it was cold rainy and foggy that day so the pics weren't the best. Driving around the city .. well like all big cities the traffic is a pain in the butt. We mostly did public transportation and only drove to get to the hotel and to get out of town to the airport but hit some of the tourist spots on our way out of town.
The painted ladies on Steiner Street are worth seeing but there are plenty of other beautiful old Victorians around Alamo Square and in other parts of the city. We saw plenty in Haight Ashbury, too. I would not mind living in one of these lovely houses.
We got to Alamo Square by taking the number 21 bus from Market and Powell Streets.
Alamo Square is a large grassy hill surrounded by beautiful old painted wooden houses known as Victorians. The most famous of these are a row of wooden houses on Steiner Street known as the painted ladies.
We looked at these then took a walk round to see more Victorians.
At the top of the park there was a doggy play area brimming over with our faithful four legged friends.
Wonderful homes & beautiful views of San Francisco from Alamo Square. Parking is not available on Alamo Square. We spoke with men refurbishing a Victorian who shared that the prices have gone sky high in the past few years, selling for millions of dollars. On a clear day we can see the Transamerica Pyramid building and the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge from Alamo Square Park. The neighborhood is characterized by Victorian architecture that was left largely untouched by the urban renewal projects in other parts of the Western Addition. The Alamo Square area contains the second largest concentration of homes over 10,000 square feet in San Francisco, after the Pacific Heights neighborhood.
A row of Victorian houses facing the park on Steiner Street, known as the "Painted Ladies", are often shown in the foreground of panoramic pictures of the city's downtown area. A number of movies, television shows and commercials have been filmed in or around Alamo Square. The park features heavily in the 1978 horror film The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and the romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement.The opening sequence of the American sitcom Full House features a romp in Alamo Square Park with the famous row of Victorians in the background.
Though you may have never been here before, you've seen Alamo Square a million times. A favorite postcard view - pictured on such TV shows as "Full House" and that horrible show with Brooke Shields (what was that called?) - no view is as quintessentially San Francisco as the famous row of 6 Victorians with the city skyline looming in the background.
Alamo Square is a 4-square block patch on the top of a hill just north of Haight Street in the Lower Haight neighborhood. The famous view is looking east, towards downtown. Surrounding Alamo Square on all sides are many beautiful houses, mostly of the "stick style," which was the 1880-1890 period, immediately preceding the Victorians. There aren't any cafes or anything on the square, but if you walk downhill to Haight St, or go downhill on Fillmore heading north, you'll find coffee and food.
The Zen Center is pretty close to here (I'll try putting a tip on it soon), and the Lower Haight is just down the hill.
Alamo Square is pretty safe at night, though it is close to an unsafe area a couple blocks downhill and to the East. This would be Buchanan Street - the designated crack dealing area. The corner of Page & Buchanan in particular should be avoided. There used to be some gnarly housing projects in this neighborhood, but the replacement housing has cleaned up the area considerably.
VERY IMPORTANT PHOTO NOTE - if you want to take some serious pictures here, come in the afternoon! The morning light is no good; the Victorian house-fronts will be in shadow.
I knew that with its European look, its fog, cold and humidity, San Francisco was England instead of USA.
The disguise failed in Alamo square. Ah! Ah! Got you. Those Victorian houses don't lie.
As mentioned in the tip about the dog park at Alamo Square Park, the eastern side, the one facing downtown is where the grassy knoll and view of the Painted Ladies Victorian homes is the best. This is a popular place close to sunset on a summer day. It's worth noting that elsewhere in the park are a tennis court and children's play equipment. These images were taken with my iPhone, so they represent how easy photography can be with this landscape subject.
Actually, this neighborhood is rich in 10,000+ sq ft homes, and so the four famous Victorians are really just a few of many. Further down Steiner, there's an empty lot that will be built upon. Because it will affect the view of downtown, no doubt great local political leverage will required of the contractor to get the architectural plans approved.
One of the most famous views of Victorian Homes in the foreground, with skyscrapers in the background is found at Alamo Square Park. This is a neighborhood park within the historic Alamo Square district, a sub-district of the Western Addition. It's only 4 blocks east of the Golden Gate Panhandle, bounded by Steiner, Fulton, Scott, and Hayes Streets. If you take the Central Freeway off US101, follow Octavia until you find the first left (you'll go past several no left turn signs), then double back along Steiner.
In any case, the park itself is mostly given over to open play for dogs and their owners, so if you bring your dog, you will have a fun time, especially on the western side where dogs are allowed to run off leash. This is well away from the view of the Victorian "Painted Ladies", which are opposite a popular grassy area along Steiner where visitors like to lounge and pose for photos.
Along Fulton, one can see the dome of city hall.
Located in the Western Addition, Alamo Square is served by several of the city's bus services.
Alamo Square consists of four blocks (in a square around a small park) at the top of a hill which overlooks much of downtown San Francisco. Along these four blocks are a number of distinctive mansions known as the 'Painted Ladies', the term was first used for San Fancisco Victorian houses by authors Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in 1978 in a book of the same name; the best of these can be viewed on Steiner Street (to the east of the square). The 'Painted Ladies' here are Victorian and Edwardian houses painted in three or more colours which enhance the architectural features of the buildings.
Another of those most-phototgraphed places.
We'd missed this one on previous trips so it was time to get 'er done. Alamo Square is a nice little neighborhood park, bordered by Steiner, Fulton, Hayes and Scott streets, in an area full of beautifully renovated Victorian homes. Along Steiner Street is the row of "Painted Ladies" that have become one of the iconic images of the city as millions of shutterbugs have pointed a lens in their direction. For me, it's not so much the houses themselves but the interesting juxtaposition of bygone era and contemporary city that makes it so visually captivating.
The best time to shoot is in late afternoon/early evening/sunset with enough sunlight to illuminate the hues. It was overcast the day I was up here and it took an hour for that tiny break in the clouds - just long enough to squeeze off a few snaps.
The square is just 4 blocks north of the Lower Haight - nice area for a browse and also has some terrific architecture.
Alamo square is a nice park is located at a great spot, atop a hill with a great view of the city (pic 1). There are some picnic tables to relax for a while, we enjoyed it very much while the sun was shining above us. The park was full of locals laying around and reading books, tourists holding their cameras like we did and many many dogs so don’t forget to check where you step, I know the mansions are beautiful but check the ground :)
Of course the main reason we came here was to see with our own eyes one of the most photographed places in SF, the view of the Painted Ladies, a row of six beautiful Victorian houses that have the city’s modern skyline at the background (pic2), a great constrast. Their pastel colors are beautiful but you can have them before sunset and not in the morning when we visited Alamo square. Anyway, it was nice and we enjoyed looking at the background trying to recognize some of the city’s landmarks.