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San Francisco Sights

Telegraph Hill

  • Neighborhood/Street
  • Fodor's Choice
  • Cityscape, Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, California, USA

    trekandshoot / Shutterstock

Updated 01/29/2015

Fodor's Review

Residents here have some of the city's best views, as well as the most difficult ascents to their aeries. The hill rises from the east end of Lombard Street to a height of 284 feet and is capped by Coit Tower. Imagine lugging your groceries up that! If you brave the slope, though, you can be rewarded with a "secret treasure" San Francisco moment. Filbert Street starts up the hill, then becomes the Filbert Steps when the going gets too steep. You can cut between the Filbert Steps and another flight, the Greenwich Steps, on up to the hilltop. As you climb, you can pass some of the city's oldest houses and be surrounded by beautiful, flowering private gardens. In some places the trees grow over the stairs so it feels like you're walking through a green tunnel; elsewhere, you'll have wide-open views of the bay. The cypress trees that grow on the hill are a favorite roost of local avian celebrities the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill; you'll hear the cries of the cherry-headed conures if they're nearby. And the telegraphic name? It comes from the hill's status as the first Morse code signal station back in 1853.

Sight Information


Bordered by Lombard, Filbert, Kearny, and Sansome Sts., San Francisco, California, 94133, United States

Updated 01/29/2015


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