History by rail and on foot

San Francisco for Less: Day Three

Sunday breakfast was bagels and scrambled eggs at nearby Caffe la Piazza ($10.45). Up Mason Street, the Cable Car Museum (free) is command central for the city's rolling antiques. We peered through underground windows to see the steadily turning pulleys and wheels that keep all of the city's cable cars moving at 9 1/2 miles per hour.

Naturally, we boarded one ($4 for two) and journeyed to Market Street, where we hopped on one of the city's sleek, historic streetcars ($2), riding up Market to Dolores Street and walking south to Mission Dolores.

One of the oldest buildings in San Francisco―the city's first Catholic mass was held in 1776―this is also where we scored one of the weekend's best bargains: a City Guides walking tour (free). We gawked at the mission's stained glass and 4-foot-thick adobe walls, and learned the structure was built of 36,000 bricks by Ohlone Indians. Though the tour was free, we left a well-deserved donation ($15).

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