Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Filbert Steps, San Francisco


One of my friends is flying to see her daughter in Berkeley, California, this week, and will be sightseeing in San Francisco while she is there.  I was telling her about my trip to San Francisco this past summer (you can read about my trip under my blog's California label), and I realized I never had a chance to blog about the Filbert Steps on Telegraph Hill.  So let's leave the snow and cold of New York City for this post, and return to the bright blue sky and water of the city by the bay.

Telegraph Hill is one of San Francisco's forty four hills, with an elevation of 275 feet, and it is primarily a residential area in the North Beach neighborhood. Coit Tower is located in Pioneer Park at the top of Telegraph Hill,


The two hundred and ten foot tower was built in 1933 at the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit to beautify the city of San Francisco. Visitors can pay to take an elevator to the top of the tower where there is a three hundred and sixty degree view of the city from windows at the top.


Above and below are some of the wonderful views that can be seen from Coit Tower.

Just as there are wild parrots in Brooklyn, New York, there are also wild parrots on Telegraph Hill, and when you visit the area you can hear them chattering in the trees, especially in the morning and evenings.


Located on  the eastern side of Telegraph Hill, the Filbert Steps perhaps one of the most famous of San Francisco's stairways.


The stairs are impressive for their length, their wonderful views of San Francisco, the well tended secret gardens on either side, and the beautiful and historic homes along the way. If you are a tourist in San Francisco it is a wonderful walk to take!


 A view of the beautiful bay from the steps.


Looking back at some of the steps and the Coit Tower high above in the distance.


My husband continues the descent down the steps.


 Some of the beautiful and unusual flowers we saw along the way.


You can see how steep the steps are at times.

A collage of more of the steps as we made our way down the hill.

As we walked down past many homes and gardens on the hill, it made me wonder what it would feel like to live in one of those homes and to have such a beautiful view of the bay outside.  It also made me wonder how it would feel to have a steep climb up and down the hill everyday, as some of the homes can only be reached by the steps.


We made it to the end of the steps on Sansome Street. This is the view looking up at the end of Filbert Steps, or the beginning if you chose to walk up. We saw some hearty souls walking up the steps, but I definitely think it's a more pleasant trip to walk down them. Of course you can drive up on a road to the top of Telegraph Hill, and back down, or take a taxi, but taking the steps can be one of the more memorable experiences you will have when you visit San Francisco. I hope this post will convince my friend to seek them out!

I'm linking this post to "Outdoor Wednesday" on Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer. Thanks, Susan, for hosting every week.




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70 comments:

Donnie said...

That definitely is a beautiful view from the steps. I would love to see it on the down steps not the up ones....lol....Great post.

pam said...

How fun...I don't remember that stairway. Glory, look at all that green, all the colors, all that GREEN. No white anywhere....so glad you shared this today...I needed some live landscape.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Wow! Those flowers are incredible. What a cool place. This is exactly what I need to see to warm me up as I sit with my Snuggy around me and the wind howling outside -- a NEGATIVE 29 temperature as I write this. Thank you for the warmth ... and great photos, as always!

Carol said...

Beautiful views! I'm tired just looking at all those steps :)

Angela said...

Wow! Very lovely!

Ginny said...

I adore the flowers!!! I never heard of the steps, they are quite something. The first picture is amazing, it actually looks like a toy town, not real. My, but it is crowded there from the view in that one picture! Looks like it rivals New York City in that respect! I have ereally enjoyed going on this tour with you, thanks!!!

J Bar said...

Beautiful shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Infatuated with Homes and Gardens said...

Wow these photos are amazing ,I am luck enough to be spendin 1 day(or unlucky that it is only 1 day)in SF in May I am so going to these places ,they are so beautiful!
~Sharon~

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Gorgeous post, Pat.... And I'll bet you and many others in the path of that horrible storm wish you were in San Francisco RIGHT NOW... ha

Love the flowers --and seeing all of those steps. That would be alot of great exercise, wouldn't it?????

The view of the city was beautiful.

Thanks for sharing. Please stay SAFE, my Friend.
Hugs,
Betsy

Light and Voices said...

Oh my goodness, looks like you are having a grand time in San Francisco. Incredible flowers! Happy ground hog day!
Joyce M

Honey at 2805 said...

Very nice photo tour of San Francisco.

The Gathering Place said...

How nice to escape this very cold weather with some greenery and beautiful color! I love San Francisco!

Theanne... said...

I can see why Don and I never made it to these steps when we were in San Francisco in 1982. He already had probs with a knee that would go out on him...he'd have never made it going up or down the steps. We saw Coit tower from a distance...but never drove up the hill. The flowers in your photos are just beautiful!

Lovella ♥ said...

We've been to San Fransisco once while we took the long road to Disneyland. I am not sure which long winding road we took ( I didn't blog back then and my documenting was rather vague). ..but I do recall the lovely winding streets.
I can't imagine what fantastic shape I'd be in if those stairs were at my disposal. Living in a bungalow I have three stairs. . that's it.

I also smiled at the picture of your hubby walking down the steps while you stopped to take pictures. I wonder how many of those I have.

Pondside said...

There are steps up to the top of Gonzales Hill here, but they are nowhere near that high. I love the idea of the secret gardens alongside - a treat for the hardy ones who take the stairs, I'm sure.

H said...

I would definitely want to walk both up and down; up for the challenege and down for the views. People walking up behind me would need to exercise patience though!

Jenny said...

That post is far too colourful for a cold wet February in Scotland. Now I shall be California dreaming all day (in front of the fire).

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Looks like you got your work out Pat! San Fran is beautiful, thanks for the nice sunny pics:@)

Houseelf said...

I think my thighs would burn with all those steps but my legs would look good. Here it is very flat. What wonderful views- I didn't realise how many flat roofs there were. It makes it look very different to an English eye.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Pat, I LOVE San Francisco! It is such an amazingly beautiful city. Diverse, eclectic, old and new. The view of sunshine and flowers gives me a smile on this blustery morning. Thank you.

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

I love San Francisco. I'd like to live there. It's always beautiful...no matter when.

Joyce said...

Enjoyed your photos. We lived there for 5 years and it is an amazing city.
Joyce

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow!!! I love these steps!!!! I'd definitely choose to walk down though!! LOL!!!! Maybe when I'm fitter I'll try climbing it from the bottom!!

Oh but look at the views, the houses, the gardens!! How lovely!!! Awwww to live in one of these beautiful colourful and vividly painted houses!!! What a great place - what great pics, thank you!!! I feel exhausted but exhiliarated just by your wonderful pics and descriptive tour!!!! Thank you!!!

Take care
x

Sheila said...

I learn something each time I read your posts. I've never been to San Francisco and was amazed to hear it has that many hills. I'm sure your friend will take the trip down if she has the time. It looks like a fascinating stairway. It would be wonderful to see the whole city from the tower. I'm going to look at some of your other San Francisco posts today.

Jo said...

Hey Pat, WOW!, so happy you shared these incredible photo's of your trip to San Fran,..yall sure know how to have fun,no matter were your travels may take you.I love that!,and I appreciate the journey with you.
~Jo
LazyonLoblolly

Tracy said...

Wow that is quite a hike... that's a lot of stairs! But so worth every step--look at those views and nature all around...*sigh*... Those flowers! Thanks for the walk, Pat. In the depths of winter, this was like a tonic... a hint of summer--thank you! :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Gracie said...

So very charming! You know what looks odd to me? If you live in one of those houses, you might have people up and down those steps close to your home every time!

Claudia said...

San Francisco is probably the prettiest city in the USA - especially seen through your eyes. The people who live "up the steps" must be in grand shape! What a lovely respite from this winter. It did my heart good to note that there is indeed life after snow - it's called - spring.

CatHerder said...

great pics..i could use some blue skies, sunshine, and flowers

Vee said...

(I'd fall apart taking those steps. I have a thing about backless stairs. I'm sure The Filbert Steps are safe and all, but in my mind, I'd be falling through them at every second. Your friend will surely be braver than I.) What beautiful and unique flowers. I could look at them all day and am going back to take a closer look now.

WhatKarenSees said...

What a wonderful post, and so interesting! I've been to SF numerous times, but never heard of the Filbert Steps. I noticed you walked down. Did you walk up first???I just posted a series of the Golden Gate Bridge a few days ago. Now I need to post some of the other sights we saw. P.S. I'll be 'following' you and will visit again soon, and I hope you visit me again too!

Barbara said...

Morning, Pat, I enjoyed this post very much. Photos are fabulous and while my old crickety knees wound not permit me to do those steps, I enjoyed seeing the view through your camera's eye! Years ago I spent just 45 min. at the airport in SF enroute to Hawaii, so it was great to see these pix. Love your blog xo, Barbara F.

Barbara said...

I also wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your older posts as well. I have a lot of catching up to do! xo Barbara F.

Kristen said...

Those are stunning photos. They took me back to a vacation I spent in San Fransisco. It' a beautiful city.

EliFla said...

You made me thonk to my Honeymoon.... we went to San Francisco too...to Coit Tower....beautiful days.... hugs, Flavia

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh my! I have always admired the homes built in SanFrancisco. I would love to walk those stairs at least once up and then down again...but I cannot imagine though having to walk up and down those stairs on a daily basis...

Blessings & Aloha!
Thank you again for your wonderful blog visit! And thank you for coming over to my facebook...I am still learning more about navigating facebook! Please comment any time under any of the images shown, but please let me know on the wall if you do, cuz I don't know how to see that a comment was left, unless I accidently happen upon it! haha

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Beautiful photos! I've only been to SF once and we loved it! So much to see and do in the area.

Denise@alloverroses said...

Your photos are beautiful of San Francisco! Looks like you had a good time. I was lucky enough to be born in San Francisco. We lived 2 blocks from the beach. Even though it wasn't always sunny by the ocean we didn't care when we were kids there was a lot of fun things to do. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.
Denise

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

We spent our honeymoon in San Francisco. We loved every minute of it. The little bar where the first Irish coffee was served, the trolleys, Alcatraz, and the wharf. You do leave your heart there. But we will be spending our 25th in NYC. Yeah!!!

Candace said...

Oh how I would love to visit San Francisco! And NYC too!

Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos. Candace

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

Hope you are staying warm there my friend. What gorgeous pictures. I liked the stairs...the flowers were pretty spectacular too. Have a great day:)

Oliag said...

I have been to San Francisco once before but that was before my digital camera days...Your phots are beautiful as ever!

Jay said...

Well, suspension bridges hold no fear for me, nor (particularly) do cliffs, glass elevators or boats. But those steps look utterly terrifying!

Couple of days ago I did a post about our trip up the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the spiral stairs inside. To cut a long story short, a long, long flight of stairs with no resting stages is extremely tough on me, and speaking personally, far harder to descend than to climb!

The views on Filbert Steps are stunning, and the steps themselves are very picturesque, but I don't think I'm going to climb (or descend) them any time soon!

Kathleen said...

Pat, those Filbert Steps are just nuts!!:)
Speaking of San Fran. I got some plates with scenes from SF on them at WS outlet last week. And guess what, made in France...Apilco!
I really need those plates, LOL!
Yur pics are great, and I am worn out just looking at all those steps!

merrilymarylee said...

I love it all! Well, except for those steps! I've been, but would love to spend more time there.

Do you watch Fairly Legal on USA? Cute show! I think I read that they're having a contest whereby you can win a trip to San Francisco, where the show is filmed.

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Pat, this post brings back happy memories of a trip long ago to SF! Coit Tower is fascinating, especially the murals inside! I don't remember those steps. No need for a gym membership if you live on that hill! I was recently on a very similar hill with steps in Germany and was wondering how people liked walking up the stairs every day. It's fun on vacation but just imagine carrying groceries! Thanks for the tour! Linda

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I'm sure a break from the snow is a good thing for many people these days! And a trip to San Francisco is always welcome. Thanks for taking us up the Filbert Steps.

Beautiful flowers!

Farmchick said...

Such a nice post and I have enjoyed all of the "warm" photos :)

shopannies said...

what great pictures I love seeing what cities actually look like thanks for sharing

La Petite Gallery said...

Thanks for getting my mind off the snowplow. It's like Russia here, soo much snow.
I love that Trumpet vine
my neighbor has one she brings inside during the winter.. I miss those tropical plants.
yvonne

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I loved seeing this. How gorgoues. I was just thinking about SF the other day, and here is your post. SO neat. I enjoyed every picture!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I adore the blue of the ocean in that one shot...and the big shot looking down the stairs!

Grandmother said...

I loved that area in SF and saw the wild parrots a number of times when I lived in CA. Such a great place to visit.

Jenny said...

Thanks for some great memories, Pat. I used to do trade shows in San Fran and I remember seeing so many of these beautiful places.

What a wonderful stop today.

La said...

Such a beautiful city. I've never been there, but I do have an old friend who lives there. Great pics, as always. La

Susie Q said...

Thank you for the wonderful memories! Bill was stationed in Alameda for 2 years, mostly at sea, but Danny and I spend 3 1/2 months with his there. We loved SF so much. I well remember the Filbert Steps! Loved going up and down (Back when I could do it more easily!), the view from the Coit, and so much of what makes SF special!
Love,
Sue

From the Kitchen said...

This is a pleasant respite from snow blowing and shoveling! And, we'll be headed out that way in the spring to visit our son. I've not heard of these steps. I'm putting them on my list--especially since I know I won't have to climb back up. What a trek if one lived there--especially toting groceries or, worse, a refrigerator!! I'm going to check your California site. First, back to shoveling.

Best,
Bonnie

Ann said...

went to SF almost 40 years ago, thanks for the tour. The houses look like little boxes.

Buttercup said...

Great pictures. I feel that I was on vacation for a little while. Wouldn't that warm sun be glorious!

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Sorry for the absence…
Fabulous post! Loved to get back to San francisco... Never made those steps; always went up driving; even for the sunset... ;)

Well, it seems that Egypt is becoming a risky place to visit these days. So, let’s move and get to the other side of the Mediterranean: Côte d’Azur... Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Trotter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
diane b said...

Did you have wobbly knees at the bottom? What great views from their. It must be magic to live in one of the houses except when it comes to carrying the groceries home.

Ola said...

I would love to climb the hill and see all the beautiful plants and flowers

Lubna said...

Thanks for sharing your amazing neighbourhood.

Splendid Little Stars said...

How cool! I was in San Francisco once for a few days, but never visited here. The gardens along the steps are so lovely!

myletterstoemily said...

oh, your glorious photos have made me
homesick for my favorite city. we had
the most amazing dinner at gary danko's.

sigh.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

San Fran is beautiful through your eyes Pat. Someday I hope to get west. I've never heard of the steps. Makes my knees hurt (smile).
Sam

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

The next time I'm in San Francisco, I'll have to check this out. Love San Francisco!!!

Sarah said...

Pat, it's been far too many years since I visited Telegraph Hill. Your photos of San Francisco are gorgeous. We didn't have much snow, but seeing these photos really does warm my heart. I've enjoyed each one of these posts about your trip to San Francisco.
Thanks! ~ Sarah

Sue said...

We want to go back to Cali this year and this will definitely be on the list to see. SF is one city we just drove through a couple of years ago, so it's a city I really want to visit. You always have such fantastic things for us to see, Pat! Walking up these steps are definitely not for the faint of heart or the out of shape person, that's for sure. Guess I better start running again! LOL