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Lombard Street (The Crookedest Street in the World) | SF

Jan 28, 2023 | Just For Fun, San Francisco Plumbing

Come visit one of O'Grady Plumbing's favorite local attractions - Lombard Street! The Crookedest Street in the World!
Lombard Street in San Francisco’s Russian Hill is famous for its winding, steep section that is often referred to as the “Crookedest Street in the World.” The section of Lombard Street between Hyde and Leavenworth streets features eight sharp turns that were built in 1922 to reduce the grade of the hill for vehicles. The street is a popular tourist attraction and is often busy with visitors and cars. The surrounding neighborhood, Russian Hill, is an affluent and historic area known for its stunning views of the city and bay.

“Lombard Street makes you slow down, look around, and make you appreciate the city more.”

Lombard Street – A Peek Into History

Lombard Street in San Francisco has a history dating back to the city’s early days. The street was first developed in the late 19th century as a way to connect the neighborhoods at the top of Russian Hill with the rest of the city. However, the steep grade of the hill made it difficult for vehicles to navigate, and in the early 20th century the residents of the street petitioned the city to make improvements.

In 1922, the city decided to construct a series of eight sharp turns, or “hairpin turns,” along the steepest section of the street. The design reduced the grade of the hill from 27% to 16% and made it possible for cars to safely travel up and down the street. This section of the street became known as the “Crookedest Street in the World,” and it quickly became a popular tourist attraction. [1]

Since then, Lombard Street has been a major tourist draw and a popular spot for visitors to take pictures and enjoy the views of the city. The street has also been featured in many movies, TV shows and commercials.

Driving Directions


To drive to Lombard Street in San Francisco, you can use the following directions:

  • From the North: Take 101 South and exit onto Van Ness Ave. Turn right on Lombard St and drive until you reach the crooked section.
  • From the South: Take 101 North and exit onto King St. Turn left on Van Ness Ave and right on Lombard St and drive until you reach the crooked section.
  • From the East Bay: Take the Bay Bridge and exit onto Fremont St. Turn right on Howard St and left on Van Ness Ave. Turn right on Lombard St and drive until you reach the crooked section.
  • From the Peninsula: Take 280 North and exit onto 19th Ave. Turn left on Lincoln Way and right on Lombard St. Drive until you reach the crooked section.

Lombard Street is about 6 miles away from O’Grady Plumbing’s office on Evans Avenue. Please note that Lombard street is only one way and there is limited parking in the area. So it may be difficult to find a parking spot near the crooked attraction, and you may have to park a few blocks away and walk to it. Additionally, due to high traffic on the street, it is recommended that you visit during off-peak hours.

A Glimpse of the Russian Hill Neighborhood

The neighborhood surrounding Lombard Street, known as Russian Hill, is considered to be one of the most affluent and desirable neighborhoods in San Francisco. It is known for its stunning views of the city and bay, and its proximity to many popular tourist destinations in San Francisco. These include the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Russian Hill is a historic neighborhood, with many Victorian-style homes and buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. [2]. The area is also known for its charming and picturesque streets, and its many restaurants, shops, and galleries.

In terms of safety, Russian Hill is considered to be a relatively safe neighborhood. However, as with any urban area, it is always best to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.

Overall, Russian Hill is a great place to visit and explore, with a mix of historic charm and modern amenities. It offers a great opportunity to experience the San Francisco culture, architecture and history while enjoying views of the city.

Major attractions to check out

Some major attractions on Lombard Street and the surrounding Russian Hill neighborhood include:

The Crookedest Street in the World:

  • The winding and steep section of Lombard Street between Hyde and Leavenworth streets is the main attraction of the area. It is known for its eight sharp turns that were built in 1922. Visitors can drive or walk down the street to experience the views and take pictures.

Coit Tower:

  • This 210-foot tower offers panoramic views of the city from the top. It was built in 1933 as a tribute to the city’s volunteer firefighters and is decorated with murals painted by local artists in the 1930s.

Cable Cars:

  • Russian Hill is home to one of the city’s three cable car lines, which run up and down the hill and offer a unique way to explore the city.

Grace Cathedral:

  • This historic cathedral is an architectural and cultural landmark in the city. It features beautiful stained-glass windows, mosaics and an impressive pipe organ.

Alta Plaza Park:

  • This park is located on the top of the hill and offers great views of the city and the bay. It’s a popular spot for picnics, sunbathing and play.

Macondray Lane:

  • This charming and picturesque lane was the inspiration for the fictional “Barbary Lane” in the popular Armistead Maupin book series Tales of the City.

The Painted Ladies:

  • These Victorian-style homes, located on Steiner Street, are known for their colorful paint jobs and are one of the most photographed landmarks in the city.

The Ferry Building:

  • This historic building was once the hub of ferry travel to and from San Francisco. Now it’s a gourmet food market located on the Embarcadero.

Aquatic Park:

  • This park is home to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the historic ships and the San Francisco Maritime Museum, which showcases the city’s maritime history.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA):

  • SFMOMA is located on the nearby Mission Street, it’s one of the largest modern and contemporary art museums in the United States.

References

  1. Russian Hill Neighbors, https://rhnsf.org/explore/walking-tours/russian-hill-ii-the-north-slope/
  2. Kylie Madry, Lombard Street: Visiting San Francisco’s Crookedest Street, https://www.exp1.com/blog/lombard-street-visiting-san-francisco-crookedest-street/
  3. Fog City Secrets, https://www.inside-guide-to-san-francisco-tourism.com/lombard-street-san-francisco.html

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