Telegraph Hill is home to one of San Francisco’s most iconic landmarks, Coit Tower, which rises 210 feet above the neighborhood and offers sweeping views of the bay. The hill—which was originally called Loma Alta(high hill) and then Goat Hill before it earned its current moniker in 1862—is also famous for its pretty topography, hidden gardens and staircases, and the flock of feral parrots that supposedly reside within the neighborhood’s greenery.

Many of the area’s immaculate homes were built around the hillsides at the foot of Coit Tower, and many boast lovely landscaping and staircases of their own. The Filbert Steps, whose colorful gardens flow down to Levi’s Plaza, provide scenic exercise for those who love a good hike with great views, while a few neighborhood parks provide additional vistas and family-friendly recreation. While Telegraph Hill is a mostly residential neighborhood, the area is adjacent to the bustling nightlife and restaurants of North Beach. And the riverfront Embarcadero, with its museums, farmer’s markets, specialty stores, and eateries, is just a short walk away. © 2016 Maryann LoRusso 

Historic Washington Square Park has a lawn the size of a city block where festivals and free movie nights are held.

Historic Washington Square Park has a lawn the size of a city block where festivals and free movie nights are held.

Regulars stand in line on weekends for the hearty brunch at Mama’s on Washington Square.

Regulars stand in line on weekends for the hearty brunch at Mama’s on Washington Square.

Liguria Bakery is a classic counter-serve Italian storefront that doles out handmade pizza focaccia.

Liguria Bakery is a classic counter-serve Italian storefront that doles out handmade pizza focaccia.

The Filbert Steps run in three sections from Telegraph Hill to Montgomery Street, offering stunning vistas and a good workout.

The Filbert Steps run in three sections from Telegraph Hill to Montgomery Street, offering stunning vistas and a good workout.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, seen flying throughout the neighborhood year-round, were the topic of a 2013 book and a subsequent documentary.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, seen flying throughout the neighborhood year-round, were the topic of a 2013 book and a subsequent documentary.

The two-person Jack Early Park features a hidden stairway leading to a quaint lookout point—an idyllic setting for a marriage proposal.

The two-person Jack Early Park features a hidden stairway leading to a quaint lookout point—an idyllic setting for a marriage proposal.

The iconic Coit Tower rises high above the neighborhood, with sweeping views of the city and bay.

The iconic Coit Tower rises high above the neighborhood, with sweeping views of the city and bay.


© Maryann LoRusso