One of the best things to do when exploring a new city is to see all its glory from up above. Think about it. New York City = Empire State Building. Chicago = Sears Tower. Paris = Eiffel Tower. Washington, DC = Washington Monument. And San Francisco? Well, the Coit Tower of course.
You know, that slender concrete column sitting high on Telegraph Hill!? While some say this tower resembles a fire hose nozzle, whatever it reminds you of there is one thing about it I think we all can agree on — it provides one spectacular view of the city.
Yes, this tower can be a bit touristy, but that’s why I’d advise to get there right when it opens. And don’t worry; that’s not at the crack of dawn. For all of you who like to sleep in rather late, luckily for you the tower doesn’t open to the public until 10 am.
If visiting the city for the first time, I’d say this scenic lookout is a must. Although I like to stray away from the touristy destinations, I made an exception for this 210-foot tower when my little sister came to visit.
While you cannot walk up the tower by foot, you can reach the lookout point by riding the historic elevator for $7. And for San Francisco, this is one heck of a deal.
Once at the top, you’ll be welcomed to stunning panoramic views. The downtown skyline. The Bay Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge. You can even see the squiggly curves from the infamous Lombard Street.
Although the sun was being shy on the morning we explored the tower, the view was still amazing. Crazy how from high up above you can easily point out all the lively neighborhoods below.
I love the picture below, as it depicts the grand scale of the downtown skyline just right.
If you’re thinking this tower must be a hassle to get to, let me stop that thought right there. Getting to Coit Tower is surprisingly super convenient.
You can hop on bus #39 and it will take you directly — this bus will even take you down to one of San Francisco’s main attraction, Fisherman’s Wharf.
But if buses aren’t your style, you can also drive up to the top of Telegraph Hill. Be warned though: parking at the tower can be limited.
The easiest option — in my opinion — is hiking up to the tower by climbing up the Filbert street stairs on the eastern side of Telegraph Hill. This is the route we took, and the climb isn’t all that bad.