If Top of the Mark has the best views of San Francisco at night, Coit Tower definitely has some of the best day views. It’s dirt cheap (less than ten dollars) to get to the top viewing platform to enjoy the 360-degree views.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast (to say the least) at Mama’s on Washington Square. Roll out of Mama’s (you’ll see what I mean once you’ve been) and head up Filbert Street. If you’re unsure whether to turn left or right once you leave Mama’s, head up the hill, rather than down it. It’s one of those classically steep San Fran hills that you see in the movies, so you’ll have fun working your butt. You feel like you’re practically crawling on some bits, so make sure you have your most flattering trousers on (or a longer dress)!
After ten minutes or so you’ll reach Telegraph Hill. Climb the steps and you’ll start to see some of the city views; skyscrapers and criss-crossing, wide roads. Take a few pics and a breather, and then head up the steps that have been etched with names. They’re the names of people who have contributed to the restoration of Coit Tower.
You’ll reach a green area with beautiful views that look out over the bay, including the Golden Gate and Bay bridges. If you’re lucky you might even hear some of the local parrots. They starred in the 2005 film ‘The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill’, though I can’t say that I saw them in real life or the film.
Enter the tower and head up in the lift (or I guess I should say elevator) to the viewing platform. The staff are those incredibly friendly and down-to-earth types that you secretly hope all Americans are like. They’ll answer as many questions as you like or just talk to you about your accents and clothes!
The platform isn’t glitzy or huge, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s all about the lovely views and getting a different perspective of the city. You’ll see Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge and lots more. Once you’ve filled your boots, head back down to the ground floor and enjoy the murals. They were painted in 1934 and depict life in California during the Depression. There’s also a really cute gift shop that stocks those quirky, new-old kind of finds that make great presents. The Yellow Owl kits are especially nice. They’re a crafty, arty brand that make adorable kits like these stamper kits.
You’ll find Coit Tower at 1 Telegraph Hill Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94133. Allow an hour or two to enjoy this area. Head down to nearby North Beach when you’re done. There are loads of amazing boutiques and twinkly lit cafes/bars. It has a great vibe.