Lombard Street is noted as the world's "crookedest" street though before the advent of the automobile it was probably just one of the steepest. As it turns out, early cars couldn't make it up the incline so they added the switchbacks and the rest is sweet tourist history. As jam-packed of camera happy snappers as it is, on a sunny day, it's easy to see why it's also one of the most exclusive places in town to live. Full of flowers and great sweeping views, it's hard to not at least dream about calling it home. The walk from its Russian Hill location to the Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill has to be the best in the city proper.
Actually, I have read that San Francisco has steeper & more crooked streets than this beautiful cobblestone, but this is the famous one that everyone loves. When you are in your car & approach the top of Lombard Street, you can't see any pavement out ahead of you. It seems that your car with you & your family or friends in it will simply drop off a cliff because no street is in view. It definitely will give your stomach a few butterflies even though in your mind, you know the street HAS to be there. Lombard Street IS there but has begun it's steep descent. It has hairpin curves one after another. It's lined with beautiful flowers & lovely Victorian homes on either side. The fun of going down Lombard Street will definitely give you a few moments of fear and fun.
The block-long "Crookedest Street in the World" makes eight switchbacks down the east face of Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth streets, past million-dollar, beautifully landscaped homes and unsurpassed views of the Bay. The angle of the street is so steep that the road has to snake back and forth to make a descent possible. This short stretch of Lombard Street is one-way, downhill, and fun to drive. Take the curves slowly and in low gear. The brick-lined street zigzags around the residences' bright flower gardens, which explode with color during warmer months.
Residents complain about the traffic jam outside their front doors, and occasionally the city attempts to discourage drivers by posting a traffic cop near the top of the hill, but the determined can find a way around. For this reason, the city is considering closing Lombard to motor traffic.
If no one is standing guard, join the line of cars waiting to drive down the steep hill, or avoid the whole mess and walk down the steps on either side of Lombard. You take in super views of North Beach and Coit Tower whether you walk or drive -- though if you're the one behind the wheel, you'd better keep your eye on the road lest you become yet another of the many folks who ram the garden barriers. Save your film for the bottom where, if you're lucky, you can find a parking space and take a few snapshots of the silly spectacle.
Can't stand the throngs? Potrero Hill's Vermont Street between 20th and 22nd streets is a kind of blue-collar Lombard Street, with a similar series of switchbacks but without Lombard's gorgeous gardens and views. Vermont has only six switchbacks, but they're steeper and sharper, with an interesting view of the back of the city, though the street itself isn't as scenic.
Thrill seekers of a different stripe may want to head two blocks south of Lombard to Filbert Street. The hair-raising descent between Hyde and Leavenworth streets is said to be the city's steepest
Lombard Street is America's crookedest street. The steep, hilly street was created with sharp curves to switchback down the one-way hill past beautiful Victorian mansions. The street is paved with bricks and is an amazing site to see.
To get to Lombard Street, take the Hyde Street Cable Car line, which stops on the crest. From this beautiful vantage point, you can also see down Hyde Street to Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and the rest of the Bay. Looking east, North Beach, Telegraph Hill, and the Bay Bridge present a breathtaking sight.
The best place to photograph the street, is from Leavenworth Street, at the bottom - looking up. You will see cars headed down slowly, daring souls walking up, and down the sides, while the flowers and buildings provide dazzling color. It is truly an incredible sight.
In the spring Lombard Street is alive with color, as the chrysanthemums provide a breathtaking carpet of colour.
I suggest to try to get the tram for this one (lIne Powell- Hyde) it stops you on the top of the street. If the tram is too busy and you decide to go walking, please go to the parallel one called Leavenworth as it is less hill as the other one and the views are much better from down that from the top.
We are talking about 8 turnings in the same block as it was in the 20´s a steep street for a straigh road....
Walk through it and do the photo from downside, you will have to fight for an space hehehehe
Streets in San Francisco can be very steep. Lombardstreet which goes paralell to the Golden Gate Waterfront a few blocks south of it is one of it. At one spot they had to build serpentines where traffic only can pass very slowly.
This short part of Lombardstreet is very well decorated which flower-beds and is surrounded by nice houses. So it's worth to go there.
Lombard Street is another postcard perfect San Francisco attraction. Because of that it's also very popular and no matter the day of the year you'll find numerous people taking pictures here. The attraction is advertised as the "crookedest street in the world" with eight curves in one block descent from Hyde to Leavenworth. The street wasn't always crooked (evidently) but its natural grade of 27 degrees made it harder for the earlier automobiles to climb it. Around 1920, the switchbacks were added and in the process the curve incline was reduced to 16. Cars can only go downhill while on the two sides there are stairways for pedestrians. The views from the top of the section are beautiful (towards the Coit Tower and the Alcatraz). It's nicer to visit in the summer when the flowers are in bloom.
This is by far the crookedest street in the city. First we walked up the Filbert street for the Coil Tower and it was steep enough to cut our breaths away, they say Lombart street is even steeper that’s why part of it designed like this so the people wont be killed rolling down :) The crooked part of the street is located on Russian Hill.
Pic 1 shows the cars going down in really slow speed (there’s no other way), pic 2 shows Lombard street from the Coil Tower and pic 3 shows the rest of Lombard street which goes up to Telegraph Hill.
Oh my god! It was so difficult to walk up the street. Try to walk all day in a city like I did and then leave this for the end of your day, I thought I would die :)
The street houses some beautiful and extremely expensive Victorian mansions. We visited the street in October so we missed the blooming flowers that you can see in spring.
As I was glancing up the street while walking on Lombard I spotted the "crookedest street in the world", who I am to let a mere hill or two stop me from seeing it? But if you are better prepared than me, you might try taking one of the cable cars up here, the Powell & Hyde line runs right by the start of it and if you have a MUNI pass you can hop off, take your pictures and then hop back on or I did notice that most of the cable car operators stopped up here long enough for people to take a photo, just make sure you are on the left side if coming from Fisherman's Wharf and the right side if coming from Union Square.
We even drove down it when we were returning the rental car, you just have to be patient and keep an eye on the car in front of you which more than likely will stop for a photo op in the middle of the street. And don't run over any of the throng of people taking photos at the bottom who are oblivious to the fact that these are real streets.
The crooked section, with 8 switchbacks and a 5 mile an hour speed limit, is between Hyde and Leavenworth, the best place to try and get a photo is from the bottom on Leavenworth. If you want to drive it, you have to start from Hyde Street and drive down. I read that the switchbacks were put in place in 1922 to assist in reducing the hill's 27% grade which was too steep for automobiles to climb. Even our modern car had a bit of trouble with some of San Francisco's hills, so imagine how a 1920s automobile would fare.
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