Bargain Travel West Budget Travel Ideas Western U.S., USA, Canada image
HOME   ARTICLES   ABOUT   LINKS   CONTACT


 DESTINATION
 IDEAS
 California
 Nevada
  Other West



Bargain Travel West guide to unique destinations, sight-seeing, budget travel vacation ideas for the independent traveler in the U.S., Canada and Caribbean.

Free Day of GPS Navigation with Budget

 San Francisco Tour and Attraction Discount Tickets


FIND THE BEST

SAN FRANCISCO
HOTEL DEALS

UNIQUE STAYS

AIR/CAR RATES

SanFrancisco_120x240


 


Travel Bargain destination in California

MUSEE MECHANIQUE – SAN FRANCISCO
Old Time Arcade Machines on Fisherman's Wharf

Arcade Machine Wharf Musee photoDespite the name, it is not somewhere in France, but in a shipping pier warehouse long abandoned by the ships which once docked at the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The Musee Mechanique is one of the world’s largest privately own collections of antique arcade machines and mechanical musical instruments. The collection, once housed in the lower level of the famous Cliff HouseMusee Mechanique Arcade Entrance photo is owned by San Francisco real estate investor, historian and 5th generation San Franciscan, Edward Zellinski. When the aging restaurant on the Pacific cliff underwent a renovation in 2002, the toy box of magical machines, recalling the days of the arcades of Playland at the Beach and the Sutro Baths, was moved to the wharf at Pier 45 - fittingly the harbor pier where the WWII Submarine the USS Pampanito is docked (see WWII Submarine at Fisherman's Wharf) as Mr. Zelinski, who started collecting with a prize won in a contest when he was 11 years old, but began in earnest when returning from the war where he served in the Pacific.

the inquest buffalo machine mechanique photoThe Museum Mechanique is free to enter, the only cost is if you want to make the machines play, a quarter at a time, to bring to life the molded doll figures and machine articulated puppets at once amusing and just a bit spooky. The collection of kitschy marvels of historic arcade amusements consists of almost 300 examples of coin operated antique slot machines, wizard boxes, fortune tellers, crane machines, miniature 1930s carnivals, dueling buffaloes, musical monkey orchestras and coin operated mimes. You might even encounter a real mime, or the ghost of Charlie Chaplin. The walls are lined with historic photos of San Francisco history and the lost boardwalk arcade era. The Musee Mechanique does not have the feeling of a museum, but just a scattered maze of warehoused toys, as if one had wandered into the basement of Xanadu, expecting to find Rosebud before its thrown into the fire (look that one up on Wikipedia!).

30's miniature mechanical carnival photoSome may find the Musee Mechanique the best couple of bucks and an hour or so one spends on the highly commercialized San Francisco Wharf, or just an odd discovery of distracted amusement, but it is now very much a part of that distinctive nature of the wharf itself, an old painted lady past its original purpose putting on a show for the passing tourist parade. The Musee Mechanique is located just next to Aliotto's and the Fisherman's Grotto No. 9 restaurants (see San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf) and is open from 10am to 7pm on weekdays and until 8pm on weekends. Take a pocketful of quarters, though they do have change machines. © Bargain Travel West

Find best hotel and vacation deals in San Francisco on TripAdvisor

Web Info
Musee Mechanique

These articles are copyrighted and the sole property of Bargain Travel West and WLEV, LLC. and may not be copied or reprinted without permission.

See these other articles on Bargain Travel West:

SAN FRANCISCO MARITIME MUSEUM
Hyde Street Pier Historic Ships

THE FRANCISCAN CRAB RESTAURANT
San Francisco Wharf Crab and Best Bay View Restaurant

SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR MUSEUM
Free Tour Historic Cable Car Powerhouse

SCOMA’S - SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Best Tradition at Fisherman’s Wharf

RED AND WHITE FLEET BAY CRUISES
New San Francisco Harbor Cruise

 
 

ContactTWO Member
Privacy
Legal

Discover the west with budget travel ideas at Bargain Travel West or visit Bargain Travel Europe for European travel ideas
©2006-2017 Winged Lion Entertainment Ventures, LLC