San Francisco: Lombard Street Beyond the Curvy Drive

When people think Lombard Street in San Francisco, they think of the famous block in the Russian Hill neighborhood. Between Hyde and Leavenworth sits the curvy and steep, red-bricked road where you will find countless tourists, cameras and cars going through the hair pinned turns on any given day. As a kid, I always enjoyed going down the street in the car. On a recent visit I realized this one block of real estate in the city has so much more to offer outside of just driving the curves.

San Francisco, California - Lombard Street

When at the top of the hill along Hyde Street you are bound to notice a cable car or two picking people up and dropping off. Grab a shot of the famed manually operated car. Better yet park your own car down at Fisherman’s Wharf and hop on the cable car at Powell and Hyde. You’ll kill two birds with one stone, experiencing two San Francisco gems at once.

San Francisco - corner of Lombard and Hyde Streets

San Francisco, Cable Car & Lombard Street

San Francisco, Cable Car & Lombard Street

Once you are dropped off and with no car to worry about it’s time to take the trip down the 250+ stairs on foot. While walking down on either side take the time to smell the flowers. In summer, you will find both sides of the curvy street lined with greenery and colorful flowers in full bloom. The flowers will also dot some of the houses themselves.

San Francisco, California - Lombard Street

San Francisco, California - Lombard Street

San Francisco, California housing - Lombard Street

Speaking of houses, the Victorian mansions alongside are colorful and picturesque in their own right. The housing costs in Russian Hill are beyond expensive, but I wonder what one of these houses goes for on the open market? I can only imagine.

San Francisco, California housing - Lombard Street

San Francisco, California housing - Lombard Street

As you walk down take a look at the red-bricked street itself. Originally a cobblestone street and two-way, it has had the one-way, brick configuration since 1939. Wait for a break in the traffic and take a look.

San Francisco, California - Lombard Street

Make sure to people watch. You are bound to see people from all over the world taking selfies, using those pesky selfie sticks and posing for family photos, especially at the bottom of the hill. See how they are engaging with the street, what angles they are taking photos from. You can get even more ideas on how to experience Lombard Street.

Now it is time to look beyond Lombard Street. While walking down look straight ahead. Scenic neighborhood views await with Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower and the Bay Bridge off in the distance.

San Francisco skyline from Lombard Street

San Francisco skyline from Lombard Street

About half-way down the hill, glance to the right and you will see the Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco’s tallest building along with other parts of the city skyline. Throw in a palm tree standing guard in front and you will find one of my favorite views of the city.

San Francisco, California - Lombard Street

San Francisco skyline from Lombard Street

San Francisco skyline from Lombard Street

The only real way to experience Lombard Street is on foot. Public transportation and shuttles are not allowed and while it is fun to experience driving at least once, it often involves delays both at the top and while on the curves due to the streets popularity. I look forward to getting out on the open red-bricked Lombard Street on foot again soon.

Lombard Street is just one of my ten ideas for taking San Francisco by foot.

Have you gone down Lombard Street in San Francisco? If so, what was your experience like?

15 responses to “San Francisco: Lombard Street Beyond the Curvy Drive

  1. Great post! I really want to experience Lombard Street some day. Looks very pretty with the colouful flowers in bloom.

    • Thank you Piia. Hope you have a chance too. It’s a beautiful part of San Francisco at any time of the year, but especially in summer and the warmer months when all of the flowers are out. Cheers! 🙂

  2. We’re excited to be visiting San Francisco next summer so thanks for the tips and pics 🙂

  3. Love San Fran 🙂

  4. One of the greatest streets in the world, if only there was less traffic…

    • Agreed. Yeah everyone wants to drive it, which is understandable. Wonder how the residents of that street ever get out haha. Much better to soak it in on foot, at your pace. 🙂

  5. i’ve been to Lombard street- yet to post about it though. lol. I tried so hard to take a decent pic that showed how curvy the street really was- i failed. haha

    • Haha. Can relate to that, Other than the traditional one, standing in the middle of the road at the bottom, it is challenging. I definitely haven’t had any success in the car. I imagine you can’t use a drone there for photos, that’d be great. 🙂

      • There was a lot of traffic and they had traffic wardens directing traffic for cars and people to cross. That was NOT the time to stand in the middle of the road to get a picture with my measly iPhone. Several people attempted it though, with selfie sticks and such and some got yelled at by the traffic wardens. Haha

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