7 Secret Stairwells To Climb In San Francisco

Ashlyn Davis Ashlyn Davis

hidden staircases in San Francisco

Get your butt into gear at these gorgeous staircases.

If there’s one thing San Francisco is great for, its perspective. Sure, there are the trippy festivals and the free-thinking spirit of the 1960s that fills there air. Then, of course, there are the steep hills that dwarf the downtown skyscrapers and the scenic Presidio hikes, with sweeping views of the Bay.

However, along with that, there are the colorful staircases that serve as a beautiful testament to the diverse local community in addition to views that are worth the workout.

1.The Tompkins Stairway Garden


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The colorful zig-zag stairwell is a new addition to the famous tiled steps around the city. This community project is nestled amongst a drought-resistant garden that stays lush all-year-round. Along with the thigh workout, there’s also a lot of Gram content to gain.

3. Embarcadero Center


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Hidden in plain sight amongst the commercial storefronts. While the tiny tiled stairs seem quite classical from above, they take on a completely new form depending on your point of view.

3. Mechanics’ Institute


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This winding, neoclassical beauty is tucked away in the gleaming towers of the financial district. While wandering the busy streets, it would be easy to miss this gem, which also happens to be the oldest continuously operating chess club in the United States.

4. The Sand Ladder


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There are few staircases that allow you to see the curvature of the earth and offer incredible vistas of the Golden Gate bridge from top to bottom.

4. Hidden Garden Steps


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This intricate, mosaicked staircase is the perfect city hike. Take in a stunning, urban safari among the creatures lining the face of each step, with wildlife fluttering around in the surrounding gardens.

6. Filbert Steps


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Walk up 600 stairs enveloped by enough foliage to make you feel like you’ve stepped into a tropical jungle. Once you get to the top, you’ll have a spectacular view of the Bay bridge.

Featured image by Adrian Trink via Unsplash. 

7. Lyon Street Steps


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Views of Alcatraz and the Palace of Fine Arts, the “Immigrant Heart” in the middle of a garden in front of Dianne Feinstein’s home, and few tourists to compete with for that perfect pic. This is like the anti-tourist snapshot of SF. It also borders the stunning Presidio.

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