Filbert Steps on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco (cool, lush with colorful gardens)
The Filbert steps in San Francisco is one of those hidden gems in the city with stairs worth climbing for the fun, views and the finale attraction at the end. This famous Telegraph Hill steps is fun to explore, colorful and fantastic peak a boo views of the bay area views below. Climbing up the steep Filbert Steps at the Base of the Embarcadero area is quite an immersive experience.
Nothing more than the iconic Coit Tower which the Filbert steps climb to at the end, well actually you have to climb up the steps to get those amazing views of the city.
Where do the Filbert Steps on Telegraph Hill begin?
The bottom of the Filbert steps is located on Sansome street at the Embarcadero with an uphill staircase to climb that seems endless. You can catch a bus through Sansome street (one way) coming from the Embarcadero or walk there directly from the downtown area or even catch and Uber to the base of the Filbert steps.
A little history and visit to the Filbert steps below
What will you see climbing the Filbert Steps?
The Filbert street steps are a unique part of San Francisco when the main way of a short cut to Coit tower was to climb the steps and along with locals in the area that had no choice but to use this as their access road.
When you pass through the steep stairs section you finally get to more level areas to walk through with hidden gardens and homes that are fun to explore and peek into. There are a lot of small Victorian homes with little front yards and a nice little community garden dubbed the Grace Marchant Garden that the neighbors help to maintain and grow some colorful perennials and annuals for everyone to enjoy including visitors that make the trek to his hidden world in San Francisco. Grace Marchant lovingly created the garden originally from a dump site and with the help of neighbors and the business community converted the open space into this little public garden for all to enjoy.
Here’s a view climbing up the stairs from the bottom up approach
Reaching the top at Telegraph hill
Once you get to the top of Filbert street steps, you will be right on the base of Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. Keep climbing to the top to get some spectacular 360-degree views around San Francisco Bay and looking up to the impressive Coit tower. You can enter the tower to take a tour and elevator to the top observation area of the tower.
Coit Tower is a historic tower built around 1932 with funds granted by Lilly Hitchcock Coit to help beautify this area with impressive views around the bay and city. The Coit Tower is supposed to be in the shape of a fire hose nozzle and is dedicated to the volunteer firemen who died in the line of duty during the five major fires of San Francisco.
Here’s a fun tour of Coit Tower and the murals inside
Things to know before you go on the Filbert Steps at Telegraph Hill.
This is an actual neighborhood with people living around the staircase area so please be respectful of others private homes and gardens.
The Filbert steps is supposed to be around 600 steps to the top, but nobody really seems to confirm whether or not this statement is actually true.
Surprising there are green parrots that live in the area and were released awhile ago and are now wild in the city and squawking like crazy around Telegraph hill and the staircase.
While you accent the stairs, take a break and enjoy the views back to the city downtown area and San Francisco for a different view of the bay.
If you want to take a different return trip, consider going down the Greenwich Steps which is parallel to the Filbert street steps and also fun to explore on the way down.
What else to see in the area of the Filbert Stairs?
Not too far in along the Embarcadero is The Exploratorium, a fun family friendly center to explore kid friendly exhibits, science and nature inspired exhibits and fantastic views of the bay from the water.
There’s also the Ferry Building and foodie vendors and restaurants to enjoy inside the ornate building that is still a working ferry terminal. There is a weekly market that is fun to shop on the weekend for fresh local produce and artisanal foods from the area.
On the Other side of Coit Tower going down is Little Italy and Grant street which is fun to explore this quirky little neighborhood or grab some delicious pastries from some of the many Italian bakeries in the area.
If you enjoyed the stair case experience, check out my visit to the Mosaic Stairs on 16th Avenue in San Francisco, they are absolutely gorgeous to explore.
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Have you climbed the San Francisco Filbert Steps ?
We would love to hear about your experience and inside tips about visiting this place and surrounding area.
Conclusion on Exploring the Filbert Steps in San Francisco
For a different and off the beaten path discovery of the city, we hope this gives you a different part of the city to enjoy and experience other than the typical tourist attractions.
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