Travel Betty

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Kid Around At The Musee Mecanique

August 5th, 2007 · 3 Comments

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You know how in the movie Big with Tom Hanks, he (as a child) goes to that amusement park with the Old Lady Fortune Teller machine and when you saw that part, you were all like, “Man, why can’t I get to have a mysterious adventure like that?” Well, you can if you come to San Francisco.

Musee Mecanique

It’s at a place called the Musee Mecanique and it’s pretty much the coolest museum in the city (made cooler by the cost of admission: free!) It used to be even cooler at its previous location out by the Cliff House at Ocean Beach, but the condemnedness of the building that housed the museum made it less than cool to building inspectors, so they decided to transport Laughing Sal and all her mechanical brethren down to good old Fisherman’s Wharf for the tourists to enjoy.

Laughing Sal1906 Earthquake

It just so happens that I found myself down in Fisherman’s Wharf not once, but twice in the past few weeks. Remarkable considering I probably haven’t been down there in two or three years. Yes, I’m a snob, but for good reason. Anyway, I popped into the museum to see if it had at all been sullied by its proximity to the myriad of tourist traps like the Bubba Gump’s Wax Museum & Clam Chowder Bread Bowl Escape From Alcatrazarama. And you know what? It hadn’t. Inside I found the same charming, fun, frisky Olde Time-y place as before. Just with a little more breathing room. Yay!

Opium Den

So if you’re coming to San Francisco and you’re planning to spend any time in Fisherman’s Wharf (and really, who are we kidding? you are!), then try to squeeze this in between commenting on how foul the sea lions smell and getting a caricature of yourself and loved ones drawn wearing prison stripes in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you’re still a kid trapped inside of an adult body that sort of resembles Tom Hanks, it just might end up being the highlight of your trip.

Arm Wrestling

Travel Betty Basics

Musee Mechanique
Pier 45 Shed A at the end of Taylor Street
Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133
Tel: (415) 346-2000

Mon-Fri 10:00am-7:00pm
Sat-Sun 10:00am-8:00pm
Holidays 10:00am-8:00pm

Admission: FREE!

Tags: California · Northern California · Pop Culture · USA

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  • 3 responses so far ↓

    • 1 kango // Aug 6, 2007 at 10:43 pm

      Hi Betty! Nice post on something that I hadn’t seen before despite living in SF for 5 years.

      A great place that i love is Crissy Field, right by the Golden Gate bridge. The Warming Hut, has an Alice Waters-designed menu of very informal, organic, local food, and a killer view!
      http://www.parksconservancy.org/visit/park.asp?park=14

      Take care!

      MyAvatars 0.2
    • 2 Mickey // Aug 7, 2007 at 8:31 pm

      Hmm, travel-betty, what if you’re not gay ?

      MyAvatars 0.2
    • 3 Travel Betty // Aug 7, 2007 at 9:40 pm

      Kango, so glad I could point you in a new direction. And yeah, I agree that the Warming Hut rocks. Thanks for the tip.

      Mickey, hmm, I guess it’s your loss!

      MyAvatars 0.2

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