Museum Mechanical, San FranciscoThe Museum Mechanical, or the Musée Mécanique, is a collection of eclectic and historically significant arcade type machines that are primarily of the kinetic variety. It was started by Ed Zelinsky when he was a little boy in 1920 in an amusement park called Playland (creative marketing didn't appear to exist in the 1920s). It was moved in 1972 to a house across the highway but still overlooking the coast and stayed there until 2002 when the National Park Service offered cash and a location on Fisherman's Wharf.
Strangely this move caused a lot of consternation and protest among those who grew up with the old locations, but the move was finalized and now it's on the Wharf. Entrance is free but the machines cost to operate due to the high cost of maintenance to keep them working.
The GroundsIt's on Fisherman's Wharf, past most of the tourist spots (which is a bonus in my books honestly), housed in an old warehouse near some WW2 ships.
The MuseumSince it's in a warehouse, it has an extremely open floor plan, with pretty easy access via multiple openings. Things are kinda organized by type and age, but then again, it's not. Wandering aimlessly is recommended by yours truly, and when you find interesting devices, plop those quarters in!
SummaryA very different type of place to visit, and nerdy just like I like 'em. Easy access in the tourist mecca of the wharf and it's not a Ripley's Believe it or Not. Very close to military shipping museums and also the classic seafood restaurants that have been part of the wharf forever.