Discovering San Francisco’s Iconic Filbert Steps: Ascend to New Heights around the Embarcadero

The lush landscape around Filbert Steps

The lush landscape around Filbert Steps in San Francisco

Take a thrilling adventure through the iconic “Filbert Steps in San Francisco.” These hidden stairs, nestled amidst lush gardens, wind their way up the city’s steep slopes, offering a glimpse into a world of enchanting surprises. Follow the meandering path as it leads you through vibrant neighborhoods, secret gardens, and panoramic viewpoints, each step unveiling a new facet of San Francisco’s charm. Discover the stories behind these historic steps, and immerse yourself in the city’s captivating history and picturesque landscapes. Get ready to explore a hidden gem that promises breathtaking vistas and an unforgettable journey into the heart of San Francisco’s soul.

Where is the Filbert steps located in San Francisco

The Filbert Steps are located in San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill neighborhood and a stones throw from Coit Tower with magnificent views of the Bay area.

Visit the Filbert steps with amazing gardens, views and a quiet local neighborhood to explore

Do you love to take hidden walks or back streets to very popular cities to see something different from the typical tourist destinations? If so, come and take this walk with me today down the Filbert Steps in the North Beach area – it’s a small neighborhood with little Victorian homes, community gardens and spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay.

Directions on how to get to the Filbert steps

Getting to the Filbert Steps in San Francisco is relatively easy. Here are a few options:

Public Transportation: Utilize San Francisco’s public transportation system, such as buses or cable cars, to reach the area near the Filbert Steps. You can check the local transit authority’s website for specific bus routes or cable car lines that pass by or near the steps.

Driving: If you prefer to drive, you can use a navigation app or GPS to guide you to the Filbert Steps. There are parking options available nearby, but parking in San Francisco can be limited, so it’s advisable to arrive early or consider using public transportation. Or park at the base of Coit Tower and you can climb up and then walk to the Filbert Steps.

Walking or Biking: If you’re already in the vicinity or exploring the nearby neighborhoods, you can easily reach the Filbert Steps by walking or biking. Use a map or navigation app to guide you to the exact location.

Once you arrive in the vicinity of the Filbert Steps, you will find them at the intersection of Filbert Street and Sansome Street in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood. Look for the signage or ask locals for directions if needed.

Coit Tower in San Francisco

Coit Tower in San Francisco

Let’s explore the Filbert Steps in San Francisco

Starting from the top, we are at the famous Coit Tower landmark so we can admire the views to the city and the entire Bay Area.  Typically, the scenery of the city and San Francisco Bay is beautiful, but today it’s mostly hazy with cloudy skies and limited views. The weather is always changing in the city so you definitely have to just go with the flow and enjoy the tour along the way.

Visiting the Filbert Steps from the top down tour of the stairs

You can start your visit of the Filbert steps from the top at Coit tower and climb down to the stairs. Or to get to the Filbert steps  taking a short uber or taxi ride to the top and just walk down the stairs to the bottom.

Cloudy day views to the Golden Gate bridge

Cloudy day views to the Golden Gate bridge

Where to find the Filbert Stairs

Just to the left side of Coit Tower is the entry to the Filbert Steps which is easy to locate and the stairs start to immediately descend down the hill with concrete stairs and trail.

The area starts to descend quickly into lush forested areas that you wouldn’t expect to find in a very dense and urban environment like San Francisco.

Trees in bloom on Filbert Steps

Trees in bloom on Filbert Steps in San Francisco

Beautiful hidden gardens, art and sculpture awaits

We keep descending down more stairs and the forest clears to a neighborhood with Victorian homes and small gardens adjoining the steps. It seems like everything is starting to bloom all at the same time in the gardens – a very colorful scene with the roses, annuals, vines and even flowering trees sending out cascades of blooms in every direction.

Roses in bloom on Filbert Steps

Roses in bloom on Filbert Steps

Don’t you just love to explore back streets like this and not knowing what you’ll see next? It’s as if you were walking unexpectedly into someone’s private garden, which in this case, you are actually climbing down some public stairs and looking into these private gardens.  What a surprise to find something like this especially when all this springtime beauty greets you – it’s so far removed from all the tourists and tourist traps around the city.

Peeking into a beautiful private garden on Filbert Steps

Peeking into a beautiful private garden on Filbert Steps

Community gardens on Filbert Steps

The tour just gets better as we descend further down the Filbert Steps into some community gardens with stunning views of the bay and city. It must be wonderful to see a sunrise or sunset along with views to these gardens and San Francisco Bay.  Ah yes, location, location, location – this is what prime real estate property looks like – and for those of us that cannot afford to live here, it’s just as nice to get a glimpse of this idyllic place and lifestyle.

Filbert Steps community gardens

Filbert Steps community gardens

The community gardens are lovingly maintained by local neighbors that want to grow and enjoy flowers and even plant some fruit and vegetables from the garden.  What a better way to hang out with your neighbors enjoying something fun and connected to nature even especially in an urban environment.

Roses in bloom on Filbert Steps

Roses in bloom on Filbert Steps

Beautiful annuals and perennials in at Filbert Steps

Beautiful annuals and perennials in at Filbert Steps

Well that was a fun tour, don’t you think?  Now that we are finally close to the bottom of the steps and the next decision is a tough one, should we walk up all those the steps back to Coit Tower or just take a taxi to the next destination….hmm what do you do in this situation?

Looking back up Filbert Steps

Filbert steps San Francisco – Looking back up the Filbert Steps

Check out more of the Filbert Steps on this video below

Weather and best time to visit the Filbert Steps

The Filbert Steps in San Francisco can be enjoyed throughout the year, but the weather and the best time to visit may vary. The city experiences a mild and temperate climate, with cool summers and mild winters.

For pleasant weather and comfortable temperatures, the best time to visit the Filbert Steps is during the spring and fall seasons. From March to May and September to November, you can expect mild temperatures and fewer crowds, allowing for a more enjoyable exploration of the steps.

Summers in San Francisco can be cooler due to the influence of the nearby ocean. While the temperatures may not be scorching, it’s still a popular time for tourists to visit the city, including the Filbert Steps. If you plan to visit during summer, it’s advisable to dress in layers and be prepared for potential fog and wind.

Winter in San Francisco brings cooler temperatures and occasional rain. While the Filbert Steps can still be visited during this time, it’s recommended to check the weather forecast and be prepared for wet conditions.

If you enjoyed this post, please do check out these other posts on visiting San Francisco

There’s so many cool, hidden and fun spots and attractions to explore around the city, check out all these posts below.

Places to eat in San Francisco

20 quirky, fun and trendy places to visit in San Francisco

San Francisco views from above

The cool stairs of San Francisco

Gardens at Golden Gate Park

Fun and unusual things to do in San Francisco

Mission district food tour

Cool graffiti at Clarion Alley

Exploring North Beach and the Greenwich steps

Best views to photograph in San Francisco

Conclusion to Filbert Steps in San Francisco

A visit to the Filbert Steps in San Francisco offers a unique and memorable experience. As you ascend the steep staircase, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the cityscape, charming gardens, and the tranquil ambiance of Telegraph Hill. The Filbert Steps provide an opportunity to appreciate the city’s vibrant architecture, lush greenery, and hidden gems tucked away in this picturesque neighborhood.

Whether you choose to climb the steps for exercise, photography, or simply to immerse yourself in the local culture, the Filbert Steps offer a refreshing escape from the bustling streets below. The journey itself is an adventure, as you traverse the narrow pathways, admire the colorful gardens, and encounter the occasional friendly resident feline.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of Coit Tower and the Filbert Steps in San Francisco, a not so discovered spot among San Francisco’s many tourist attractions.  This is my contribution for Travel Photo Mondays, please do check out the other links below for more travel posts and pictures.

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