Lombard Street, San Francisco

Who I am
Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Index

  • Curiosity
  • History
  • To see
  • What to do in Lombard Street
  • Visit the surroundings
  • Where to Eat
  • How to reach us

In the heart of Russian Hill, in San Francisco, there is a truly unique and particular street, which it has the reputation of being the crookedest road in the world: this is Lombard Street, which dominates the view with its bends covered with red tiles and the wonderful flower beds that accompany its path.



Lombard Street is a very long street, which starts at the intersection with Presidio Boulevard, on the border with Presidio Park, and goes almost as far as the Embarcadero. The most interesting and picturesque part of this street is the one that climbs up the hill of Russian Hill, between Hyde Street and Jones Street: from its top you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city.

If you are planning a tour of San Francisco, you cannot forget to explore this wonderful and curious corner of the city.

Curiosity

Lombard Street has been given the name of a street in Philadelphia: the name Lombard Street, in fact, has no connection with the city of San Francisco.

History

The history of this section of Lombard Street begins in the 20s, when the wealthy inhabitants of this portion of Russian Hill began to buy their first cars, and they realized that it was impossible to climb the steep hill by those means.

Before that, the road was not yet populated by the tight hairpin bends that characterize it, but it was straight and paved. It was one of the residents who had the idea of ​​adding curves, and flower beds, so as to make it less steep (currently the slope is 16 °) and more aesthetically pleasing.



Initially the road, albeit narrow, was two-way, then, over time, it became one-way: currently cars can only travel downhill.

To see

Lombard Street is an obligatory stop for those visiting Russian Hill: it is possible to walk it, climbing or descending the steps on the side of the road or visit it with a guided tour. The more daring can try to cross it by car.

Those who decide to walk up will be rewarded with the magnificent view of San Francisco from the top of the hill.

What to do in Lombard Street

Take wonderful photographs

Whether you see it from below, or you get there from above, Lombard Street is a truly photogenic subject!
From below you can take spectacular photographs of the bends, with cars slowly descending from the hill, surrounded by beautiful flower beds and houses with unique architecture.

From above you can photograph the city of San Francisco in all its glory: the view extends as far as the San Francisco Bay; you can see a hint of the Bay bridge and even the Coit Tower.

Follow it on foot

Lombard Street is the place to test your own resistance. Although it is not very long, the exceptional steepness is a real challenge for the people who walk the stairs that go up to the top, so much so that many have to stop at least once to catch their breath.


Follow it by car

Coming from the east it is possible to travel along Lombard Street by car: it is a short drive, but it is very exciting. The road must be traveled at extremely slow speeds, and many tourists roll down their car windows to film every minute of the descent.


Unique negative note: times. The area is very busy and there are often long queues of cars waiting to go along “The Crookedest Street in the World”.

Rely on a guided tour

There are several companies in San Francisco offering guided tours of Lombard Street, starting with traditional tour buses. Even if the buses cannot go along it, they arrive both at the bottom and at the top of the street, and allow tourists to get off and explore it.

Other guided tours allow you to travel it with very nice two-seater GoCar equipped with GPS or with the Segway.

Visit the surroundings

A visit to Lombard Street does not take long, so once you are here, you can explore the surroundings: the street is not far from Chinatown, North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf, easily accessible on foot or by Cable Cars ; the San Francisco Art Institute is also a few blocks away.

Where to Eat

Lombard Street is a central street of Russian Hill. In its vicinity there are several places where you can taste exquisite dishes or take a break. We suggest:

Coffee Flavor. Located directly on Lombard Street, Caffè Sapore is a coffee bar with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where you can stop for a break or enjoy a quick snack.


Zarzuela, . Located on Hyde Street, it is a Spanish and Basque restaurant; in a warm and welcoming environment, with a typically Mediterranean style, you can taste delicious specialties of the Iberian Peninsula.

Okoze Sushi, on Union Street. It is a place with a refined atmosphere where it is possible to taste excellent sushi and other typical dishes of Japanese cuisine.


How to reach us

The scenic stretch of Lombard Street, which crosses Russian Hill, can be reached both by car and by the main means of public transport: even if the latter do not cross it, they stop directly at the base or in the upper part of the street, and allow you to reach, hence, other popular neighborhoods of the city such as Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf.

Muni buses

There are several buses of the Muni public transport service that stop near Lombard Street: the line 30 buses that cross Union Street (to reach Lombard Street it is best to get off near the intersection with Columbus Street), and the line 45 buses (to reach Lombard Street) Union / Stockton line).

Cable Cars

The Powell - Mason line of the Cable Cars transport service stops both in Columbus and in the non-scenic part of Lombard Street, and allows you to get directly to the base of the scenic area, while the line that passes through Hyde Street allows you to reach Lombard Street from the top .


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