July 13th, 2018
Discover the 7 Hills of San Francisco
Do you want to climb to different heights during your SF trip? Experience a new perspective of Fog City? Explore the distinct 7 Hills of San Francisco. If you’re staying at Stanford Court Hotel on Nob Hill, you’ve already checked one off your list!
There are actually 40+ hills SF, but Spanish settlers distinguished just seven at the time of their arrival. Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Twin Peaks, Mount Davidson, Telegraph Hill, Rincon Hill and Mount Sutro make up the seven original hills of San Francisco.
This distinction isn’t lost on Seven Stills Brewery and Distillery, which we’ve partnered up with to create a forward-thinking bar and restaurant at Stanford Court Hotel. Seven Stills has created special whiskeys for a couple of the hills in San Francisco. Read more about Seven Stills Nob Hill’s elevated beverage program and make sure to check out our Seven Stills Package at Stanford Court.
Explore the hills according to your preference, whether you’re looking for a walk in the woods, panoramic city views or a posh outing.
1. Nob Hill
We at SCH are partial to Nob Hill for obvious reasons, but the affluent neighborhood has great advantages. Its central location makes it a desirable spot to stay while in the city, and its sweeping views and cable cars make a lasting impression. Huntington Park is one of the hill’s treasures, originally a site of a railroad tycoon’s mansion that was destroyed during the 1906 earthquake. Today, Nob Hill maintains its refinement, dotted with restaurants and luxury hotels.
2. Telegraph Hill
The iconic Telegraph Hill is distinguished by the art deco Coit Tower, built in 1933 and gifted to the city by patroness Lillie Hitchcock Coit. The hill is a favored lookout point, with incredible views of the bay and city. The steep Filbert Steps allow access to the tower (which houses murals), and gardens on the hill make for a lush visit. Keep an eye out for parrots -- and maybe check out The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill to get a background on why they call the hill home.
3. Russian Hill
Originally named after settlers discovered a small graveyard on the hill for Russian fur trappers and traders, today Russian Hill is mostly residential. Located just downhill from Nob Hill, the foot of Russian Hill meets Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. The steep hill is home to the famous Lombard Street (the one with intense switchbacks), and it was also the site of many scenes featuring Steve McQueen in "Bullitt."
4. Twin Peaks
For a hill that’s more nature than city but has favored views of the city, Twin Peaks is a top-choice for many, especially locals. It was originally used by the Ohlone peoples as a lookout. At its grassy summit, a preserved park is a habitat for blue butterflies, and birds thrive atop Twin Peaks. The hill is recognizable from a distance because of its Sutro Tower antennae.
5. Mount Davidson
This is the highest natural point in San Francisco. If you’re looking for adventure, a steep, rocky hike, and panoramic views, check out Mount Davidson. A prominent feature of the hill is its 103-foot concrete cross, which is lit up around Eastern time and draws many for holiday prayer service. The site may look familiar to you if you’ve seen the film "Dirty Harry."
6. Rincon Hill
Rincon Hill once boasted the same affluence of Nob Hill, but after earthquakes, the neighborhood was later transformed into a industrial area. Recent efforts are being made to revive the neighborhood and make it as walkable as the rest of the city. Located right near South Beach, the hill is located in South of Market, not far from the SF Giants ballpark.
7. Mount Sutro
This hidden forest is one of the city’s best kept secrets. While mostly private, some trails yield way to a dense wood that feels like a magical forest. It’s a great escape from the city, located right in the center of town. If you go, park at the intersection of Johnston Drive and Clarendon Ave., and follow trails through the forest, which are narrow and moderate. Views aren’t the main draw at Mount Sutro, but the quiet refuge certainly is.
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