Cycle race at Musee Mecanique, housing collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines.

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Musée Mécanique

Top choice in The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

A flashback to penny arcades, the Musée Mécanique houses a mind-blowing collection of vintage mechanical amusements. Sinister, freckle-faced Laughing Sal has freaked out kids for over a century, but don't let this manic mannequin deter you from the best arcade west of Coney Island. A quarter lets you start brawls in Wild West saloons, peep at belly dancers through a vintage Mutoscope and even learn a cautionary tale about smoking opium.

Of all the human-made stuff at Fisherman's Wharf, this is by far the most fun.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers attractions

1. USS Pampanito

0.06 MILES

Explore a restored WWII submarine that survived six tours of duty while you listen to submariners' tales of stealth mode and sudden attacks in a riveting…

2. Fisherman's Wharf

0.07 MILES

Fisherman's Wharf – the Embarcadero and Jefferson St waterfront running from Pier 29 to Van Ness Ave – includes Pier 39, the Musée Mécanique, the Maritime…

3. SS Jeremiah O'Brien

0.16 MILES

It's hard to believe that this 10,000-ton beauty was turned out by San Francisco’s shipbuilders in under eight weeks, and harder still to imagine how she…

4. Sea Lions at Pier 39

0.25 MILES

Sea lions took over San Francisco’s most coveted waterfront real estate in 1989 and have been making a public display of themselves ever since. Some…

5. National Park Visitors Center

0.28 MILES

San Francisco grew from its docks, and this 10,000-sq-ft visitors center for the nearby maritime national historical park details how, with a permanent…

6. Maritime National Historical Park

0.29 MILES

Five historic ships are floating museums at this maritime national park, Fisherman's Wharf’s most authentic attraction. Moored along Hyde St Pier, the…

7. Pier 39

0.29 MILES

The focal point of Fisherman's Wharf isn't the waning fishing fleet but the carousel, carnival-like attractions, shops and restaurants of Pier 39 – and,…

8. San Francisco Carousel


Your chariot awaits to whisk you and the kids past the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and other SF landmarks hand-painted on this Italian carousel twinkling…