The Best Hotels to Book Near the San Francisco Cable Car Museum

Learn more about San Francisco's iconic cable cars at the Cable Car Museum
Learn more about San Francisco's iconic cable cars at the Cable Car Museum | © Paul Vidler / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lynn Houghton
30 September 2021

Cable cars are an icon of San Francisco, having been invented in the city by Andrew Smith Hallidie in 1873. As well as hopping onto a carriage to explore different neighborhoods, you’ll be able to find out more about their fascinating history at the free Cable Car Museum. Book your stay nearby with Culture Trip.

The significance of San Francisco as a historic West Coast destination can’t be overstated, and the desire to keep transport, architecture and other attractions in working order is a huge draw. Its mechanical cable car network is a prime example. It’s the only manually operated system left in the world, and has been in continuous operation in California since 1873. Any one of the stylish hotels on this list puts you close to the Cable Car Museum, so you can feed your interest in history.

Fairmont San Francisco

Outdoor, rooftop breakfast spread at Fairmont San Francisco Hotel with panoramic skyline and bay views
Courtesy of Fairmont San Francisco /
This grand property is the epitome of style and opulence, with 606 individually furnished guest rooms and 62 luxurious suites, 10 of which feature views of the Bay and Nob Hill. The hotel’s Laurel Court Restaurant offers innovative, California coastal dishes with a farm to fork ethos, and the legendary Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar is a great spot for snacks and cocktails.

InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco

The lounge area at InterContinental Mark Hopkins is dressed in classical style with red and gold embelleshments
Courtesy of InterContinental Mark Hopkins / Expedia
Sophisticated elegance plus modern amenities mean that the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel is beyond comparison. This sumptuous hotel’s dining immerses you in an exciting culinary experience with the Nob Hill Club restaurant lauded as one of the best in the city, while rooftop bar Top of the Mark has exquisite cocktails and even better panoramic views of the city.

Powell Place

Powell Place
Courtesy of Powell Place / Expedia
Powell Place is a charming and delightful four-story Edwardian property. Located in Nob Hill, it couldn’t be better placed for visiting exciting neighborhoods including Chinatown, the Theatre District, Financial District plus the Embarcadero with its iconic Ferry Building. Powell Place is a rather new proposition, a timeshare hotel where you rent a suite directly from the owners. The Nob Hill and Carnelian suites are exquisitely decorated one-bedroom suites with sitting rooms, plus fully stocked kitchens. The equally appealing Californian suites are comfortable studios with either a full or partial kitchen.

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton
Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton / Expedia
For a room with a view, check into the Ritz-Carlton, which has a choice of suites and guest rooms with downtown or bay views. Based in the Nob Hill neighborhood, the hotel dates back to 1909 and has an urban oasis feel, with a park-like courtyard to relax in. Food and drink are USA-centric, with San Francisco-inspired dishes at the Club Lounge and classic American options at breakfast, though there are healthy Californian options available, too. After a long day of exploring the city, craft cocktails in the Lounge or wine tastings in the JCB Tasting Lounge are a great way to unwind.

Cornell Hotel de France

Cornell Hotel de France
Courtesy of Cornell Hotel de France / Expedia
This exceptional French boutique hotel is housed in a Victorian-style building constructed in 1910 and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Owned and operated by the Lambert Family for fifty years, this distinctly European B&B has lashings of charm and combines history with modern amenities. It features artwork throughout, with hallways devoted to Modigliani, Matisse, Chagall, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec.

Petite Auberge

A bedroom with double doors to a private deck at Petite Auberge, San Francisco.
Courtesy of Petite Auberge /
This extraordinary 26-room boutique hotel is a charming guesthouse as well as a bed & breakfast, with guests offered a complimentary pastry basket each morning. The exquisitely decorated guest rooms are inspired by the countryside of the South of France; at the same time, throughout the property, the sophistication of San Francisco is evident with a curated selection of global objets d’art. There’s wine and snacks available in the evening, and Del Popolo, the top restaurant just next door, does deliveries for those who like to dine in the privacy of their room.

Omni San Francisco Hotel

Two beds, a desk with chair and a small sitting area in a hotel room at Omni San Francisco Hotel
Courtesy of Omni San Francisco Hotel /
This 362-room historic hotel is at the heart of vibrant San Francisco yet also a refuge at the same time. Located on the iconic California cable car line, there is easy access to Union Square, Chinatown, Embarcadero and the Ferry Building. Be sure to try out Bob’s Steak and Chop House located on the premises and enjoy a cocktail in the vast, chandelier-lit lobby. With the City by the Bay at your fingertips, this romantic property has all the amenities you could need for the perfect stay.

Palihotel San Francisco

A stylish separate bedroom area separated by pink-striped curtains at the Palihotel, San Francisco
Courtesy of Palihotel San Francisco / Expedia
Step into the past when you stay at the Pali Hotel San Francisco in historic Union Square, with its period lighting and furnishings, plus accents of wood paneling and ceramic tiles. Its 82 fully renovated rooms are decorated in a mix of classic and California styles, while breakfast and dinner are served at the Fisher Loft on the second floor.

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