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San Francisco is known for its myriad of steep, curvy streets. However, none of them is as famous as Lombard Street. The spot is a half-mile-long street snaking through the Russian Hill neighborhood and is a street like no other. Sometimes known as "The Crookedest Street in the World," the street has risen to fame thanks to its picture-perfect section that entails eight hairpin turns.

Ever wondered why a road would be so crooked and twisty? Here’s more to know about the legendary Lombard Street.


How Lombard Street Became Famous

Since its establishment, the road's crookedness has always puzzled locals and tourists. The iconic street features eight windy switchbacks on the one-way drive that serve unique tight turns. Zig-zagging its way downhill between Hyde and Leavenworth streets, Lombard is a visual treat to any landscaper. Not many roads are built this way, and Lombard Street's uniqueness is the first reason why it is so famous.

Related: Destination California: Try These Scenic In-State Road Trips (Complete With Itineraries)

The second reason this curvy street in San Francisco is always the talk of the town is its picture-perfect beauty. Most people know Lombard Street from postcards, thanks to its scenic nature that attracts photographers and trekking tourists every day. The road is paved with red bricks complemented by beautiful plants, flowers, and well-trimmed hedges.

For maximum safety when visiting San Francisco for the first time, it's important to understand a few things. For instance, Lombard Street was built to enhance road safety. Like many San Francisco spots, Lombard Street is quite steep, hence why property owners in the area suggested the spectacular switchback to add safety alongside aesthetic fun for drivers and pedestrians. Back in the 1920s, the road became an instant landmark that is awe-inspiring to date.

  • Fun Fact: Many people refer to Lombard Street as "the Crookedest Street in the World," but that's not the case. The title goes to Vermont Street, which meanders between 20th and 22nd streets on Potrero Hill.

Why Lombard Street Is Worth Visiting?

One of the things that make California famous is Lombard Street. But what exactly can one do at this attraction site? Here is what to do on the crooked street.

Activities And Nearby Places Of Interest

Travelers can enjoy a picture-perfect moment on the crooked street. Photography is the order of the day at Lombard Street, with the most iconic view being the snapshot of the entire winding road from a bottom vantage point looking up to the top. Another spot that allows for scenic photos is the well-manicured gardens and yards that add color to Lombard Street.

Related: A Full Guide To California's Famous Scenic Drives

Alternatively, scenic rides along the street are an excellent way to spend a day's trip. Of course, one can have a scenic drive in their car, but opting for a cable car tour amplifies the excitement. Cable cars are one of San Francisco's major attractions due to their unique way of getting around towns. Tourists can hop onto one and have a great adventure before dropping off at the top of the curvy street.

On hot days, travelers often stop by Ghirardelli Square for a yummy ice cream treat. Located four blocks north of Lombard Street, the spot boasts other delicacies, such as hot chocolate with whipped cream, alongside tantalizing pastries.

  • Hours Open: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Daily

Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf is an excellent hotel to spend a night near Lombard Street. The hotel boasts a convenient location and comprises 531 spacious rooms and amenities like a gym and swimming pool. The hotel also features a highly rated restaurant, Buena Vista Café, which offers a wide selection of delectable cuisine.

Getting To Lombard Street

The iconic portion of Lombard Street is located in San Francisco Russian Hill Neighborhood. An exact address to maneuver the street using GPS or phone is 1070 Lombard Street. Presidio Boulevard and The Embercadero are the most straightforward routes to access the zig-zag road. Here are a variety of ways to get there.

For travelers who don't fancy walking, a few buses stop within a few blocks from Lombard Street. The most popular is the 30 Stockton. The buses drive through North Beach to the Columbus Avenue and Lombard stops. From there, walk west a few blocks to get to the bottom of the hill, Jones Street, where the curvy part of Lombard Street begins.

To get to Lombard Street quickly, visitors can take Highway 101, then use the Lombard Street exit. The crooked portion of the street only runs one way towards the east. It's important to mention that this street is for experienced drivers only. Also, parking along the street can be challenging, as there are limited parking spots available in the area.

An exciting way to experience this crooked street is by cable car. This method's biggest advantage is that it relieves visitors of the hassle of waiting in traffic or wondering where to park their vehicles. The Hyde Street cable car drops travelers off at the top part of this famous street, whereas the Powell-Mason cable car stops at Columbus Avenue near Lombard Street.

Lombard Street did not become an iconic attraction overnight. From surviving an earthquake in 1906 to facing congestion due to overpopulation, Lombard Street has risen in fame mostly due to its sky-high real estate prices. This stellar neighborhood is a budget-friendly way to spend a day's trip alone or with friends and family.