There is nothing like climbing up somewhere that is inspiring and part of a journey, and when you finally get to the top, you just may be rewarded with fantastic views of a city skyline or even a peak to San Francisco bay. That’s probably what you may find climbing some of the amazing and cool stairs of San Francisco – you just don’t know what to expect to find at the end of your climb. Don’t worry, it’s worth the effort visiting some of the local stairs in these neighborhoods which are lovingly cared for by the community. Checking out the cool stairs of San Francisco is definitely a fun way to explore the different parts and unknown areas of the city.
Exploring the stairs of San Francisco
The fabulous mosaic stairs of Lincoln Park Steps
Created mostly from private funds and fundraising from the Katherine Delmar Burke School next door, this stunning staircase display at Lincoln Park steps is stunning to witness and a relatively new addition to the mosaic stairs in the city. Created by artist Aileen Barr who spent over ten years to create and finesse this stunning mosaic staircase. It is truly a labor of love from the artist and the local community that did all the prep work and fundraising to make this stunning art display and staircase to the top of Lincoln Park. The staircase is only 52 steps and when you get to the top, you’ll see Lincoln park and the surround neighborhood with views of the downtown skyline in the background.
Cool stairs in San Francisco – The Vulcan Steps
Not well visited but well maintained by the local gardeners that have homes in the area, this hidden staircase is about two blocks long and almost feels like a jungle in the big city. With mature trees and sweet peek a boo gardens, it is fun to walk through and even have a nice talk with some of the neighbors that help to keep up the garden staircase. You will find some quirky homes and interesting gardens to look at along the way to the top with some nice views of the immediate neighborhood below.
Cherry blossoms in bloom on the Vulcan Steps
The Saturn Street Stairs
Just a short walk down from the Vulcan stairs is another set of stairs at Saturn Street. It’s located off 17th street and Saturn with relatively easy parking on the street. (at least in the morning hours). From the street you can easily find the stairs to start your climb up the fairly easy block long staircase. The best thing about visiting this local staircase is that it is lovingly cared for the entire neighborhood and if you make it to the top of this short climb, it has some wonderful views of the Castro area with peek a boo views of the bay below.
A profusion of annual colors on display
Views from the top of Saturn Street Stairs
The famous 16th Avenue mosaic stairs
One of the most colorful and popular stairs to visit in San Francisco are the 16th Avenue mosaic stairs. This large staircase is definitely worth visiting and easy to get to with public bus transportation. At the base of the stairs you will find mostly California native plants that are carefully planted and maintained by local neighbors who live in the area. To find out more information and cool pictures of stunning mosaic work, check out my recent post on the 16th Avenue stairs here.
California native flowers blooming at 16th avenue
The Filbert Steps by Coit tower
A short walk from Little Italy and right at the base of Coit tower from the parking lot is where the Filbert steps can be found and leading you down to the base of the Financial district at Sansome street. Along the way you will find a lush and green oasis in the middle of the urban downtown areas of the city with hidden gardens, beautiful vistas of the bay and some fun garden art sprinkled around this walk down the Filbert Steps. If you want more information and details check out my post of the Filbert steps here. For those scared to climb the stairs back up to Coit tower, there is public transportation close by or you can easily flag down a cab to take you anywhere in the city.
Gorgeous spring blossoms and hidden gardens at the Filbert Steps
Cool stairs in San Francisco – Greenwich Steps
Another set of stairs that originates from the top of Coit Tower is the Greenwich steps. You can access the Greenwich steps from the parking lot and down to the main area with signage that leads you down a string of the stairs. You will find more secret gardens with beautiful annuals and perennials well taken cared of by the neighbors along with wonderful views of the bay below you. For more details and lovely pictures of these hidden gardens and walks in North Beach, check out my Greenwich post here .
Beautiful gardens on Greenwich stairs
Cool stairs in San Francisco – University of San Francisco
Overlooked even by the locals this staircase and viewing areas above are quite nice to visit and check out the scenic panoramas of the city. The main entrance to the Lone Mountain University starts on the north side of Turk Boulevard in a curving staircase that is modeled after the Spanish Steps in Rome. Once you get to the top, you will be rewards with beautiful skyline views of the city, mountains and the bay area below you. Their are some nice gardens with benches on top to sit or you can walk around the campus to check out the views from all different parts of the promontory campus.
The classical stairs of USF
Hill views to Sutro Tower
Did you enjoy the post, please pin it!
I hope that this has inspired you for exploring some of these wonderful staircases and landmarks around San Francisco. Have you been to some of these places or know some other interesting places to explore and photograph? Please do share them in the comments section below. Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Cool stairs in San Francisco, hopefully some of these places will inspire you to visit when you come to the city. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.
Please check these other posts on San Francisco