I asked locals in the wharf area for direction, I was advised to climb Filbert Street stairs at the Telegraph Hill. I was not up for the task of climbing a series of stairs , so I asked around again and this time the driver at one of the streetcar told me to go to a designated bus stop and take Muni Bus #39 that terminates directly at the Coit Tower.
The 64m slender white fluted tower named after Lillie Hitchcock Coit is indeed San Francisco’s emblem. For many it resembles a fire hose nozzle, particularly after learning that it was built to commemorate Coit’s beloved city’s fire fighters, but I personally think that it resembles a lighthouse overlooking the Bay area.
With the historic murals inside the tower’s base and $6 elevator ride to the viewing deck, Coit Tower is often overlooked by many San Francisco visitors, but for those who take time to go up to the tower is rewarded with a view worth shouting about.
From the tower, it is a downhill walk to the surrounding neighborhood below, passing by Washington Park and North Beach, what used to be the center of the beatnik subculture , the city’s “Little Italy” and now the primary nightlife area.
While the adjacent neighborhood is Chinatown, said to be the oldest in North America. I passed by Chinatown for its decor and out of curiosity, but understandably with no intention of spending more time than a quick peek.
Lombard Street is a one-way downhill road paved with red bricks, with eight sharp turns and a recommended 8km/h top speed, possibly the most visited streets in San Francisco, with tourists arriving every hour to see the famous street and the nice view of layer of houses and Coit Tower from afar.
Speaking of Victorian houses, seeing the “Painted Ladies” near Alamo Square is worth a visit too, a good way to end the day with a view of the stunning contrast of downtown skyscrapers and classic row of colorful houses.