Lombard Street Insiders Guide
The most “crookedest” street of San Francisco, Lombard Street!
Lombard Street is known as one of the most crooked streets in the world. But is this really true? Keep reading to find out how to visit this famous sight!
Believe it or not, the reason Lombard street is so crooked is because of safety. The street was designed in 1922, it had a 27% grade and it was to steep for most of the vehicles and sometimes even for pedestrians. This is why one of the property owners in the area suggested adding the switchbacks, so the travel safety on Lombard street would increase.
But did you know that Lombard street isn’t actually the most crooked street in the world? We will tell you a little secret, it is not even the most crooked street in San Francisco!! For locals, this is no surprise, but for tourists, it is a shocker most of the time. The actual most crooked street in San Francisco is Vermont Street on Potrero Hill!
But how is it possible that everybody thinks that Lombard is the most crooked street? This is all because Lombard street has a much stronger visual appeal and a more convenient location for visitors then Vermont street. This makes it a very popular attraction and therefore better known as a crooked street than Vermont street.
Read below to learn about fun things to do around Lombard street and to find out what the most convenient way is to get there!
Things to do around Lombard street
Because of Lombard street’s convenient location, you can easily combine this attraction with other sights in San Francisco. There are many things to do on and around this famous street and we have sorted the best activities out for you!
Driving down Lombard Street
If you have the option to visit Lombard street with a car we would highly recommend this!
Keep in mind that traffic can be very bad and this can result in long waits. The best option is to go early or late in the day since there will be fewer people around than on the middle of the day.
Spot famous homes
There are some interesting houses you can check out during your visit to Lombard Street. On the curvy part of the street, you will find a few landmark homes. Unfortunately, it is not possible to enter the homes but with these notes, we will help you find them so you can make sure to photograph them.
First of all the Real World house. This house is located on the southern side of the street at 949 Lombard Street (between Jones and Leavenworth). You will find it just before the curvy part when you walk uphill. The house is famous because it was the home where the cast stayed when they were filming!
The Real World House
At 1000 Lombard street, just a bit more further up on the right, you will find the former home of 1960’s socialite Patricia “Pat” Montandon. The house is called the Montandon house and allegedly one of the Bay Area’s haunted houses. Pat moved out of the house because of a death that occurred and she began thinking the house was haunted. So if you dare this is an interesting house to spot on Lombard Street..
The Montandon House
The Montandon house is not the only spooky home you can find on Lombard street. Another one is Scottie’s Apartment from Vertigo. This house is located at 900 Lombard street on the same side as the Montandon house. This house plays a role in the famous Alfred Hitchcock film called “Vertigo”
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the busiest tourist areas in San Francisco. This historic waterfront district, located close to Lombard street (a 15 min walk and 5 min drive), is the vital center of our city’s fishing industry and is filled with souvenir shops and world-class restaurants.
Fisherman’s Wharf is a great spot to spend your afternoon after visiting Lombard. There are endless opportunities for entertainment. For example the famous sea lions on Pier 39, the World War II submarine, streetcars and much more— just a few of the featured in our travel guide to Fisherman Wharf. Fisherman’s Wharf is the perfect place to explore while in town!
Chinatown attracts more visitors a year than the Golden Gate Bridge, and this is for a reason. San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. This neighborhood is famous for its lively maze of streets and alleys, bursting with dim sum restaurants and other traditional eateries. Check out the local’s guide to San Francisco’s Chinactown.
We love this energetic and unique neighborhood and definitely recommend visiting it. Chinatown is only a 10-minute drive or 25-minute walk from Lombard which makes it very easy to do those sight in one day.
Coit Tower is another San Francisco sight that is located close to Lombard street. It is only a 10 minute drive or 20 minute walk!
The reason that Coit Tower is so popular is because of its views. The tower rises from the top of Telegraph Hill, and from the observation deck, you have a great view of San Francisco. This makes the tower a must-see during your stay in San Francisco! Check out our local’s guide to Coit Tower area.
Looking for the most convenient way to explore San Francisco? Join our Dylan’s Famous Tour to see it all in one day!
How to get to Lombard street
Lombard Street is located on Russian Hill. The winding road is only a small section of the large Lombard street but it still is one of the most famous sights San Francisco owns. There are multiple ways to get to this San Francisco sight. To make it as easy as possible for you to decide what the best way is we have listed all the options below.
To get to the street by car you can use 1099 Lombard street as the location on your maps. This leads you to the start of the one-way drive. Keep in mind that the speed limit on Lombard street is 5mph (8 km/h), so when it’s your turn to drive down the hill you can enjoy a VERY slow ride.
By a Tour Bus
It will be hard to check out Lombard Street while being on a bus tour. Big busses are not allowed near the famous street which makes it pretty hard for them to show Lombard street to tourists.
Hop-on Hop-off buses do make stops within a few blocks of the area, so if you are able to walk a bit this is another good option.
Walking Lombard Street
If you are ready for some exercise, exploring Lombard Street on foot is the perfect option! Walking uphill allows you to take a lot of pictures before reaching the top. Once you reached the top you will be rewarded with a magnificent view!
Before you start hiking we highly recommend getting some energy. A perfect place to do so is at The Travel Mug cafe. This cafe is located in North Beach and only minutes away from the famous sight. You can get breakfast or lunch here and to reward yourself after hiking up this steep hill you can grab one of their excellent local beers and wines!
By Cable Car
Afraid that it’s too much to walk all the way up the hill? Take a cable car all the way to Lombard Street. The cable car stop is located right next to the steep hill which makes this option very convenient.
You can hop on the Powell/Hyde line to get to the intersection, this line starts in Fisherman’s Wharf. This line goes all the way to Union square so if you are staying in one of the many hotels in union square it’s only a short ride to Lombard street. We think this is the most fun way to get to Lombard street 🙂
Another way to get from Union Square to Lombard street is by bus. You can easily take muni bus 30, this bus will go straight to Columbus Avenue, a few blocks away from Lombard. This means you will have to walk a bit after getting off the bus.
Lombard Street and Dylan’s Tours
Since both Dylan’s Tours and Lombard street are located in North Beach (only minutes away from each other) we recommend combining a San Francisco tour with Lombard street. Here at Dylan’s Tours, we offer multiple San Francisco bus tours and electric bike tours to explore San Francisco. Start your day by paying a visit to Lombard street before you hop on one of our minibuses to start your adventure!
Dylan’s Tours bike shop
If you rather explore the city on your own you can easily rent a bike in our bike shop! The best part? You don’t have to walk all the way uphill to reach Lombard. Our electric bikes take you all the way to the top which is totally effortless due to the motor.
Want to explore Lombard Street and more?
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Need more help on deciding what to do in San Francisco? Check out these 100% local recommendations for San Francisco!