cars coming the opposite direction, surprising how close you come to them at times.
In addition to riding the cable car, you might want to stop at the very good Cable Car Museum (free entry) where you can learn a bit about the history of the various cable car companies and the evolution of this cable car right here in San Francisco. You can also see the massive underground cable and pulley system that keeps the SF Cable Cars moving along in the city.
Overall, the cable car is a bit touristy and expensive for the experience but it's classic San Fransisco stuff and memorable so why not?
For an equally interesting, if not better, historical transportation experience, consider also taking the historic F line street car (US$2) which makes its way up Market Street from Castro, along Embarcadero, all the way to Fisherman's Wharf as well. We actually prefer this to the cable car experience.
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