Wells Fargo History Museum

Lonely Planet review

The evolution of San Francisco is inextricably linked to the Gold Rush, and this spiffy little museum pays homage to the much-romanticized era, with emphases on stagecoaches, the Pony Express and banking. Notwithstanding blatant PR for Wells Fargo, the exhibits are remarkably well curated, including detailed histories of 19th-century travel in the American West.

Wells Fargo was in 1866 the world's largest operator of stagecoaches, and here you can peer inside two that are marvelously preserved. Upstairs, climb aboard a recreated coach and hear recorded stories, while the kids ride a free mechanical pony. If you're nearby, it merits a look – especially with little ones.